Ever since I watched The Mummy when I was a kid, I’ve wanted to go to Egypt. Proximity to crazed mummies may not scream relaxing holiday destination, but each to their own. When my friend suggested taking a trip to Luxor this summer, I was so keen that we booked within the hour.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Luxor, but I knew it was home to a variety of temples and the Valley of the Kings so I thought the streets would be flooded with tourists. I was wrong.
In the aftermath of the political turbulence Egypt has witnessed over recent years, the droves of tourists that once flocked the streets have not yet returned in force. From a local’s perspective, trade has been dry and as a result we were hassled endlessly by people struggling to make a living.
In the Valley of the Kings, we found ourselves wandering through several tombs, completely alone, including Tutankhamun’s. In the Valley of the Queens, we were the only visitors in the entire complex. In Cairo, things were a little busier but instead of having to queue round the Egyptian Museum, we were free to wander at our leisure.
Egypt was quite simply an incredible place. From Luxor Temple to the Pyramids, the ruins were simply amazing and left me in little doubt as to the existence of aliens. I mean, how else would such feats of architecture have been possible thousands of years ago? The people were incredibly friendly and were happy to see us. Admittedly, we did get a lot of hassle, but I didn’t feel threatened as I have elsewhere. A couple of Luxor locals took the time during our week’s stay to take us under their wing and show us around the city. We even got taken home to family dinners. In Cairo, we had droves of people asking to have pictures with us.
As a tourist, the only reminder of last year’s military coup see was the odd tank sitting in the street and several blackouts. Admittedly in Cairo, the military presence was heavier than in Luxor. Caution should still be exercised when travelling to Egypt, but that shouldn’t stop you from going altogether. Not only do the locals need tourists but it was, hands down, one of the most incredible holidays I have ever been on and I seriously debated simply not getting out of the pool and leaving.