Sunday, 25 September 2016

First day at the Thebes in the 1st Millennium BC conference

First day at the Thebes in the 1st Millennium BC conference was great . Background to the project, some excellent lectures on the texts including a sharing of knowledge where a member of the audience knew a disputed sign. Architecture, pottery and cattle bones and more on the site itself and Coptic text. No I am not going to write it up because they will be publishing and obviously that would trespass on that.
 Dr KhaledEl-Enany opened the conference, which was very crowded

Thursday, 22 September 2016

World Tourism Day


WORLD TOURISM DAY
Tuesday 27th, sept, 2016
Festival PROGRAM: -
9:00 AM Meeting at the entrance of visitor center - Karnak Temple
9.30:11 AM Folklore festival "Luxor Folklore band"
School's children singing show - Music rababa
Accompanied with RainBow Flag's carriers

Monday, 12 September 2016

MENTORING AND MATERIAL REUSE IN LUXOR | American Research Center in Egypt

Just received a Newsletter from ARCE about all their work in Egypt. This article on Luxor was very interesting

MENTORING AND MATERIAL REUSE IN LUXOR | American Research Center in Egypt: Two practices are deeply integrated into the site improvement operations of ARCE/Luxor: material reuse and skills mentoring...........

Sunday, 11 September 2016

My Beautiful Egypt - From a Wheelchair users perspective.

I am deeply grateful to Louisa Summerfield, who is a wheelchair user and gave her perspective on visiting Egypt, for the forthcoming revised edition of Hidden Luxor.

My Beautiful Egypt - From a Wheelchair users perspective.



I fell in love with Egypt many years ago, I had just left university on an around the world ticket, Egypt being the last destination of our trip. Since then I have lived in Cairo during the early 1990s and have visited 31 times.



As a wheelchair user I think I can start off by saying there is NO wheelchair facilities or access in Egypt, the roads in every destination have kerbs almost two feet high and whilst I like many others use the main road you still have to at some point get up the kerb fortunately there are lots of willing and friendly Egyptians to help you.



The key in Egypt is you have to rely on manpower in order to access things like taking a felucca on the rive Nile, I looked down on the steep bank and thought there is just NO WAY I could get down there, but to the felucca man there was “no problem, no problem” and within seconds I was thrust into the arms of a skinny but very strong man who literally carried me like the bride down very steep & treacherous stone steps but hey I made it I was in my felucca enjoying the amazing sunset of the Nile.



Where I was most disappointed was the Cairo museum as there were 3 steps everywhere leading into each section of the museum and unless they’ve changed things there are steps at the entrance too, for me they could have made some effort to put small ramps inside the museum. 3 steps meant it wasn’t going to be a steep gradient and some effort could have been made as it was irritating having a whole entourage of people following me around.



In Luxor the Temples were hard going, lots of sand and stone boulders to negotiate and in the sweltering heat with the frustration of getting stuck on a stone I did wonder was it all worth it? The answer is yes as once I was there and experiencing Egypt’s ancient world and history I soon forgot the frustration I felt just to get there.



As for hotels and apartments I don’t think you can say it’s all going to be wheelchair friendly, but if you do your research in context with your budget you can find three star hotels with ground floor access and good sized lifts. The Hiltons were always a good bet I often stayed at the Nile Hilton as everywhere within the hotel had been modified by ramps and even the shopping mall attached to it is accessible via a secret route beneath the hotel. It has to be said that don’t assume 5 star hotels are always the best option for accessibility, I made the mistake of staying at the Hyatt to discover the swimming pool my children wanted to be in everyday was up a whole flight of stairs, again I relied on the helpful hotel staff who almost broke their backs lugging me up there. With apartments most ‘bowabs’ point you into the direction where you can find ground floor access to the lift.



My review wouldn’t be the same without mentioning the famous Egyptian taxis, these clapped out cars from the 70s and 80s with no seat belts and sometimes no hand brakes are of course NOT going to be wheelchair friendly, but providing you have a folding wheelchair the taxi men are usually very helpful and have even lifted me into the car seat. Once in I usually closed my eyes whilst they manhandled my wheelchair and placed it on the roof, often without ant tie downs. You had to hope and pray the journey wasn’t going to be too bumpy.



One of the reasons I love Egypt is there are no laws & regulations on health & safety meaning people are always willing to help you without thinking of a potential law suit, I also have to make a note that I’m quite petite weighing only 45 kilos it might be a different story if you weigh much more!
Thank you so much Louisa, I am sure potential travellers will really benefit from your experience

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

MoA_Newsletter_3_English.pdf Annual pass news

MoA_Newsletter_3_English.pdf: Annual
Visitor
Pass



The MoA is launching a new annual pass for all open archaeological sites and museums. For the first time,
Egyptians, Arab and foreign residents in Egypt are able to purchase an annual pass, which can be obtained
from the Department of Foreign Cultural Relations at the MoA in Zamalek.



Categories and prices are:

EGP 100 for pupils of Egyptian governmental, private and international schools in
Egypt; EGP 150 for Egyptian, Arab and foreign university students residing in Egypt;

EGP 400 for Egyptians
and Arabs residing in Egypt;

$440 for foreigners employed by
embassies and international organizations in Egypt (including
the tombs of Sety I and Nefertari in Luxor),

$340 without these
two tombs; and

$490 for foreign residents in Egypt (including the
tombs of Sety I and Nefertari in Luxor); and

$390 without these
two tombs.



In addition, the Board of the Supreme Council of Antiquties has
approved free entry for Egyptian and resident Arab seniors (60+) to
all archaeological sites and museums open to the public.

Additions to Hidden Luxor - blind or visually impaired visitors to Egypt

When I mentioned on Facebook I was adding disability tips to Hidden Luxor Jim Liddle offered some tips for any blind or visually impaired visitors to Egypt.

1. Tech gear. Try to take as little technology with you when you go: not only can recharging it be problematic, but unless you keep it close, sometimes security can't be guaranteed. If you have a smart phone with the ability to have speech input, load up a personal GPS app. If it can read USB memory sticks or cards, try to get hold of guidebooks before you go and get a friend to read them onto it.

2. If you're a braillist, try to get copies of any basic guides BEFORE you go - very few museums have braille guidebooks available, and those that do have copies which are usually very bulky, out of date and may be illegible through use.

 3. If you have an expert guide with you, they might be able to persuade a sympathetic curator or museum attendant to let you feel some of the artefacts - take a few pairs of sterile surgical gloves for this purpose - this will save any contamination of the artefact and show any attendant that you are a bona fide blind person. It might be helpful to bring a few hard copies of proof of registration while you're at it!

4. Canes and tips. If you use a guide or a long cane. try to get hold of a pencil or pear shaped tip (or two). A rigid tip might require a bit more concentration to use, but rotating tips and Egyptian sand do NOT mix. If you have to use a rotating tip, take a bottle of WD40 or other cleaning agent with you when you walk in sandy areas - dry sand clogs up tips very quickly.

5. Always keep cash to a minimum wherever you go, and your purse or wallet should be concealed. If you wear a watch, get a cheap tactile wind up watch through your local supplier: not only will it be no real loss if it goes walkabout, but talking watches are sometimes very difficult to hear in the high volume crowds which you will find at most locations.

6. Get a pair of anti-glare wrap around sunglasses, to wear over any glasses you need - or even if you don't wear glasses normally. Not only will they offer much needed protection from the sun, but they will prevent fine sand grains getting in your eyes and damaging any contact lenses you might be wearing.

Massive thanks to Jim for these useful tips

Monday, 5 September 2016

Solar Complex at Hatshepsut

I have been given this fantastic picture for use in Hidden Luxor. Although I had been in the sun court before, when I went I couldnt take photos.

http://luxor-news.blogspot.com.eg/2010/03/morning-with-dr-andrzej-cwiek.html

The solar court was one of the recent new things to see in Luxor and was opened this Feb http://luxor-news.blogspot.com.eg/2015/02/deir-el-bahari-hatshepsut-third-terrace.html

Temple design followed a set pattern and although Hatshepsut's temple is very different from the Ramasseum it does actually follow the same pattern but using terraces instead of pylons. The third terrace has chapels dedicated to the royal cult, to Amun and a sun court and if you go to any other temple to the south is the royal cult chapel, the middle Amun and the north the sun court.. Now this court is open to the public it is easier to note the similarities of design.

Hatshepsut sun court - Jean Ford



Sunday, 4 September 2016

Disable access at Medinet Habu, Valley of Queens and Deir el Medina




Tried out the scooter at Medinet Habu, the guardians was massively helpful.  I remembered it as being flat but the reality was quite different.  Going in there was a steep ramp with a little tiny step at the end. Got down that OK but then there were steps in the main gateway. The guardians were quite happy to lift up those and help me down the very steep ramps into the outside courtyard. The paving stones were great and you could get to God’s wives of Amun chapels, Tuthmosis III exterior and the exterior of the first pylon. However the area outside these paths was large stones which were just not possible for the scooter. The ground really needs to be smooth to work properly.   

 
The entrance gateway to the first court had a step but again the guardians was massively helpful and totally prepared to lift the heavy scooter into the courtyard. The paving is fairly uneven but negotiable.. there was a ramp to the second gateway but that was impassable. The ground was broken and uneven, no way to get through safely. I was very disappointed.

I investigated the Valley of the Queens in case the path was tarmacked but after the car park it was just natural ground, dusty, sandy with large stones. If you were in a wheel chair and fairly heavy then access along the path is going to be tough and of course the tombs are for the mobile only. Sadly Deir el Medina is the same, the tombs are definitely for the mobile only with steep steps and uphill. 

 
The path along the village is another natural path not tarmacked so tricky for wheeled transport. You could get a view of the village from the car park.

I still enjoyed the trip and it was lovely to be out and about. The locals were so friendly everyone wanted details about the scooter. Next time I will try some of the other temples. Everyone reckons Hatshepsut should be OK.






Friday, 2 September 2016

Are you happy with your website hosting?

Unhappy with your hosting company?

Slow speeds, poor support, low security?

Scared to change because of the hassle?

Relax there is a brilliant offer from Siteground, who scored tops in a recent independent survey, with packages starting at $3.95
To start off the new business season when many clients look for a better hosting match, we’re launching a massive Migration Promotion. From September 1st till September 8th all new clients will be able to claim a free website migration, free domain transfer and a compensation of up to 6 months of their contract with the other host.
Customers are reluctant to change hosts, even if they’re having a bad experience, for two reasons: the migration hassle and expected downtime; and the already incurred cost for prepaying the service.
Siteground have the perfect counter arguments to both:
  • their expert team will do the migration absolutely for free, preventing any potential downtime, and
  • they will compensate up to six months from your previous hosting contract. To top it off, they will also transfer their domain for free which will make things easier to manage, and includes a one year renewal of the domain.
No migration hassle, no downtime, free compensation and free domain transfer!
What is not to love, I have recommended Siteground to all my recent website build clients, I even became an affiliate so if you want to switch hosts now is the time to do it. Details here

Sunday, 28 August 2016

More Maps of the West Bank

Following the amazing success of the Nobles tomb map here are the location of Deir el Shelwit, the Thoth temple and the major sites and the ticket office. Do please contact me if you want the Google Earth file

Thoth Temple at Medinet Habu

   
Deir el Shelwit
West Bank major sites and temples

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Nobles Tomb Map Google Earth file available

If anyone wants a Google Earth file of my map please send me your email address and I will send it to you

Multi faith Luxor

Spotted on Facebook, this wonderful photo by Mustafa Karim. All faiths all eras, this is the Luxor I love

Friday, 26 August 2016

Maps of the Nobles Tombs

Maps of the Nobles Tombs

The first map is the entire Valley of the Nobles and the second image is the Qurna area alone. I would normally resize them to fit the page but thought you would prefer the full image. There are more maps under the tag MAPS and if you want my Google Earth file just email me

  • TT192 TT44 Assasif Tombs and TT279 Pabasa
  • Valley of the Nobles – Gurna
    • TT55 Ramose, TT57 Khaemhet, TT56 Userhet
    • TT96 Sennefer and TT100 Rekhmire
    • TT69 Meena TT52 Nakht TT41 Amenemopet called Ipy
    • TT51 Userhet, TT343 Benia and TT31 Khonsu
  • Khokha Tombs TT178 Neferronpet, TT296 Nefersekheru, Dhutmosis
  • TT110 Djehiuty
  • Dra Abu Naga TT255 Roy TT13 Shu Roy TT148 Amenemope


Nobles Tombs Map



Gurna Nobles Tomb Map

Private sector looks to boost tourism to Luxor, Aswan - Daily News Egypt

Private sector looks to boost tourism to Luxor, Aswan - Daily News Egypt: Heidi Hemaya, the media planning manager at J. Walter Thompson Cairo (JWT), the advertising company responsible for Egypt’s promotional campaign abroad, said that the company will give Luxor and Aswan great attention in their promotional campaigns that will begin in September for the coming winter season.

She explained that there are certain markets that seek the type of cultural tourism present in Luxor and Aswan.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Burial chamber discovered in Asasif on Luxor's west bank - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Burial chamber discovered in Asasif on Luxor's west bank - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: During excavation and cleaning work carried out in the tomb of the 25th Dynasty Thebes Mayor Karabasken in south Asasif, on Luxor's west bank, the Egyptian American South Asasif Conservation Project discovered his burial chamber and sarcophagus.

luxor

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sunday, 21 August 2016

GILLES PINCHON Photographs

GILLES PINCHON



I was sent this link by the owner and I must admit I really enjoyed the photos



I am a French photographer who has carried out several photo-shootings
in Upper Egypt. So far, I’ve been to Egypt 20 times. I am contacting you
today to present my web site to you. It is entirely dedicated to black
and white silver bromide photography. It includes four links focused on
Upper Egypt (Egypt – Muse – Portraits – West bank). Most of the pictures
were taken to Luxor or around Luxor and on the west bank. When visiting
this web site you might even recognize a few familiar faces you have
come across or people you know personally. Please note that this web
site doesn’t work on a smart phone. A PC / Mac is required as well as a
flash player. (http://www.gillespinchon.com/ and
http://www.gilles-pinchon.com/ - both links provide the same content
from two different servers) This web site also offers other links to the
viewer among which, another one on south Devon (Torbay) and one on Los
Angeles downtown. Fell free to forward me any comments you may think to
be relevant regarding this work Best regards,

BBC Radio 4 - Fantasy Festival, Chris Beardshaw Egyptian Garden

The Egyptian death garden. the beginning of this program wonderfully describes the gardens shown in Egyptian tomb paintings. BBC radio is available worldwide so you can all listen, Very lyrical

BBC Radio 4 - Fantasy Festival, Chris Beardshaw

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Luxor Museum Opening Hours and Prices

From TripAdvisor: The museum opening hours have changed. It's now open from 09:00 - 14:00, last admission 13:30, and again from 17:00 - 21:00, last admission at 20:30.



The museum still costs LE100 to enter, but the LE50, non-flash, photo
tickets are definitely available. Keep it handy as
you can guarantee at least one museum employee will want to see it, if
you're seen snapping away There's an LE100 immediate fine if you're
caught taking photos with no ticket and I dare say your memory card will
be wiped.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Did you realise just how big Amenhotep III temple is?

Have you explored the west bank on Google Earth? You really get a sense of things. Like the enormous size of the entire temple of Amenhotep III (behind the colosus of Memnon) and the relationship with the tiny temple of Merenptah tucked away in the north east corner

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Hidden Luxor – Colossus of Memnon

Hidden Luxor – Colossus of Memnon

Colossus of Memnon

100_4648

The very first site you see on the west bank is the Colossus of Memnon. I am sure you have all seen this on your first visit to Luxor and it is hardly hidden but there is a lot here that is missed by the casual visitor.
04 in the car park

Today I explored the site on my mobility scooter. The only part a disabled person would not be able to get to is down the steps to view the pedestals at close quarters. But that is hardly a problem when the main point of the statues is their grandeur which is better viewed from the car park.
The trip along the road was enjoyable it reminded me of donkey rides. The pace is slower and you feel more connected to people and you most definitely notice things you would miss in a car. There were biblical scenes of farming, with flooded fields and newly planted crops

 01 Newly Planted Fields02 Flooded Fields

This is the very front of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III which is under excavation by Dr Hourig Sourouzian. Initially this site looked very unpromising but over the years the wealth of discoveries she has made has been extensive.

05 Three pylons

There were actually 3 pairs of statues in front of the three pylons not just the colossus. They have started work putting the others in place.

 03 Steps

You can see the third one in between to the original two in the photo above. As you go along the main road from the colossus to the ticket office there are a number of story boards explaining the entire site with viewing areas.

 05 Story Boards08 Storyboards and viewing area

 This is looking at the courtyard behind the third pylon

 06 Courtyard



At the northern entrance there were a pair of standing statues which have been reassembled and re-erected. Not quite in their original position as that is not available but closer to the road and visitable.

07 Northern Colossus in the Background

Turning right along the road that goes past the temples you can see the Northern colossus and again they have story boards explaining their story of discovery, reassemble and re-erection. One thing is strange, they are wearing the white crown of southern Egypt, now conventionally statues facing the north should wear the red crown of northern Egypt.

 20160220_093434

It is worth noting the size of this temple and how small the temple of Merenptah is in comparison. It is tucked away in the corner behind the northern statues. If the northern statues have been found there is a strong likelihood there is a set of southern statues and they might be across the road and in the middle of the field to the south. They may also answer the conundrum of why the northern colossus are wearing southern crowns. It is all very interesting.

By this time I was very hot and very thirsty and I came across on of the road side water stations. These are put by locals for the refreshment of passers by. It is part of the hospitality of the Egyptians and it was icy cold and very refreshing.

10 Cold drink

Mysteries of Irtieru | South Asasif Conservation Project Blog

Mysteries of Irtieru | South Asasif Conservation Project Blog



Mysteries of Irtieru



The tomb of Irtieru (TT 390) is among the most
intriguing tombs of the Theban necropolis. Irtieru’s titles, Chief
Attendant to the God’s Wife Nitocris and Female Scribe place her among
the highest elite of her time. The wife and mother of Viziers of Upper
Egypt, she did not mention the names of her husband Nespamedu (buried in
Abydos) or her son Nespakashuty D (buried at Deir el Bahri) in the
decoration of her tomb. Few women even among the higher-ranking elite
had tombs that reflected this level of personal career orientation..........
Image001


Friday, 12 August 2016

Hidden Luxor Update - can I have your views


So what would you like to see in the new revised Hidden Luxor?

 
My guide book Hidden Luxor has been hugely popular over the years and I am planning a big update. There are lots of new sites to include as described on my post "What is new to see in Luxor" also I have some serious mobility issues and have recently got myself a mobility scooter and I thought it would be helpful to other people to know which sites are suitable for those of us with those kind of issues.


Please contact me with any ideas

Sunday, 17 July 2016

4 Mini Villas in Nubian Village - Bed & Breakfasts for Rent in Luxor





Mini Villas in Nubian Village - : Great. I loved staying there and getting a real local feel for Luxor. They were so nice and helpful organising everything for me. My guide was amazing and the hot air balloon is a must do.

A new review on AirBNB my favourite booking system (although I prefer if you book direct and save me the commission ). Air BNB is really good, they collect the money so a booking is really a booking. You both review each other.  The commission rate is low and their customer service are excellent.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

State Information Services 7 hot air balloons take off in Luxor with 135 tourists

State Information Services 7 hot air balloons take off in Luxor with 135 tourists: Seven hot air balloon flights took off in Luxor, carrying 135 tourists of various nationalities, head of the union of air balloon companies in Luxor Ahmed Abboud said.

The flights, operated by several travel agencies, flew over the city's archaeological sites, Abboud said in statements on Tuesday.


Air balloon flights are expected to increase during the coming days with the growing number of charter and direct flights with foreign tourists on board, in addition to Egyptian visitors to the city, Abboud said.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Flats in Luxor (Egypt) - Condominium Reviews - TripAdvisor

Flats in Luxor (Egypt) - Condominium Reviews - TripAdvisor: “Such an excellent stay in Luxor!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I was in town this summer for the first time and absolutely loved my stay at the Al Gezera Flats. Service was prompt and always available and the flat was spacious and accommodating. Jane is always around to help you book tours and for some good conversation. Such a wonderful place to come home to after long, hot days outside (great pool!). Would recommend these flats and Luxor highly to anyone looking for a great adventure abroad.
Room Tip: Al Gezera has beautiful views of Luxor if you can get a higher floor!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Tutankhamun collection to be moved to Grand Egyptian Museum by end of 2016 - Museums - Heritage - Ahram Online

tut 

Tutankhamun collection to be moved to Grand Egyptian Museum by end of 2016 - Museums - Heritage - Ahram Online: A documentary on the transportation processes of this distinguished collection will be screened at the GEM during its official inauguration

Egypt upgrades airport security with British firm advising | Travel News | Travel | Daily Express

Egypt upgrades airport security with British firm advising | Travel News | Travel | Daily Express: LEADING British aviation security firm, Restrata, has been appointed to deliver an aviation security programme for airports across Egypt, including Sharm el-Sheikh.