Luxor city.

Upon arrival in Luxor’s train station, we were preparing for the worst possible experience with the touts.
Luxor is famous for the many touts that constantly wait in the station for some fresh tourist meat, just to throw on you their products; “cousin’s hotels – with cheap prices”; misdirections – so that you end up in another hotel which pays them a commission (that is actually charged to your bill); and other sorts of scams (or “legit” business).
Some of them actually try to help you in any way, hoping to receive a good baksheesh. 

To our surprise, we had just two people trying to sell us stuff, and one youngster that didn’t succeed in sending us in the wrong direction. We ignored him, asked for proper directions from an ambulance driver and managed to find the hotel – which was surprisingly cheap: 60 Egyptian pounds ~ 9 euros per room. The price included good air conditioning, a modest breakfast, internet and sunset tea on the rooftop.
Also, we had a nice staff that didn’t try to sell us tours or directly ask for any tips.

In the roof garden, we met some really nice people that have the same route as us, for Dahab and Jordan. We’re actually all together right now – in the bus that goes to Dahab.
“Shisha” and good conversations were part of the menu, at every sunset.
For the shisha, me and Andra tried the apple one (yes, Andra too :D). After the first intakes, we asked the guy about what’s inside exactly; he instantly answered: “hasis” :)) with quite a serious face – that he managed to keep just for 3 seconds.
It was actually just apple, but we did meet one local that was quite high from hasis, and he was saying that really loud, with a policemen in less than 10 meters …and a half a razor blade in his mouth (we only saw it when it accidentally fell from his mouth while talking).

Anyway, back to Luxor: this city was our gate to: Valley of the Kings, Karnak temple (impressive!) and a one hour flight with a hot-air ballon. A separate short post for each one will follow.

Let’s end this one with some quick facts about Luxor city:
– generally less pleasant than Aswan, because of the narrow streets and high amounts of trash everywhere (not as much as in Cairo though);
– as hot as Aswan, with around 40 degrees in the afternoon.
– many street-side vendors with special prices for tourists, not open for bargaining. We had at least three annoying moments when some Egyptians bought high amounts of foods for a few Egyptian pounds, while we were asked to pay the same amount of money – for just one small piece (overall, between 10 to 15 times the price for the locals).
– nice Nile view;
– cheaper than Aswan for accommodation;
– interesting sights in & around the city;
– similar or even less touts than in Aswan;
– nice bazaar with funny vendors. I actually enjoyed talking to them, negotiating or refusing in a funny manner, making jokes with some while dodging others.

Bottom line, Luxor is a must see if you plan to visit Egypt.
For us, seeing it once will be enough for a really long time..

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: