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Holiday in Luxor.

 

This Christmas my sister came to visit me in Cairo. Her visit turned into the perfect opportunity to go on an actual vacation, something that as a freelance photographer can be difficult to manage (for all sorts of reasons). I took along my trusty DSLR and my go-to iPhone camera on our trip to Luxor, both of which saw extensive use. Included above are some selects from the iPhone camera which I have been using to photograph/document my adventures for three years now.

Traveling to Luxor was an amazing experience. We kicked off our trip by taking the sleeping car train from Giza to Luxor. We arrived early in the morning and headed to the Nefertiti Hotel  which turned out to have an amazing view of the Temple of Luxor. From there we met up with the head of Aladin Tours who ran us through the various options for seeing the sights. Ideas in hand, we dropped off our bags and sat and relaxed while drinking some tea on the roof deck of the hotel. From there we made the easy walk from the hotel to Karnak Temple.

We spent the next three days traveling around the West Bank. One day we ended up heading off with a small group of other tourists to see the temples of Abydos and Dendara. Our time in Luxor also included a sunrise hot air balloon ride which started off with a memorable breakfast of twinkies and tea while crossing the Nile at 5:30am.

Tourism in Egypt has understandably taken a hit since the revolution. The decline in the numbers of tourists means the amount of hassle from vendors and taxi drivers can be too much to deal with. However, it also means you can have the luxury of being practically alone while sitting under some of the holiest sites in ancient Egypt. Lines to get into the tombs of the Valley of Kings are short. And the weather in winter is perfect no matter what climate you live in back home. The infrastructure for getting from point A to B is all set. Hotels are easy to find and book online. The Lonely Planet site is a great one to begin with. Be sure not to miss an excellent blog, Weird and Wonderful Cairo, started by two friends who spent almost a year in Egypt mapping hidden spots well worth the time searching out.

For those considering a visit to Egypt this is the time to do it. Beyond the headlines is a country full of not only mind-blowing sites of antiquity but a country full of direct, funny, and hospitable people.

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