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Short Trip Report and Photos..........

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The Scottish Borders
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Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Although I've been back a few weeks, I've been snowed under at work and not able to get onto TA as much as I would like so am just getting round to sorting out photos, trip reports and various reviews.

Again instead of a “lengthy” trip report I thought I would just make a trip wow slideshow with some of the many photo’s I took on holiday and just a very brief trip report, otherwise it would turn into a mini saga and bore you all to tears.

Another 2 weeks at the El-Luxor hotel where the staff treat you like an individual, not a room number, rooms are basic but clean and comfy and yet again we had a wonderful view of the Nile and the Theban Hills (although during our 2 week break they were not illuminated as like last year).

Birthday Parties in Luxor – 2 of them for Mrs KV-Explorer, the first, held on the evening of her birthday, which was an evening opening of Café Carter at the Howard Carter Museum (the first time EVER that it has been specially opened in the evening and probably the first time a Birthday party had been held there since HC celebrated his own) where a delicious 3 course meal was laid on followed by the “best tasting cake –EVER”, a specially made 'one off', which was a chocolate sponge, cream, chocolate cream and fresh strawberries all topped off with a solid chocolate Tutankhamun on top.

The second birthday party was later in the holiday and arranged by a local Egyptian friend one evening on a motorboat in the middle of the Nile. There was another birthday cake, this one just as impressive – a huge Twinkie gateaux with sparklers on top! We were also given sparklers to hold and party-poppers, fireworks were set off when the sun went down and there was a bottle of champagne to open. It would be most impolite of me to say which one of us had just one “SIP” out of the glass too many ;-) (see TripWow for a clue, LoL)

One afternoon we spent walking up the Western Valley and some of it’s seldom visited offshoots, I could do a separate trip wow which would last at least 30 minutes with all the photos I took that afternoon LOL!!! Not another tourist in site , so very very very stunningly beautiful and so quiet I firmly believe you would hear a pindrop.

We made many more trips over to the West Bank, revisiting Medinat Habu, Ramesseum, Howard Carter Museum and at least 3 afternoon visits intoThe Valley of the Kings, one of them a “special trip” to show one of the tomb guardians who regularly works in KV62 (Tutankhamun) and WV23 (Ay) the DVD of him starring inthe BBC “Egypt” TV programme, he was absolutely delighted as it was the first and only time he had seen himself in the programme and he could reel off all the other actor’s lines before they came up!!!! Some of the tomb guardians really are absolute stars. Unfortunately there is always “one” who is NOT and because it’s a family forum I can’t quite go into what one guardian suggested to me in KV11 (Ramses III) but he faced the wrath of a “wee Scottish wummin” for saying it and “no tip”.

Also spent one afternoon up at Karnak, I think there would be no more than 20 tourists in there the whole time we were there and they were mainly in the shade of the hypostyle hall. Further back by the sacred lake,botanical garden and out by Khonsu Temple there was absolutely no-one.

Generally the sites were very quiet, I would say that at some of the sites there did appear to be more Egyptians visiting than other nationalities. The same applied to our hotel with I would say the majority of guests being Egyptian and several conferences were also held there. One teaching “democracy” though I have no idea how you teach people that.

Before setting off for Luxor I had converted some of my nectar points into “expedia vouchers” and got a super deal on the Hilton Long Beach in Hurghada at £21.00 per person per night on an All Inclusive basis for myself, mum and the KV-Explorer's. The snorkelling was fantastic as there was a small reef just off the hotel and I spent a fair amount of time in the sea which left me with 3 rather large jellyfish stings on my body….. the marks are only just away 3 weeks later. Although I did enjoy the snorkelling 2 nights there was more than enough and I was very happy to get back to Luxor again.

At the rest stop mid way between Luxor and Hurghada we were advised that the President of Scotland, William Wallace aka “Braveheart” was “a good man” and were asked “how long the Scots have had freedom for” and “if freedom was good” Bless them!!!!

As much as I enjoyed my meal at the Carter Café, (we also went back during the day and had lunch there - the vegetable tagine and fried chicken are very good and beautifully presented) we also enjoyed more local dishes from local cafes & stands like Koshari, Hawawshi (as recommended to me by ourluxorflat) and falafel sandwiches with aubergine, chilli and salad all followed by a few glasses of sugarcane juice. I’ve actually been attempting to make the Hawawshi at home, can’t get the same ingredients here but I’ve been adapting it and had pretty good results so far and it’s a smidgin’ healthier version than that dished up in Luxor.

One of our caleche driver’s horses had just had a new foal so he took us out to the stables to meet her, the new foal – only one week old and absolutely adorable. I know much has been said about the state of some of the horses in recent weeks, but I would not entertain using a caleche horse in poor condition. Ahmed has several horses and now the foal. All are rotated, have soft shiny coats and no marks, I can walk faster than the pace he drives the caleche at. I usually take some special horse treats out for the horses and this year because things had been tough we bought some food for them all. As ever items for the horse are always more appreciated than any form of monetary tip. So contrary to what some may say there are some caleche men who do care for their horses, it’s just a shame that a few give them all a bad name at times.

Other than that a fair bit of time was spent relaxing, I had managed to catch swine flu earlier in the year so really needed some time chilling in the sun. I'm now counting down the weeks till my next trip over to Luxor in the autumn.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the trip wow slideshow -

…tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-017f-11d4-d56e…

Edited: 12 May 2011, 20:56
west bromwich
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1. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Hi suzie

Glad you had a good time, the report and slide show are fantastic.

Cant wait to go back in july.

All the best

Dave & Miriam

U.K.
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for Avebury, Egypt
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2. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Tripwow was over too quickly! Shall have another browse in the morning - thanks for the memories, susiesooze!

United Kingdom
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for Luxor
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3. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Interesting trip report & gorgeous TripWow , Mr DD was wondering why I was singing! The Western Valley looks amazing, we had to drive to Ay's tomb so I am extremely jealous.

I've started planning for July now, but it still seems very far away.

Guernsey, Channel...
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4. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Hey Suzie

Really enjoyed your slide show, thanks, it is brilliant.

Happy birthday wishes to Mrs KV.

Best wishes

Australia
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for Cairo, Egypt, Nile River Valley, Luxor
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5. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Thanks Suzie, great report and photos! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!

Manchester, United...
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6. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Fab slideshow - many thanks for putting it together suziesooze!

I'm VERY jealous that you got a photo of the Green Bee-eaters at the Ramesseum as my camera reaction just wasn't quick enough to catch a shot when I saw them there and after two hours at the site I was wilting too much to hang around for another chance - I too read out Ozymandias though :-)

Your photos of the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak brought back to me just how fabulous that place is and I need to revisit my photos from there right now - the restoration programme is really turning it into a stunning site...

And once more I need to thank you for recommending the Western Valley to me - it was a definite highlight of this year's trip for me and my travel companion and the guardian at the Tomb of Ay is just the best isn't he ;-)

I've started saving for and planning next year's trip too! I'm thinking of a week in Luxor with a side trip to Tel el-Amarna this time round - Hass reckoned he could easily sort the transport and paperworks out for a trip up to there and I've already got a guide/mother tongue speaker from Aswan in mind who has a specialist interest in the area as it's where her family are from. Sometimes the planning is just as fun as the trip itself...

The Scottish Borders
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7. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Glad you all enjoyed the photos :-)

Ragoora, yes I was pretty blown away with the restoration work they are doing in the Khonsu Temple at Karnak too - I've uploaded a few more pictures of the temple to webshots if anyone else would like to see them - travel.webshots.com/album/580184265xESskx

Scotland, United...
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for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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8. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

This Topic is headed 'Short report'???

Glad you had a good time though

Great photos too.

U.K.
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for Avebury, Egypt
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9. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Thanks for the extra photos, susiesooze - whoever would have guessed what colours were hidden by all the grime? I like the way that some photographs show cleaned-up, colourful sections within a wall covered in centuries of acuumulated dirt.

Kyiv
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10. Re: Short Trip Report and Photos..........

Hi Suzie! :) Hi everyone ;)

What a lovely report - happy to read you had a wonderful time (even though I'm prejudiced about Hurghada).

And such fabulous pics and the slide-show :) Many thanks for bringing back the loveliest memories!

P.S. eLaReF, did I just notice your upgrade to the entire country? Congrats, mate! :)

Edited: 14 May 2011, 11:36