Met by Mohamed, Nagwan’s husband, for two days on the West Bank of the Nile. First stop the Valley of the Workers and climbed down into some extremely small and claustrophobic tombs with incredible decoration. In many ways these are more impressive than the Pharaoh’s tombs. Next Valley of the Kings and decided to give the highlight tombs a miss (Ramses II and Tutankhamen) but saw three other – Ramses III,IV and IX. The valley is extraordinarily arid and even in November it was 35/85 degrees. It gets up to 55/120 degrees in August. The crowds weren’t too bad and the hawkers surprisingly few. The great thing about street vendors in Luxor is that they take no for an answer unlike almost everywhere else in the world.
Stopped at Howard Carter’s house (discoverer of the Tutankhamen tomb) for the highlight of the trip – strangely. His house still contains the original or at least period furniture together with copies of the letters he wrote to Canarvon. They have an excellent presentation where a back projected actor sits on Carter’s desk and tells the story of the find and even uses a period slide projector to show some of the original photographs. It had only been open two weeks and so was empty and simply enchanting. You get a real sense of the conditions in which they lived in 1920’s. The Howard Carter house is also free which is an extra bonus but considering it was far, far better than the sound and light show at Karnak they could have charged LE 50 and I would have paid double. Highly recommended.
Back to the hotel for some R&R by the pool, drinks in the courtyard and a slightly bizarre meal of asparagus, beans and Parmesan.
We were staying at the Nile Palace Hotel and I’d highly recommend it. Yes it’s a real tourist hotel complete with nightly, truly dreadful live entertainment but it has a great feel. It has a courtyard for drinks and a number of decent if not memorable restaurants but the terrace on the Nile is fantastic with amazing views and felluca’s for hire at a moments notice. It’s not the Old Winter Palace but definitely worth checking out.