Monday, December 03, 2007

EXCURSION FROM HURGHADA TO LUXOR - THE CONVOY

The 6t-agers on the road !

Trip from Hurghada to Luxor

1. KARNAK

2. THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

3. HATCHEPSUT

During our 2 weeks holidays in Hurghada (Red Sea) we decided to do an excursion to Luxor where all the important historical places are located around the town. The distance was only about 350 km (218 miles) and we thought it would be a pity to be so close and not to visit all these wonderful places.

It was an organized tour with a guide. To get to Luxor you have to go through the desert as you can see on the above map. It is not allowed to go through that area without military police escort and only by convoy. This has been created because of the massacre of tourists on November 17, 1997 at the Hatshepsut Temple. Six gunmen disguised as police, emerged from nearby cliffs, and fired randomly at tourists, killing 70.

The convoy gathered at a parking lot outside Hourgada and at 7 am we started. About 3 1/2 h later, we made a first stop to visit an alabaster factory. I had done this trip already in 2001 but it was still a quite thrilling feeling to go through the desert escorted by heavily armed police while the landscape looked so peaceful.

The convoy was made up with tourist buses, trucks of all kind and sizes and private cars (only Egyptian citizens, no tourists). Tourists are not allowed to travel alone. If they want to go by their own, they have to rent a car with a driver. I have to say it would never come into my mind either to go of my own. The touristic cities are quite safe and the tourists well protected from beggars and very aggressive street sellers. But in other areas it is not at all the same.

The population on the countryside is rather poor and therefore a tourist a good victim to get something from him. Even when it's only a ballpen. Egypt's economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum exports, and tourism. Therefore there is a lot done for the safety of the tourists.

In Safaga the Convoy is Almost Ready to Go, Egypt.

The parking lot where the convoy is put together immediately surrounded by sellers of all kind

The Convoy to Luxor, Egypt

children and women ready to pose for a picture for little money

The Convoy to Luxor, Egypt

It starts !

and it is very long ! About 80 vehicules (only) because it's low season in summer there are much more.

View out of the window. Everywhere military police watching points

Desert and Mountains Between Hurgharda -Safaga After Sunrise, Egypt

The Convoy from Safaga to Luxor, Egypt.

and the beautiful landscape of the desert

After having been escorted behind, besides and in front of the convoy with military jeeps, the convoy separated at one point and we stopped in a little village Zalat to visit the Alabaster factory. Honnestly I would have prefered to continue to Karnak and have more time to visit there. But the factory was interesting too after all.

We all wanted to see how they work alabaster

Here is the place without people. I waited until they were all in the annexed shop !

Before going inside I took these pictures of wonderful wall paintings. Look at the last one which shows cute little tourists (with camera of course) visiting the sites.

Inside was a real cavern of Ali Baba !

Cats, pyramides, statues, bowls etc. whatever you wished

And these are some pictures of outside the factory. (with a lonely tourist who probably escaped from the Alabaster factory).

I found a video on the web and as it is exactly the same as what we have seen I propose to look at this to get an idea of going through the desert in a convoy.

Next stop will be tomorrow Dec 2 at the the Karnak temple complex.

14 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

I'm wondering now....did you BUY any egyptian cat figurines?

[I had to laugh at your section of the comment you left me...."warm up"...it's WARM here where I live, nearly year 'round!! We only have a couple of cold weeks...then, it's warm again!]

Love your photo share Gattina.

http://www.lifecruiser.com said...

Egypt really are exoctic in our Swedish eyes!!!! And it's really fascinating with the desert. Despite the fact that it's so... empty, I find it quite beautiful anyway. In the same way as I found Iceland with all it's Lava fields beautiful.

It's very interesting with their wallpaintings and decorations too.

And Egypts and their holy cats, you must have been in your right element there :-)

Maribeth said...

It looks hot, and dry and full of sand! Much better than it is here today. Below 0 and with 40 mile an hour winds! I am freezing!
PS: Did they have any dachshund figures in the Alabaster shop?

Mar said...

The picture of that boy and his camel is timeless...well, except for the tourists behind him, lol.
Very interesting outing, Gattina, I would have been discouraged to take the tour just because of the military display...I am so glad you did this and took many pics for us :)

claudie said...

Coucou Gattina!
Il est juste 2h42 du matin! Je viens de récupérer les filles dans une soirée et j'ai ramené deux de leurs copains!Etre sollicitée jour et nuit!
Samedi matin je travaillais et l'après midi on a fait les magasins. Dur dur le porte monnaie avec deux filles!
Je préfèrerai dépenser mes sous dans les souks avec toi! franchement! Je suis sûre que j'aurais ramené deux valises entières de bijoux et de bibelots!
Impressionant toutes ces peintures sur les murs! Bien alors à tout à l'heure pour la deuxième partie du convoi! En avant toute!

Sword Girl said...

What a trip! Having the big convoy seems like such a adventure through the desert - you are brave! I have a black Egyptian cat in my room facing towards the door. I'm guessing that you have some of those cats. ;-) How exciting! I love the wall art! I'm looking forward to your next tours. :-)

Jeanette said...

Hi Gattina, Ive come over to see your travels, Wow what an interesting trip of Egypt lovely photo's, I dont think I would be that adventureous even with a Milatry escort. I can travel the world with out leaving home...
I must say Ive been to Italy, London, Scotland, Thailand.Etc...
Ill be back for update

A. said...

I love those wall paintings, and all those cats!! How could you resist them :)

Sonia said...

Amazing photos and beautiful slide show! Just great! Thank you for sharing your trip.

If you have a minute, come to see Countries & Cities on my sidebar.

Have a nice weekend.

emptyquarter said...

Hi Gattina,
Wonderful pictures. Good luck with your trips.

Melinda said...

Hi Gattina,
Not sure how I came across your site but I am glad I did.
What amazing photos, my duaghter has just returned from a Trip to Egypt she got some great photos but looking at your photos I think she has missed out on seeing alot.

Enjoy your travels.

Greetings From Me In Australia

guild-rez said...

Hello Gattina,
wonderful trip and pictures.
Vielen dank für den Kommentar auf meinem Blog. Ich lebe seit 1979 in Canada..Zeit vergeht so schnell.
Wünsche einen schönen 3. Advent,
Gisela

Anonymous said...

Kann ich so nur zustimmen

Anonymous said...

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. jasmin holzbauer

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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