Out with the Old?

Click on picture to make it bigger.
Our beloved Governor, Dr. Samir Farag, is still continuing with his re-modelling of Luxor. The lovely old Pasha’s house (above and latterly used by the National Democratic Party) on the Corniche next to my wife’s temple, has lately been another of the Governor’s victims. Since first seeing this building, Freda has wanted to live there so she could keep an eye on her temple, mainly. Too late now!
Click on the picture to make it bigger.
In this photo, we could actually say “Out with the Old, and in with the New!” The recently built Susanna Hotel is clearly visible to the left, and behind that are the 60 metre bell towers of the new Egyptian Orthodox Church, (9000 capacity). Although it’s very sad to see some of the older characterful buildings going, it’s also obvious that a living town must experience change and an improvement in facilities and employment opportunities for the local population.
Another slight enigma is the two-masted dahabeya in the foreground of the picture. These boats are relics of a bygone age also. The pioneers of much of what we now call Egyptology, like Giovanni Belzoni, used these vessels to get to Upper Egypt from Cairo. I still re-read Amelia Edwards’ account of her dahabeya journey in the 1800’s (1000 Miles up the Nile) some of her observations of riverside life have hardly changed in these past 160 years! It’s compelling reading. Now the dahabeyas are making a comeback, with new ones being ordered and built. They are now the Nile cruisers of the well heeled; intimate and exclusive. How many of these new explorers will experience that same thrill which drove on the trailblazers of old?

2009 Refurbishment at Our Luxor Guest Apartment.

We've been hard at work this year, painting and sourcing fabrics etc. for our refurbishment. We had the meshrabeya screenwork made and fitted in last year by our good friend and highly skilled carpenter, Mr Taha from New Karnak. We were terribly shocked, earlier this year, to hear that he and his fiancee were tragically drowned in the Red Sea. Here are e few pictures to let you see the results of our labours. They were taken at differing times and with differing lighting, I hope you'll forgive my dodgey camera work.

The Saga of the White Fridge.

Shall I tell you a little story? Go on then, you’ve twisted my arm!
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin………….

Once upon a time we had a very small fridge, and it fitted inside our sideboard cupboard. As our own apartment is quite small this suited us very well for our first twelve months, or so, of living in Luxor. Then one day, Freda decided that we needed a larger fridge; one which would fit under the kitchen bench (if we had a kitchen or a bench, that is), one the same as we had in the guest apartment. She already had a ready buyer for our little dinky one, so it was duly sold and we “borrowed” the fridge from the guest apartment downstairs until we got a replacement. We had no guests coming for a week or so, so there was no problem.

The following tea time, we had a call from the lovely Geordie lady who owns the Tuttie Fruttie Café here in Luxor. She had two friends who didn’t like the apartment which they had rented and could we possibly accommodate them. Of course we could! That’s what we are here for, what a silly question! It wasn’t till we put the phone down that we remembered that there was no fridge in the guest apartment, and they were arriving the next day!

Don’t panic Captain Mainwaring, don’t panic!!!! There are at least five shops in Luxor which sell fridges, we are not in the Dark Ages here you know, contrary to popular belief.

At the time, there were the two “Government” shops (they don’t belong to the government at all, but that's another story), on Station Street there is “B Tech” and the multi-storeyed shop opposite and on T.V. Street there is the small electrical shop opposite the Ahmed Abu Nakhra store. We would surely score in one of them tonight!

As you all know; the shops are open till there are no more customers, so we set off after a late tea. (Actually it turned out to be an early dinner, as we got nothing else that night!) We started off by having a look in the Government shop on Karnak St beside the St Mark Hospital, nothing there that took our fancy, none were white and all were too big. Next was the multi-storeyed place opposite B Tech, we only found one there, but the door was damaged and the staff were run off their feet with Egyptians spending money as if it were going out of fashion. We had a quick look in B Tech, but the only white one there looked cheap and nasty.

Next we trailed along to Television Street to the little shop at the bottom on the right. We’d bought stuff from here before, so were reasonably confident that we would make a good deal if he had what we wanted. Had a look in all the boxes in the shop, but there were no white ones. Well, you have to have white really, don’t you? “I have white in my warehouse, the boy will take you.” Right enough; two boys took us, on the arabeya, up to the “New” Television Street and around the corner to the man’s lock-up. No lights, of course (are you mad?) so we spent about 15 minutes, with four mobile phones as torches, moving boxes containing fridges and looking for a white one. You guessed it, no white fridges tonight!

Time was getting on, and we were starting to forget Corporal Jones’s encouragement to not “panic”! We got back on the arabeya and the two boys jumped off at the shop (at least they had paid the fares lol) and we stayed on till Station Street and went back into the shop opposite B Tech. It was a lot quieter now, the Egyptians must have “spent up”. After a bit of discussion with the girl, it was decided that they would have another white one at their warehouse, undamaged and still in the box. Hurrah!!! We paid the girl in the little booth, and the manager told us that the man with a van (little mini-truck actually) just outside, would charge 25le to take it to our house. Freda went off to open the doors and await our arrival, while I got in the tiny truck and went off to the warehouse just around a couple of corners. We seemed to have collected another man by the time we got there; I’ve no idea where he appeared from! A stern looking lady was shaking her head at the van man’s order form. “No problem, no problem” he kept saying as we drove off. We didn’t get very far, actually a bit closer to our house, when he stopped at another warehouse in a back lane. They went in with the order form, and came out with a large, fridge sized, box. “Are you sure it’s white?” asked I. “Yes, yes, Don’t worry Mr Edward.”, came the reply. It became apparent that the second man was there to “hump” the fridge up the stairs; he was a “humper”. After all, why pay only one man when you can pay two? Stupid question, really.

The strip light in the guest apartment kitchen had been working itself for a while and I had forgotten to get it fixed. After it had been on for an hour or so; it would go off, and then come back on after it had cooled down. It had just gone off before we arrived, us being so long. The humper managed our 63 stairs very well with the fridge on his back, so I was feeling quite generous when everything was in place. I got out the 25le for the van man and another tenner for the humper! Freda arrived from upstairs just as they started to laugh and demand 100le for their services. I didn’t get the chance to argue with them ‘cause Freda was chasing them down the stairs “Get out of my building you clifties!!!” She’s good at things like that, it’s where her natural talent lies.

Relieved that I no longer had to bargain with the workmen, I got the fridge out of the box, screwed on the feet, and slid it into place under the bench. Put the plug in and made sure it was working. Close to midnight, but everything was OK, we’d managed it!

As Freda got back up the stairs and into the guest apartment, the kitchen light came back on to reveal a lovely BEIGE fridge. As you can imagine after all that, it’s still there!

Only in Egypt!!!!!!!!!

Balloon rides in Luxor

Balloon trips start early in the morning, you are collected from the flat and taken over the River Nile into the fields, where, to the excitement of all concerned, the balloon is inflated and released, and your journey begins.
You will see Hatshepsut's Mortuary Temple, the Ramesseum and Medinat Habu along with several other of our historic monuments. The highlight of the trip is to watch the rays of the rising sun as they spread over the earth, bringing again warmth and life to all of this ancient tableau. Usually the balloons land on the West Bank, but occasionally the wind drives them over the river and they have often flown over our roof terrace as the pilots look out for a safe place to land near the Eastern edge of town.
As with all of the excursions and trips, you are delivered back to Our Luxor.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oogm4pkIuFE
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The Sound and Light show at Karnak Temple, the earthly home of the god Amun Ra

One of the most dramatically enjoyable experiences in Luxor is to visit the Sound & Light Show during the evening at Karnak Temple.(Different languages at different times each evening.) You can arrange to be collected from the apartment and taken to the Temple either with a group trip or by taxi, or by caleche which is a pleasant journey by horse and carriage and adds to the enjoyment of your enlightening visit to the temple of the god Amun Ra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_jBuW_TlI4


contact :Edward & Freda for our flat enquiries email :ourluxor@ourflat.co.uk

Our website http ://www.ourluxor.co.uk

Souk In Luxor - beat the hassle shopping with Edward & Freda

We have devised a beat the hassle tour to help people with their shopping as haggling here in luxor is a part of life, I came across this video of the souk during the call to prayer, which offers a real glimpse of the sounds and sights of the souk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIGtQ7e3Hbo


contact :Edward & Freda for our flat enquiries email :ourluxor@ourflat.co.uk

Our website http ://www.ourluxor.co.uk

Art in Luxor - Susan Weeks at the Oasis Cafe & Art Gallery


We really love this painting of the Old Colonial buildings in Luxor, we saw it on display at the Oasis Cafe and Art Gallery, the painting is by the artist Susan Weeks, who is the wife of Kent Weeks the Egyptologist who discovered KV5.

The Oasis Cafe is a short walk from our apartment, and they serve GAMMON and EGGS with LURPAK BUTTER on crusty bread ! Yipeee !!!! Its a beautiful old traditional building with great staff and food.

Oasis Cafe is a short walk from the Mercure (Etap) hotel, or the Emilio Hotel, and can be found on Dr Labib Habeshi Street, Luxor

Telephone +20 95 2372914
They open from 8am - 10pm

contact :Edward & Freda for our flat enquiries email :ourluxor@ourflat.co.uk

Our website http ://www.ourluxor.co.uk

Monitor Lizard - Neville - West Bank Luxor


Neville the Monitor lizaard lives at the side of the canal and was lazing in the sun, apparently he is fed chicken by a local to fatten him up! What a beastie! Look at the size of this, I had to look twice, I nearly thought we had got crocodiles back in the Nile !!

contact :Edward & freda for our flat enquiries email :ourluxor@ourflat.co.uk

Our website http ://www.ourluxor.com

Shopping In Luxor - The Souk - Beat the hassle tour


'Beat the Hassle tour' is a service which we offer to any English speaking tourists, regardless of where they are staying, who may feel intimidated or annoyed by the seemingly constant unwanted attention from locals. So far, it is proving very popular. Our flats are close to the town centre and Souks and so all the locals already know us and so consequently we don't get hassled like the usual tourists to purchase things.

Our beat the hassle tour is basically a private, morning or evening, tour of some of the everyday Luxor which can be hugely entertaining, but that you would not normally come across, and without the hassle.
If you would like to shop, there are a few shops in Luxor where the prices are fixed and there is no need to haggle, or we can supervise you in a bargaining competition with some of the worlds best salesmen. Don't worry, we wouldn't let you be ripped-off altogether! This can be really great fun, in a safe environment.
If you're eager to see how the Egyptians get about, we'll take you on the public transport, possibly to the local version of Tescos, which is an education in itself!
We can introduce you to a very good (and very cheap) Egyptian restaurant - The Chez Omar- at which we regularly eat. Also you can try the street food and drink, which is a delight. On the odd occasion, we can sometimes wangle a home cooked Egyptian meal with the acquiescence of the mother of one of our Egyptian friends. Of course, she would need to be paid for this on top of your 50 Egyptian Pounds per head
We are the owners of 'Our Luxor' holiday apartment, which is available to rent here in luxor with rentals starting at £140 for a week, we can make arrangements for you to enjoy golf and the sights of luxor.
If you would like to know more please contact Edward & Freda Tel Mobile: 00201 0298 7993
If you would like to know more please contact Edward & Freda Tel Mobile: 00201 0298 7993
contact :Edward &
Freda for our flat enquiries email :
ourluxor@ourflat.co.uk

Direct email for apartment enquiries: ourluxor@ourflat.co.uk

Flat to rent in Luxor from £175 per week with Edward & Freda




Are you looking for a FLAT in LUXOR with a touch of The arabian Nights and Eastern promise? then look no further than 'Our Luxor' apartment that my wife Freda has used her skills to bring a wonderful sense of Egypt to help you experience the real feel of Eypt when you stay with us here in Luxor.

Our guest apartment has been thoughtfully refurbished with the traditional arabesque work of Egypt,whilst also offering the modern conveniences of air conditioning, satellite television. Right here we have our charming apartment in the middle of the old town, where for thirty centuries and more travellers have come to wonder at the splendours of the pharaohs.
The apartment occupies the third floor of our building. We (Edward & Freda) live in the smaller roof top apartment on the next floor, where we have a generously sized terrace to which our guests are invited, and we also offer Breakfast on the terrace, which offers you a refreshing start to your day.

From here we enjoy views of the glorious sunsets over the Theban mountains on the West Bank, and the roof tops and minarets around Luxor, and early in the morning we watch the ballons all rise over the west bank, some of them starying right across the nile and over the top of the terrace before landing near karanack

If you would like to know more please contact Edward & Freda Tel Mobile: 00201 0298 7993
or visit our website http://www.ourluxor.co.uk/

Apartment rental starts from £125