Vendors besiege the cruise ship.
After all my comments about crocodiles,
I really did not expect to find one in my bed!
From the Luxor quay to the site of Edfu Temple in town, you ride in a traditional horse & carriage with shiny silvery decorations & tassles hanging down; the return journey after your visit is with the same carriage. There’s room for 2 people facing forwards and two facing back and the driver sits on a bench slightly higher, holding the reins and guiding the vehicle through the traffic; it’s open air, a chance to see the town & street life of Luxor with a hint of kitschi romantic nostalgia.
Yesterday some Brits complained vociferously about the way the horses are treated – it’s cruelty to animals, too much whip and not enough attention to animal welfare. So, fearing for a further loss of tourists caused by the protests, the travel agencies decided to use motor taxis instead, for the short cross-town journey & return. The horse & carriage drivers were informed that their services would no longer be required and the police were alerted in case of trouble.
When the next Nile Cruise ship arrived, the motor taxis were lined up ready for passengers, so the Brits should be happy that a more animal-friendly policy would be in operation henceforth. But the Horse & Carriage drivers surrounded the taxis and would not let them move away from the dock. An altercation ensued and the army were called to avoid trouble in front of tourists. After protracted negotiations, the carriage drivers promised to treat their animals more humanely, to give them more rest, better rations and less whip. So the tourist agencies reversed their edict and transporting the cruise passengers to & from the site of the ancient temple will once again be done in 19th Century style and the Brits can claim another great victory in the ongoing struggle for animal welfare.
Those ancient Egyptians were fantastic engineers. There was a transport engineer who was doodling one day and accidentally invented the underground station. So he built a few of them out in the hills, but they hadn’t yet invented the underground train and he just didn’t know what to do with them. In the end they just painted the walls with station names and colourful scenes & decorations and graphic images and rented them out as burial chambers. It was extraordinary popular and all sorts of people had them built with their own interior design for their afterlife. Christiane was poking around in one of these old holes when she stumbled across the mummmies of a whole branch of her family ancestors who used to live by the river before they moved to Switzerland for tax reasons. They had really good taste in sarcophagi, strangely with images like cuckoo clocks & lederhosen on the front.
The valleys were an obvious visitor attraction but, as the underground marvels were hidden by rocks & sand, fewer and fewer tourists came down the years. Nowadays they’ve made the valleys into a theme park called “Find the Buried Treasure” and gold-diggers from all over came to hunt in the sand. There is a little road-train that carries you from the car park to the hillside and fast-food stops and souvenir vendors all along the route .
There are big bed & breakfast houses for the hunters from each country – Polish, French etc. To support their big basket-ball teams they have renamed the places as Valley Kings and Valley Queens.
Hash & Soup was a fast food joint which one of the Queen tried to convert into a ten pin bowling alley and outdoor cinema, but they didn’t think of popcorn, so the venture only lasted about 5000 years.
KomOmbo means “there’s a pile of gold there.” Edfu means “kill your enemy with a spear”.
Obelisk is a single piece of rock hewn from granite and means “mine is longer and harder than yours”.
Memnon was a Greek restaurant where they broke statues instead of plates and it didn’t work out.
The ancient Egyptians were always trying to invent Nylon but they kep tcoming up with things like Skylons. Anyway they called the towers in front of their main HQ “Bylons” (like Ba-Bylon) and they used them for teleconferencing over long distances. Skype put them out of business, but still love to twitter.