Nov. 4, 2007 – Luxor – Taxi ride to hotel (half hour)

Egypt Travel Blog

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I am hoping my hotel, the Moudira, will be as nice as I was told. I really need one night of pampering and, insha’allah, I won’t be disappointed.

Horoun is my driver to the hotel. He loves telling jokes like many Egyptians. He holds up his right index finger. “Why don’t the Japanese use this finger?”

“I don’t know, Horoun, I think they do use it.”

“No, they don’t. I have had many Japanese in my car.”

“Okay, why?

“Because it’s my finger!” Then he cracks up.

It’s a shame my husband is not here. He loves riddles and puzzles. Anytime we travel we take lateral puzzle books and take turns quizzing each other and he gets most of them right. He would have known the answer to this one too.

What I’m witnessing driving out of the airport into Luxor’s villages:

Two women sitting against a brick wall in black arribiyyas and headscarfs with white trim that look more like Catholic nuns’ habits. School children in beige pants and long tops with gym shoes on their feet. Elderly woman carrying big bags of wheat on their heads with perfect balance. No Traffic! Less smog and pollution. Two men riding a donkey pulling a wooden wagon loaded with sugarcane. Mud house after mud house after mud house. Greenery on my right, desert on my left. Calabia canal on my right and train tracks on my left. The train carries stones from the mountains to the desert to construction companies. Endless sugarcane fields – mile after mile – and men walking through them in twosomes and threesomes in their white cotton arribayyas.

Valley of the Kings 11am

I am sitting on a rock in the middle of this incredible ancient space with its majestic aura, soaking in the sights and sounds. It is so peaceful now, without the usual hundreds of tourists. The Valley of the Kings was once called the Place of Truth. To think at one point in time, the pharaohs came here seeking and expecting immortality.

A huge film crew is here to document the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP). I was told it was going to start at 1pm so I have been waiting. And waiting. Now it is getting late and I can’t wait anymore because I’m here for only a day and a half and have many other sites to visit. They are going to be interviewing Dr. Zahi Hawass, a famous archeologist from Cairo, who is leading the excavation. He must have incredible stories to tell. I wish I could have heard them. You can google him for more info on his incredible findings.

Weighing of the heart:

In ancient Egypt the heart of a deceased person was weighed, and if it was light and thus free of sin he was allowed to spend the rest of eternity as an ankh, but if his heart was heavy with sin it was eaten by the god Ammut and he was dammed forever.

My hotel:

Alhamdulillah! The hotel is fantastic! It’s like a miniature Moorish villa. One could compare it to a Middle Eastern Two Bunch Palms Resort. There is much love and detail accorded to every aspect of my room and the villa. I am going to take a long bath and just relax. It will be hard to leave the room this evening because I so want to enjoy the peace and tranquility and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the tourist sites.

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