Ramses II drawn with Derwent drawing pencils on mi-tientes paper.
We returned to Luxor for the last 2 nights on the cruise boat and had the opportunity to look around the town on the Friday morning. Bob and I chose to visit the museum and took a taxi from the rank near the mooring. There was a lot of competition to get passengers and a bit of haggling over the price but we got a very good deal and the taxi took us wherever we wanted for a few hours.
Luxor museum is one of the best I have ever visited, full of wonderful artifacts, well labelled in English and beautifully laid out. I could easily have spent the whole day there. This statue of Thutmosis really struck me and I almost felt in the presence of the long departed pharoah. There were displays of some artifacts that had only recently been discovered in 1989 and 2004 as well as a lot of the household objects found with Tutankhamon like his bed and chariot.
Every town in Egypt has these caleches which are used to transport tourists around. We went on one for our visit to Edfou which was fun as the driver was showing off how fast he could steer through the traffic which was mostly old vans and motorscooters.
In Luxor we saw this amazing structure on a roundabout at the edge of town. Huge and very colourful. The town itself is on the banks of the river Nile with views across to the fields and low hills on the other side. The sides are lined with cruise ships, sometimes moored up to 6 abreast so you have to go through all the other boats to get to yours.
Since the terrorist attacks a few years ago the Egyptian authorities have set up a system of armed guards around all the main tourist centres. It gave us peace of mind but was a bit scary to see guns sticking out of the watchtowers everywhere we went. On the Friday afternoon we set off in our coaches to see the temple of Denderah, accompanied by our armed guards in a land rover and on the Saturday we had an escort all the way across the desert to Hourgada for the second week of our holiday by the Red sea.
The life outside the towns in Egypt looks much the same as it must have thousands of years ago with peasants using donkeys to transport their goods to market and bullocks to help plough the fields. The clothes look just like those paintings in my bible I had as a child!
We had a holiday of a lifetime and I can heartily recommend it to anybody as long as they have the stamina to keep up the pace and are prepared to suffer a bit with the tummy troubles. I haven't tried to describe too much of what we saw at the temples and tombs, it would take too long and I really only wanted to give a flavour of the trip so that my readers may be interested in taking a further look at a fascinating part of human history.
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Seasons greetings to all of you around the world!