Egytpian Experience? I don't think so.

As some of you will know, I’m a Trip Advisor addict. If you don’t know about Trip Advisor, it’s an internet site which travellers and holidaymakers use to ask and answer questions about their proposed/favourite destinations. It’s quite useful for first time visitors in particular. They can get loads of information from the people who either live there or those who regularly visit.
Today there was a question about the new holiday village development to the South of Luxor known as “The Egyptian Experience”. Well, funnily enough, The boss and I were invited to have a guided tour of the place the other week, and being inordinately nosey; we went! I suppose I should have told you about it at the time, but these things slip the mind when you get to a certain age.
We were picked up by a car at the Sunrise Tours office on the Corniche and whisked away along past the big hotels and up through Awamaya onto Movenpick Road to Bogdady and past Luxor bridge (with its big pictures of our beloved President doing a passable impression of the plump one of the “Blues Brothers” without his hat on). Just past the bridge is the Nubian Craft place with the huge cafeteria next door. We passed Mr. Mohamed Ayad’s farmland, where we spent last Easter Monday at the “Sniffing the Breeze” festival, and the land belonging to Mr Hamada (Mr Viking, that is) where he has a dying cruiseboat moored in the Nile. The man who owns Travco, whose name I cannot recall, also has a piece of land bordering the Nile hereabouts. Anyway, the Egyptian Experience is just next door to Mr Viking.
The site is a fair size and there is a barrier through which everything and everybody has to pass. Our driver told the security man that we were invited etc. and we passed through without being strip searched. It’s just like a proper building site! Big holes and equally big humps, piles of sand and gravel, stacks of bricks and timber. Everything was there.
Our guide was the English chap from the Egyptian Experience office in town, very pleasant and accommodating. He first showed us a “Studio” apartment of 45 sq. mtrs. (including the balcony). It was very nice, compact but ok. The furnishings were all quite modern and Western style, which was how all the viewed apartments were furnished. The Studio was on the ground floor and a short walk from the pool area. Biggest problem was the £31,000+ price tag! All the apartments were nice to look at but very small for the prices they are asking. Even the three bed two bathroom version was only 6 sq. mtrs. bigger than our one bedroom apartment. The four bedroom duplex apartment was the exception, with 226 sq. mtrs. over two floors, very nice indeed but at £170,000 it sure wants to be!
Each section of the development has its own pool and sunbathing area, but it will be quite some time before it is all finished. Along the main road, on the edge of the site, the owners are planning to have a row of shops to service the whole place. Anyone who buys or rents there will have no need to come into town. So this is something else which will not bring much benefit to the residents of Luxor. But as long as tourists are frightened to engage with the locals, developments like this and other walled “compound” type places will flourish in Egypt. It’s such a shame, and the irony of the name was not lost on me. Egyptian Experience, indeed!

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