March. It was almost spring, the daffodils were ready to bloom. But it was still wet and cold, just like most winters here in Holland. Luckily my employer couldn’t find work for me, so I had at least a week off. My girlfriend also had a week off from college. So we decided to go for a short trip to a warm land. We found a last minute trip to Egypt on internet. It’s a round trip from Luxor to Aswan by land with additional excursions to ancient temples and the trip from Aswan to Luxor wil be by a Nile cruise. Great! Egypt it is!
We chose to go with an organized tour cause we didn’t know what to expect in an Arab country where you don’t speak the language.
view from our room
We landed at night at the small Luxor airport. We were picked up by the tour guide, Mustafa, going straight to our hotel. We had a nice big room on the 6th floor, with large glass doors to the balcony. It was a nice cool night and our room was quiet warm, so I opened the doors wide open and went to sleep.
Suddenly I was startled from my sleep by a loud noise. A man was standing in our room shouting in my ears, at least that’s what I thought happened… Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. The doors were wide open. Hahaha, I forgot we were in a Muslim country and there was a big mosque next to the hotel. So I closed the doors and went back to sleep.
The breakfast was abundant. A buffet with sorts of fruit and bread. Today we were visiting two temples Luxor and Karnak.
Luxor by horse carriage
The excursion begins at , so we had time to explore the city. We walked out of the hotel, some horse carriages approached us, the cabmen offered a round trip. We thanked them cause continued walking. The next cabman offered us a price we couldn’t resist. So there we satin a horse carriage in Luxor. We rode to the market passing craftsmen with their equipments ready and hoping to be picked for work. We stopped in front of a store, the cabman told us that we can buy good papyrus rolls there.
It was a store owned by Coptic Christian minority. Inside the store the walls were covered with beautiful drawing on papyrus. A man helped us, first he asked where we came from. Suddenly he started to speak Dutch. We were surprised, he spoke even better than most of the first generation of Turkish/Moroccans immigrants in Holland.
My cleopatra in the carriage
He told us that he speaks 9 languages, self-tuition. We bought two rolls and continued the ride. The cabman is glad cause he’ll get a commission for taking us there. So he asked if we needed something else. I wanted a fridge magnet for my dad, so he rode us to a store next to the hotel. It was a store with no prices, I chose a magnet and asked for the price. 40 dollars the seller told me. What !?! That thing is worth maximum 2 euros. After bargaining I got it finally for about 4 euros. I know I still paid too much, but we were on vacation.
The cabman was smoking the pipe with a friend outside the store. The hotel was just around the corner so we thanked the cabman and give him his money plus tip. He said “Give me more!”. I couldn’t believe my ears, “I already gave you more than you asked.”. “Give me more!”. Ungrateful person. It was useless to have the discussion so we walked away and left him with his money.
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