Saturday, May 25, 2013

What I did on my holidays (By QM Twoflower) #1

Now normally QM would have nothing to do with a Muslim country, I avoid islam as I would avoid bubonic plague. That said... QM is a history buff and Egypt is the largest archaeological site in the world and I really wanted to see with my own eyes just what was there.
So, QM and Lady QM set off for Egypt and a Nile cruise...
We arrived late at Luxor airport, nearly midnight Egyptian time and the first thing you notice when you get off the plane is the heat, at 24 degrees, it was much hotter in the middle of the night than it was in the height of summer last year. It's also a dry heat too, none of that muggy heat that means a mega sweat in the UK just before a thunder storm.

MS Royal Viking our ship for a week
The first thing we found was that we had been upgraded to a five star ship which because it was much bigger did not seem that much of an upgrade, however passenger numbers were low at 22 rather than the normal 60, so it worked out pretty fine for us.

Our first full day took us to the Valley of the kings and this was where we discovered the delights of Egyptians desperate to sell us stuff, fortunately they don't mind being completely blanked, although I did pick up a few good (to me) deals. I didn't mind paying a little over the odds, this is a third world country after all and they had suffered due to their so called revolution and a bunch of religious yahoos bollixing it up totally for the population by driving off the tourist trade.

Dry and hot
 The tombs themselves were impressive, the dry atmosphere having preserved most of the original artwork, though taking pictures inside was forbidden.
We then visited the temple of Hapshetsup or hot chicken soup as some seemed to call it. This had been carved out of the solid rock of the mountains and was seriously impressive.

Hapshetsup temple
We then visited the Valley of the Queens (and nobles) and headed back to the boat to view the Colossus of Memnon en route.
The certainly did them big.
Back at the boat we discovered that Egypt was famous for something other than Pharaohs, seems the Egyptians invented beer...

And bloody good it was too, bar prices were roughly that of the UK too and yes we drank loads. Egypt also produces some wine too, I can't recommend the white too much, though the rosé and the red were reasonably palatable.
One of the things you do notice about Egypt is the poverty, though the people seem happy enough and the ones we met not terribly religious at all, though the mosques were certainly giving it some five times a day. Turned out Luxor though was 50/50 muslim/Christian and the usual extremists were petty much all in Cairo making a mess of running the country. Everyone we met believed the ex president Hosni Mubarak to be a corrupt old man and were glad to be shot of him, but, they also though the muslim brotherhood were a disgusting bunch of cretins as since they took over power cuts were a regular thing and there were fuel shortages throughout the land too.
Seems they exchanged one crook for a whole new set of crooks and our guide expected another revolution within a year to drive them out.

3 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, enjoyed the pics very much. Have been to Egypt, got really fed up with all the begging especially from little kids, but did enjoy the pyramids and the museum in Cairo. This was to me the hottest place I've ever been in my life, so hot I felt sick with it and I've been to some warm places before and that includes Ayres Rock (Australia being my favourite place in the world, I recommend it)!

Pete said...

We enjoyed Luxor too. Our boat only had 12 on board instead of the usual 100 so we had virtually one to one service - great for us but not so for the poor buggers working there & dependent on tips. Their view was similar to yours i.e.please tell everyone in UK that Egypt is safe and PLEASE come and visit us.

James Higham said...

Ooo, luvverly. Deeply jealous.