Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Party 2010

Had the Flats in Luxor Christmas party tonight. Lots of guests



Lots of food cooked by our trusty chef Gamal.

Served by our waiter Mahmoud

Supervised by father and son, Mahmoud and Hamdi

Lots of faces of wonder as the party progressed

The men rather enjoyed the belly dancer

And the women tried to copy her

But our staff, Nasser here, were much better

Then Mr Magic performed his tricks (yes I know he look like a pimp)

The children were mesmorised

The the whirling dervish

which fascinated adults and children alike

and at the end of the evening a rather orange moon said good night

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The latest magazine to feature Flats in Luxor Property Sales



Monarch Airlines has featured Flats in Luxor in it's inflight magazine Explorer. The article from A Place in the Sun talks about the safe way to buy property in Luxor and quotes Jane Akshar the owner of Flats in Luxor. We have also placed our advert next to the article.

We are very proud that they have recommended us and that you can buy all your property needs, with confidence, from Flats in Luxor

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Last minute Christmas deals with guaranteed sunshine in Luxor, Egypt

Flats in Luxor still has Christmas vacancies, get away from the cold and snow. Come to Luxor and bask in warm sunshine. Egypt is affordable with loads to do and lots of local culture. Luxor is designated the biggest open air museum, do a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings, see Tutankhamen, a day trip to Cairo and see the pyramids. Get cheap flights on EasyJet or any of the charter airlines. Check out my East Bank flats, the Arabesque House and the one bedroom villas. All have Christmas vacancies and prices start at $50 USD a night.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flats in Luxor and Gaddis Hotel


Flats in Luxor Group has accommodation both sides of the river but the majority is on the West Bank. As a consequence we have the greatest facilities there, including our two chefs Gamal and Mohammed. Guests staying at Goubli have these great cooks on site but at Al Gezera, the Villas and the Arabesque House deliveries are easily arranged.

Our guests staying on the East Bank have rather missed out on all this but now we have a great solution. The Gaddis Hotel, which is just a very short walk from the flats, has a great selection of English, Egyptian and International food, including a pork menu! Snacks, pizza and sandwiches are also available and Flats in Luxor is able to give you a 10% discount card.

The Gaddis Hotel also has Karaoke Nights every Saturday and Tuesday for 9pm until late. The Gaddis hotel is very famous in Luxor, not only because of Mr Gaddis is the Honorary British Consul but because of the fabulous photos taken by his father. These black and white studies are so atmospheric and evocative of the town, with both its recent and ancient history.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jane Akshar and Flats in Luxor have appeared in all these magazines



Here at Flats in Luxor we are fiercely proud of our reputation and the fact that we have appeared in so many major magazines both for our property sales and our holiday rentals, Jane Akshar has also had many of her writings published. So you can have confidence in Flats in Luxor, recommended by the Boston Globe, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, A Place in the Sun, Archeological Diggings, EasyJet in-flight magazine, Monarch in-flight magazine, Bird Watching and Papyrus

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

EasyJet continues to make Flats in Luxor guest happy

Our 4th group of guests arrived tonight 40 minutes early and very happy. It was a group of three people who had booked separately, no one had paid more than £200 GBP return and the best price was £80 to Luxor and £90 from Luxor so a return price of £170 GBP, not bad!!

Also they brought me a copy of the EasyJet inflight magazine which includes my destination guide to Luxor.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home - Latest News and Events

My Swansea students!!!!


During the Summer 2010, MA Ancient Egyptian Culture students took part in an excavation and conservation project of the Late Period Tomb TT223 as part of a study trip. Home - Latest News and Events: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, November 08, 2010

Facebook | Party 07 November 2010


We had a couple come from Somewhere Different to stay at the villas and the company had asked if we could make sure they saw local entertainment. So Flats in Luxor had a party at Goubli in our roof top restaurant. Great night. You can see all the photos here. Facebook | Party 07 November 2010: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, November 06, 2010

EasyJet to Flats in Luxor

The first EasyJet flight landed in Luxor 3rd Nov and I had three sets of guests on it. It is a natural combination a self catering apartment or villa from the Flats in Luxor Group and a cheap flight from EasyJet. So how did my guests find it using EasyJet for their cheap holiday in Egypt to see the ancient culture? How did it compare to a deal using a charter flight and hotel. Well we came out on top!!

First the price they paid for their flight depending on how far in advance they booked the flight. The cheapest was £87 return and the most expensive was £250 return. So to get the cheapest deal on a flight to Luxor, Egypt, book early.
Every one of them said they would use EasyJet to fly to Luxor again and would recommend it to their friends. Most of them took their own food but those that did have the food were quite satisfied.

So the cost of one week if you book in advance and were a family of 5 sharing one of Flats in Luxor three bedroom apartments with private swimming pool. Would be £164 per person, full board would be £234, that’s right a holiday in Luxor Egypt for a family of 5 for £820. EasyJet/Flats in Luxor; what a combination.

Our website is here Flats in Luxor

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monarch Explorer

Flats in Luxor is in the Monarch Inflight Magazine. Both the article quoting me and recommending purchasing our properties and our advert, Live the Dream, see page 110.Monarch Explorer: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Egypt sets minimum monthly wages to $69 - BusinessWeek

Something to remember when you are being hassled for baksheesh or tips. If you can imagine proving for a family with food, clothes, medicines, school uniform, well something has to give. As a diabetic my medicines cost me 1000LE a month. This minimum wage increase takes the minimum wage to 400Le a month. So what do Egyptian diabetics do, well they die or if they are lucky and a member of their family works in tourism and gets good tips, they live. So please be generous

Egypt sets minimum monthly wages to $69 - BusinessWeek: "Around 40 percent of the country's 76.5 million people live on or near the poverty line of $2 a day.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Your Luxor apartment, your decoration, whatever that might be

When people buy a flat or villa from us at Flats in Luxor they sometimes ask for it to be decorated to their own personal taste. Michael was the first person to buy from us and asked for a rather unique decoration in his lounge.



That was back in 2006, this year he asked that we get his bedroom ceiling redecorated and this is what he choose. Isn't it brilliant, Sennefer eat your heart out.




So if you want to buy a flat from Flats in Luxor and want a rather unusal decoration, no problems. Can we do it, yes we can :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Luxor, no longer a luxury - Africa, Travel - The Independent

Come on EasyJey!! With cheap flights and cheap accommodation at Flats in Luxor.

Luxor, no longer a luxury - Africa, Travel - The Independent: "Luxor, no longer a luxury

The city that is the cradle of civilisation is now a no-frills flight destination. Simon Calder enjoys this Nile gem that offers culture and pleasure in equal measure

We say

Gatwick's longest no-frills flight begins next week. The destination, five hours away, of the easyJet plane is the city on the Nile that combines an astonishing amount of history with a laid-back vibe and clear blue November skies

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flats in Luxor 2010/2011 prices

Live the holiday dream in Luxor. Fantastic flats, awesome apartments and value-added villas from Flats in Luxor Group.

We have a huge variety of apartments and villas from simple one bedrooms to luxury family apartments with private swimming pools. Although these are self catering, with our two resident chefs you need not prepare a single meal unless you want to.

The prices start from $25 USD for one bedroom flat, $30 USD for a two bedroom flat and $40 USD for a three bedroom flat. These are in buildings with limited communal facilities like the Arabesque House and East Bank building but you are most welcome to use the swimming pool, free WiFi etc at our luxury apartment blocks on the West Bank.

The luxury apartments at Goubli and Al Gezera are keeping their 2009/2010 prices and even at Christmas these are only $75 USD a night.

All bookings are for a minimum of three nights and we offer a courtesy meet and greet service.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Special Introductory Offer

We are offering our one bedroom villas at $60 USD a night, yes even over Christmas, your dream holiday in Luxor just got mega cheap. Please quote SP15

Monday, October 11, 2010

Flats in Cairo!!!!

Well just for December and January. A friend of mine in downtown Cairo has a 2 bedroom flat available for rent, it sleeps three persons and is very central. just 10 minutes from the museum. It is his personal flat and he is away for those 2 months. If you are interested please email me.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Salads in Egypt


I know a lot of tourists are frightened of eating salads in Egypt, rubbish!! Be scared, really scared of buffets where food is kept tepid for hours but a freshly prepared salad in a tourist establishment is fine. Personally I eat street food with salad and never had a problem. This is three salads prepared by my chef that my guests (and me) had for lunch today; Oriental lots of garlic and aubergine, Greek with feta cheese and black olives and Tuna with spicy peppers. I tell you they tasted as good as they look.

Luxor Vacation Rentals & Vacation Rental Homes - Rent Holiday Homes in Luxor

Flats in Luxor has just started using this accommodation listing website. Run by a PCG member, my old trade association, he has offered me a years free listing. Good for both of us as I have just trebled his Luxor entries :) Luxor Vacation Rentals & Vacation Rental Homes - Rent Holiday Homes in Luxor: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Planeta Sostenible & Flats in Luxor

This Spanish website promotes eco tourism and selected Flats in Luxor and the Nubian Eco Village. So I am hoping for lots of Spanish guests. Planeta Sostenible: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, October 04, 2010

Traveller - Inflight Magazine of easyJet

I have been asked to write the destination guide for Luxor as EasyJet start flying there in November so bookmark this page and see Luxor appear next month. I have no idea how much editing of my piece will occur so I shall be waiting with baited breath too. Traveller - Inflight Magazine of easyJet: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Making Egypt 'accessible' for tourists

Interesting article about traveling in Egypt with a handicap. It can be done!

Making Egypt 'accessible' for tourists: "Making Egypt 'accessible' for tourists

Programs for physically challenged tourists are designed to allow the tourist more time for visits and includes almost all the activities.

By Tamim Elyan
Special to Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: Claudia Ehlers has always dreamed of seeing the pyramids – a dream dismissed by almost everyone she told given the challenges she would face as a physically challenged tourist.

“But I followed my dream in defiance of all difficulties,” Ehlers said.
The German tourist stayed in Egypt for eight days and went on a safari trip on Al-Ryan Lake in her wheelchair. She says her trip exceeded all expectations.

“Everything was so unbelievable, so experience-rich, so fantastic and most importantly so problem-free,” she said, describing her trip.

Ehlers’ adventure started at Cairo Airport where she was carried off the plane by two men. “I was carried out of the airplane in a manner I never experienced before, namely without any utilities; normally the transport in and out of the plane is done with a very small chair, but here it seemed that they didn’t have anything like that. I worried about the two men who carried me because I’m not very light weighted but then I saw a wheelchair in front of the plane.”

Ehlers visited the Cairo Tower where she was helped by her tour guide up the tower to enjoy the view from the top. The next day she paid the pyramids a visit.

The highlight of her trip was when Ehlers gave up her wheelchair and took a ride on a camel with the help of her guide.

Ehlers’ seamless trip was made possible by Egypt for All, the only Egyptian travel agency dedicated to physically challenged tourists, designing programs specifically to cater to their needs.

Established by Sherif El-Hendi and Martin Gaballah in 1999 as an associate of Grabo-tours in Germany, Egypt for All comprises a professional staff devoted to the services of the physically challenged tourist.

El-Hendi received his first delegation in 1999 formed of six tourists on wheelchairs and his client list has been only growing ever since.

“We have been gaining experience and we now have our own equipment and specially equipped cars with ramps and toilets,” he boasted.

Vehicles are modified in a workshop by removing seats, attaching clamps for securing wheelchairs, and adding portable ramps for getting on and off the vehicle.

Potential market

Nashwa El-Sherif, professor at the faculty of tourism, Helwan University, says that the lack of interest in accessible tourism can be referred to the culture, lack of adequate infrastructure and absent marketing.

“We are missing a huge potential market if we continue to ignore physically challenged tourists,” El-Sherif said.

According to Ahmed Al-Khadem, former chairman of the Egyptian Tourist Authority, the traffic of physically challenged tourists reached 180 million tourists around the world in 2007 and we shouldn’t miss out on that market.

“We need a proper study that evaluates the economic worth of this type of tourism and how we can establish good infrastructure to enable us to compete in it,” he said.

Programs for physically challenged tourists are designed to allow the tourist more time for visits than other tourists; it also has more breaks in between visits. However, it includes almost all the activities other tourists would be interested in, such as scuba diving.

Mick Riley, an English physically challenged tourist made a two-week trip to Luxor visiting the temples of Karnak, Luxor and Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings as well as a ride in a Felucca.

“I was surprised how much of the area I actually got to see,” Riley said.

With a tour guide and someone to push the wheelchair, Riley visited Karnak where he said “the ground is slightly more uneven, the help of someone pushing me came in handy enabling me to videotape the area.”
He recounts his visits to Hatshepsut temple and the Valley of the Kings.

“This is where I thought I would encounter most of my problems, first we went to the Valley of the Kings; three tombs were accessible with help from the guys [from the travel agency], after a short drive we arrived at Hatshepsut temple towering into the mountains behind, two huge ramps and stairways were easily climbed with the help of the two men, one person would have serious difficulty getting you up here alone,” he recalled.

Claus Sans from Germany went a step further; he took a flight in a two seated air glider in Gouna, Hurghada.

“Our flying objects were kind of a small engine delta flyers in which two seats were positioned behind each other, with the back seat set a little higher than the front seat. The pilot was in the front seat steering the flyer, and I was sitting in the back seat. It was like a dream to me, and I never felt myself that free before,” he said.

“The deed made me totally forget about my disability and my wheelchair; I even felt as if I never needed one and wished those 20 minutes – the flight duration – never came to an end,” Sans said, “But our pilot finally went down, and landed me again on the ground of hard reality.”

Mohamed Abdel Lateef, a tour guide from Luxor says he has dealt with a lot of physically challenged tourists sometimes coming in groups.

“Of course they know that it is more exhausting than usual but they always find help whether getting on and off vehicles or inside the sites; the most important thing is not to give them the impression that they are receiving special care, they don’t want to be reminded of their disability,” Abdel Lateef said.

Challenges

According to El-Hendi, major challenges that accessible tourism faces in Egypt are the shortage of especially handicapped-accessible hotel rooms, mainly exclusive to 5-stars hotels which raises the expenses of the trip.

Out of 350 Nile cruise ships between Luxor and Aswan, only one, Amarco I, has handicap accessible cabins.

Egyptian law stipulates that 5 percent of the rooms in all hotels should be handicapped-accessible.

Another problem is when the tourist wants to go on a free tour in the streets of the city which are not accessible at all; El-Hendi says he must appoint an assistant to help him or her navigate their route.

Accessibility solutions

Al-Khadem says the problem is that physically challenged tourists are only attracted to cultural tourism not to adventure tourism like scuba diving and safari.

“Most sites in Egypt are closed ones that require effort from the tourist to move and making it accessible is very difficult; however, the Supreme Council of Antiquities is already working on this,” Al-Khadem said.

El-Hendi resounded this claim as he noted an improvement both in historical sites and airports during the past 10 years regarding accessibility.

“What we need is to increase the number of accessible hotel rooms in different categories, reduce the time needed to finish paperwork at the airport and tickets’ queues; especially, at the valley of kings where disabled tourists can’t take the mini-train and we have to negotiate with officers to use our cars,” he said.

He also called for encouraging new agencies dedicated to physically challenged tourists to see the light in order to serve this growing market.
“Travel agencies should start making programs for physically challenged tourists and proper infrastructure should be made available which will result in huge revenues for all sides,” El-Sherif said.

“They are working within their capabilities; there must be a media awareness campaign, intensive marketing campaigns and related activities such as equipments exhibitions and conferences,” she added.

According to experts in the field, Egypt is moving on the right track but until it reaches the level when it is 100 percent accessible, Egyptians’ sense of hospitality will always give the physically challenged tourist the warm welcome.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Brilliant Promotional Video on Egypt

Resala Charity

A lot of people ask me about donating to poor people in Luxor and this is an Egyptian run charity I feel happy to recommend. .Resala : Association for Charitable message:.: "- Sent using Google Toolbar" the website is in Arabic but Google translator does give you the sense of it. The office in Luxor is located near Omar Supermarket

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Telegraph.co.uk Expat Directory

Flats in Luxor is on the Telegraph Ex Pat directoryTelegraph.co.uk Expat Directory: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

PS Although they have put the pin in the wrong place lol

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Introductory book on Egypt

Just caught this on Andie's Egyptology blog and thought it would be great for new visitors wanting an introductory book on Egypt.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Salima Ikram, Ancient Egypt: An Introduction: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Salima Ikram, Ancient Egypt: An Introduction. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. xxiii, 330. ISBN 9780521675987. $27.99 (pb).

Reviewed by Peter C. Nadig, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin (nadig@zedat.fu-berlin.de)

It is not easy to write an introduction to ancient Egypt, since so many details, past and present, need to be covered for this fascinating and extremely variant culture. A great deal of this fascination can be attributed to the aesthetic quality of Egyptian art which had left its mark over a period of 3000 years as well as the good preservation of many monuments and objects. Salima Ikram (American University Cairo) provides an excellent introduction – lavishly illustrated with photos and drawings. In nine chapters, the book aims at a general readership not familiar with Egypt by “setting the stage for their further study and investigation”. The focus is not only the various aspects of ancient Egypt’s history and culture, but also their reception as well as rediscovery through the ages.

The book starts with a detailed chronological chart of the periods of Egyptian history from 5000 BC till 30 BC. Kings’ names are given with their Horus and throne names as well as personal names and regnal years where possible (pp. xiii-xxiii). Chapter One (“The Black and the Red”) brings an outline of Egypt’s geography and environment. The author makes it clear that the country's wealth not only lay in the annual inundation of the Nile, but also in its natural borders. The different regions of Egypt, such as the Nile River and the Nile Valley, the Delta, the Western Desert with its oases, and the Sinai Peninsula along with the Eastern Desert and The Red Sea are explained. The second chapter ("Travellers, Thieves, and Scholars") deals with the history of Egyptology and Egyptomania. It began during the New Kingdom when Egyptians themselves began to reflect on the monuments of their past. Among these Prince Khaemwese, a son of Ramesses II stands out, whose restoration inscription can still be seen on a pyramid in Saqqara.

A separate section covers Greek and Roman visitors as well as scholars who wrote about Egypt such as Solon, Pythagoras, Herodotus, Manetho, Diodorus, Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Plutarch, Septimius Severus, and the fourth-century nun Egeria. A short section sums up the interest of Arab scholars in Egypt, some of which studied the ancient monuments or tried to decipher the hieroglyphs. Two of them, al-Idrisi and al-Qalqashandi, saw the Coptic language as the possible link to the decoding of the lost language. The early stages of the modern rediscovery of Egypt, its exploration as well as the establishment of Egyptology proper are outlined in the following subchapters. Several summaries of the work of explorers and scholars such as Champollion, Lepsius, Mariette, Petrie and Reisner are included; special attention is also given to Egyptian scholars.

The sources and methodologies of re-creating ancient Egypt are summed up in the intriguing Chapter Three ("Re-creating Ancient Egypt: Sources and Methodologies"). Here Ikram introduces the primary sources, which include landscapes, monuments, artefacts as well as ancient texts themselves in more detail. She points out that depictions of Egyptian daily life in tomb chapels do not show every step of certain processes, but only the highlights. While the ancient viewers would have been able to fill the gaps easily, ethnoarchaeology can nowadays help for a better understanding of certain processes and objects. Also important are the secondary sources, i.e. the travellers’ accounts from ancient times onward. Here a short mention of Arabic travellers in the Middle Ages might have been added. They sometimes provided valuable information about lost or destroyed monuments. Most noteworthy is the Mecca pilgrim Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217) who recorded the huge temple at Akhmim. A section on new technologies in archaeological and scholarly research concludes this chapter.

The next chapter is a concise overview of ancient Egypt from the Predynastic Period to Cleopatra ("Shadows in the Sand: Egypt's Past"). The various aspects of Egyptian religion are dealt with in “Maintaining Egypt: Religion”. Alongside subjects such as state religion and the pantheon of gods a major focus is on the various temples, their development, architecture, and decoration as well as rituals, festivals and the priesthood. An own subchapter is on the private religion and personal piety. Here it is interesting to note that the gods revered in private scenarios were often different from those worshipped in the state religion. An introduction to funerary beliefs and – texts is included here.

Chapter Six ("Kings and Commoners: Egyptian Society and Government") presents the different groups in Egyptian society from the king down to non-elites in Egyptian society, slaves and foreigners. The quintessential elements of pharaonic kingship and the role of the queen are aptly summarized.

The theme of the following chapter ("Town Life and Country Life") takes a closer look at the structure of settlements. Ikram points out the limitations of our knowledge since only a few of them have been excavated so far, while many others are beyond our reach due to overbuilding. A lengthy chapter follows on the daily life of the ancient Egyptians ("From Sunrise to Sunset"). The topics here are the Egyptian language and literature (here a chart of the hieroglyphic alphabet is added; figure 108, p. 223), judiciary, police, military, food production, body care, medicine and healthcare, clothing and footwear production, metalworkers, carpentry and shipbuilding, production of containers, Egyptian art, and entertainment. The last chapter is about the Egyptian funerary practises ranging from mummification, funerals and funerary equipment to tombs and cemeteries ("The Living Dead: Mummies, Tombs, and Mortuary Cults").

Among the innumerous photos in the book, many are by the author herself, which also add a personal touch. Even though some images may seem familiar, their selection is sometimes rather unconventional and provides a refreshing change. One may (gladly) look in vain for a typical photo from the treasures of Tutankhamun.1 Also many historical pictures are included to highlight the text. Singled out may be a photo from the early 20th century (figure 4, p. 7) showing the inundation of the village of Dashur. It aptly illustrates the fact that towns and villages of Egypt were built on high parcels of ground which became islands during the annual flood. This phenomenon happened until the 20th century, but has since ceased after the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. The most unusual object shown here is that of a limestone toilet seat from Amarna (figure 103, p. 206).

Many text boxes in different sizes are included throughout the book to provide an isolated outlook on selected topics. Among these are, to mention a few, “Egypt’s Name”, “Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt”, “The Mummy Trade”, “Deciphering Hieroglyphs”, “Working in Egypt” (i.e. on an archaeological mission), “Choosing a Sarcophagus”, “The Pharaoh with a Passport”, “A Selection of Gods”, “Royal Iconography” and “Egyptian Art”. A glossary, a detailed list of further recommended readings as well as Egyptological resources, and an index complete “Ancient Egypt”.

An introduction to Ancient Egypt of this size cannot surely include every relevant detail, however intriguing or interesting it may be.2 Each of the nine chapters in Ikram’s book can easily be turned in a single monograph. The author has made a very competent as well as thorough choice on what to include and what not. Many details mentioned in the book reflect the current state of research in scholarship. This book provides an interesting as well as comprehensive read from which even the expert may benefit. It is therefore highly recommended as a starting point for the uninitiated.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nile water problem

Due to a barge sinking in Aswan filled with fuel there is a possibility that the water will be cut in Luxor. We have been advised to stock up. Fortunately we have a roof tank, so we have filled that. The governor is hoping that the feeds from the Nile into the water purification system can be protected.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My Luxor

First published on Tour Egypt http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/myluxor.htm here are my feelings about my Luxor

To get to my Luxor you have to go through the other Luxor. Some people love the East bank but I find it artificial with loads of hassle. My Luxor is the West Bank. The character of the two places is totally different; it is not a case of the river separating two districts. The East Bank is much more developed and along the Nile there are many five star hotels cheek by jowl. Most of the tourist shopping is on the East, but few of the sites. The West Bank is more rural; hotels are small, family run businesses in the middle of the village. Although there are many alabaster factories and a couple of papyrus institutes, the attraction for the tourist is the masses and masses of sights.

There are loads of ways to get to the other side from the railway or the airport. You can get a taxi round the bridge. That takes a long time as the bridge is 9 km south of town. Also at various times of day the police can be a real pain forbidding tourists to cross. Certainly don’t try and cross before 6:00 am unless you are going on a balloon trip. After sunset you will be stopped and quizzed on what nationality you are and where are you going. I still get that, even though I have lived here several years. But it is the only way to get a car across since they closed the car ferry. Funnily enough, there is no problem going back the other way from West to East.

You can also cross by motor boat. Just walk down the Corniche along the embankment and lots of people will offer you a crossing on a motor boat. That is a very pleasant way to get across and you get views of Luxor temple as you cross.
Lastly, and my favorite, is the local ferry. I prefer this, as I am extremely unhandy about climbing on and off the motor boats, and always have to have my hand held. On the local ferry I am spared this indignity.

This is where you start to leave the hassle behind. You don’t have to fight off the felucca boys, taxi and calalesh drivers any more, you can relax. On the ferry you can chat with the locals. As a woman, I always sit next to other women and they are often carrying babies. This is always a useful topic of conversation even if you haven’t got a common language. Another mother knows when her child is being admired and friendly smiles are exchanged. You can try out a smattering or Arabic. ‘Walid ou bint’, boy or girl, is a good one.

On the ferry there is a man selling sweeties, nuts and other items. Some of these sweets are delicious but definitely not for the calorie conscious. They are laden with sugar. He cuts you off a piece and it is handed over in a scrap of paper, often pages from a book or newspaper. The sugary syrup immediately soaks the paper and you have to eat quickly to avoid being coated in it. There are also savory snacks for sale. Sometimes there will be a shoeshine man. You will see a small child wandering up and down with squares of cardboard and swapping these for a pair of shoes. This is so the customer can put his feet on the cardboard rather than on the floor of the ferry. The shoeshine man will be in a corner polishing away and somehow he always manages to finish before the ferry lands on the other side. The small child then whisks around collecting all the pieces of card, returning the shoes and getting paid. There seems to be a competition as you land that all the men engage in; who can be first off the boat. Somewhere in Luxor they must go and get awarded prizes, only joking, but it is amazing seeing them all rush to get off and gain an extra second.

Landing on the other side you are immediately greeted with the calling cry of the local Tax Tax. Actually it is not someone from the Inland Revenue finally catching up with you but how they say taxi. If you don’t want one, a simple La shukran and they go. Welcome to the hassle free West Bank.

Walking up the road to the center of the village, you go past stalls selling various produce. If you are there early in the morning, walk a little way along the embankment until you get to where the taxis and motor boat drivers hang out. There, under an awning made of a scrap of cloth, the men sit drinking endless cups of tea heavily sweetened. A man with a cart serves breakfast. Your seat is a rock, and an upturned palm leaf crate is your table. The most delicious breakfast is quickly served. Foul, the staple of any breakfast, salad, pickles and fresh bread. He pours samna (buttery oil) and you tuck in. No utensils. Just scoop up the food with the bread, crunch on the pickles. A filling start to the day.

A service car arrives and a crowd gets out. How do they cram so many people into these little truck/buses? The men walk past on their way to work carrying their implements. The sun is coming up and the heat is starting. You finish breakfast with a cup of tea, no milk, just sugar. Quickly you betray your roots with ‘waheet sucre’, one sugar. If there were any doubts about you being Egyptian they are laid to rest now. Egyptians like sugar water flavored with tea in my experience. My half Arab daughter takes four teaspoons of sugar in her tea!!!

Going up the village you pass the local restaurants, the juice bar (ice cold sugar cane juice is so refreshing), internet cafes; everything and anything is available. Sometimes the shops look less than prepossessing but the food is fresh and totally organic. Ah look, a pet shop, how unusual to have chickens as pets. No, your mistake. These are not pets, this is dinner. Pick your bird and it is killed, gutted and plucked. This is fresh food with a vengeance. Even at the butchers, that cow was alive a few short hours ago.

The fruit and veg man is totally seasonal so no imported and shipped, tasteless, out of season food. It is sun ripened straight out of the fields. Not even organic food tastes this good. The lemons are small and green and make a wonderful drink squeezed whole with some water and of course sugar. Grapefruit is sweet and can be eaten without sugar (unless you’re Egyptian). The candy man with his bags walks along the street.

Once out of El Gezera village you get to the main attraction of the West Bank, the sites. You can go round these in a variety of ways, including taxis, A/C mini buses, big coaches, donkeys, bicycles or even walking, if you are very fit.

The sites here are different as well. Of course you have the Valley of the Kings which everyone knows about, but there are so many others that no one goes to. Where it is, just you and the temple, and you sit listening to the call to prayer echoing across the courtyards and muse on the timelessness of it all. Go visit one of the lesser known tombs, where the guardian unlocks it for you, his only visitor that day, and makes you tea. He jokes with you and suggests you become his third, or was that his fourth, wife. It is friendly banter and makes your day, as he guesses your age some 10 years younger. That calls for a good baksheesh.

There is also the opportunity for horse, camel and donkey rides; just short trips round the village or a gallop into the desert. You finished the day on the roof top of a local restaurant watching the Nile and the sun setting, sipping cold beer and wondering if life back home is really worth it. The food arrives. It is a small banquet and totally delicious. You reflect on your West Bank day.

You suddenly realize that you haven’t heard a child screaming in temper or a parent shouting trying to control an unruly offspring. People seem more at peace and content here. The only arguments seem to be between a crowd of men who look as though they are going to come to blows. Voices are raised and it looks as though a battle is about to break out. It must be a blood feud and people are going to get hurt. You get a quick translation and learn that they are discussing football and not terrorism and you have never felt so safe in all your life. You walk back along the darkened street and people who know call out in greeting and beg you to stop and drink tea.

This is my Luxor, the West Bank.

Wall Art at Flats in Luxor


Anyone spending time in Egypt will notice that many of the houses are decorated with brightly coloured murals. These can be of a variety of subjects. On the outside of a private home these came be a description of the householders trip to Mecca, scenes of the journey together with the sites of Mecca commemorate their Hajji or pilgrimage. On business premises these are more often scenes of Ancient Egypt done to entice passersby to the premises. Well we are as guilty as the next and recently had one of our walls decorated. Actually to be strictly accurate it wasn’t our wall at all but our neighbours. He had built his house and the back wall of it faced our property and was directly over our swimming pool. A view of mud bricks and concrete pillars is not very aesthetically please when you are lying by the pool so my husband approached him and proposed we render and paint it. Of course he was delighted that we wanted to improve his building and agreed at once.

Firstly of all we wanted a slightly different picture from the normal Hatshepsut’s temple or Tutankhamen’s mask so delving into my books I came across the scene from Pashedu's tomb at Deir el Medina. It shows Pashedu drinking form the river in the after world under a date palm tree. Well being as it was going above the swimming pool and there was a date palm in front of the building it was perfect.

I gave the painter a line drawing and a coloured picture and from that he created our picture some 2 stories high. He drew grid lines on the paper and then using masking tape and huge sheets of paper he made a full size girded paper. On this he reproduced square by square the design on the A4 sheet. Then he went over every line with a toothpick making holes. He then hung the paper up against the wall and using a bag of powdered blue dye he puffed over all the tiny holes leaving small dots behind the paper. He them removed the paper and joined up the dots and then started painting. It was fascinating watching him at work and I think you will agree the finished article looks great.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Desert Safaris

Our great friend and regular driver Rageeb has just acquired a flashy new jeep for desert tours, with air conditioning. He has been doing desert tours for us for some time but having only a minibus has had to keep to the regular roads. Now with this, the latest model in land cruisers, he can go any where. So if you want a trip in the Western Deserts please contact us and we can arrange Rageeb for you.



Oasis, Great Sand Sea, Uwaynat Desert, Gilf el Keber, Kharga, Dakhla, Farafra, Bahariya, Siwa, Areg, Qara, Baris, Dush, Darb al Arbain Desert, Forty Days Road, Wadiryyan (Fayoum) are all places you can visit by desert safari. You can experience everything from a one day tour to 2 weeks or more depending on your desires. Below is an example of a 1 day and 5 day tour. Trips can be arranged from Alexandria to Abu Simbel through the desert.

One Day Luxor – Baris - Dush – Kharga - Luxor

The tour starts in the early morning from the new road and takes the ancient caravan tracks. This is a short cut between Luxor and Kharga where you are free to wander in desert, see a real oasis, met local people and see places of beauty. The route takes you via the Black Valley, Crystal Quarry, Deers Valley, Alabaster Valley, sand dunes and the Temple of Isis at Duch.

Visit one of the oldest Christian necropolises in the world at Bagawat home of the oldest Basilisk church, the Exodus Chapel and Peace Chapel. Then onto the Temple of Hibis built by the Persian king Darius in the 26th Dynasty. The best preserved temple in the Western Desert built for the God Amun Ra.

You will see many different types of sand and rock formations with plenty of wild life birds and reptiles together with a hit spring swim.

Five Day Tour Kharga, Dakhla, Qasir, Sand Sea, Farafra, White Desert, Bahariya, Black Desert, Valley of the Golden Mummies

Day 1 Depart Luxor for Kharga, Visit Bagawat the oldest Christian necropolis and Ptolemaic temple of Hibis. Camp beyond the Roman fortress under the desert sky

Day 2 Drive to Dakhla where you will experience traditional Bedouin hospitality and have a hot spring swim.

Day 3 Experience the beauty of Qasir, the oldest inhabited Islamic town, just outside Dakhla. Visit the old city of Mut and Balalt, one of the earliest Pharaonic sites. Our drive takes us deep into the Western Desert and close to the great Sand Sea. Visit Farafra Oasis for lunch and head into the magical White Desert to look for fossils and black pyrites. . The White Desert is the largest I the world, there are beautiful formations such as mushrooms and ice cream cones!!! The to the chalk and limestone formations in the desert for dinner and an overnight camp sleeping under the stars.

Day 4 – On to Bahariya oasis via the Crystal Mountain where you can hunt for quartz. Take a hot spring swim close to the black desert and its pyramid shaped mountain of Visit the Valley of the golden mummies

Day 5 Leave for Cairo, see the pyramids, sphinx and Egyptian museum

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Easyjet flights to Luxor 20% off

This ad just popped up

EasyJet Luxor Sale
Sale on all flights, up to 20% off! Fly b/w 1 Oct & 15 Dec. Book now.
easyJet.com

So no excuses not to come and stay at Flats in Luxor, it is so cheap to fly here now it is silly

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Featured Apartments - Arabesque

Flats in Luxor - Arabesque House



This building is situated close to the main cross roads on the West bank down a shady lane. The top floors look towards Hatshepsut’s temple with fabulous views of the Theban Hills. The building consists of four apartments
Noor, two bedroom on the ground floor, and then Layla 2/3 bedroom followed by Noor 3 bedroom and lastly Nigma one bedroom on the roof.




This building is a refurbishment of a traditional family home and is decorated in an Islamic style with architectural features such as mashrabeya windows. It has a roof terrace and ground floor patio overlooking the canal both of which are shared by all flats.

Out Goubli building is only 5 minutes walk away guests staying at the Arabesque are welcome to use the swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and restaurant located there.
Staff are on the premises 24/7 and they clean and maintain the communal areas and will run errands or help with translation.

This building was gutted and refurbished in 2008 making it into 4 individual flats.
A delightful Arabic home in the heart of a traditional village. In fact one of our relatives lives next door and another across the way.
It faces across a canal towards the Nile but the view from the back is of the village and in the distance the temple of Hatshepsut.



A short walk take you to the main road which goes from the ferry to the Valley of the Kings.This property often appeals to guests want more interaction with Egyptians. You can even buy your fruit and vegetables from the back of donkey carts traveling on the road in front of the building



Each flat has a slightly different layout making this our most flexible building. Starting from the left we have Nigma the one bedroom on the roof, it has one bedroom and an open plan kitchen. Next down is Amar which is a three bedroom flat, with large lounge/dinning room. Then we have Layla which has an open area in place of the third bedroom, this came be used for overflow guests. Lastly Noor the two bedroom on the ground floor with its own entrance door leading straight into the lounge.





All these apartments are available holiday rental and all except Amar are for sale or long term rental. the Arabesque still has Christmas vacancies. Please contact us at info@flatsinluxor.co.uk for more details.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Survey reveals 7 out of 10 retired Britons abroad likely to stay | Mail Online

An interesting article about retiring abroad, Egypt and Luxor don't get a specific mention but knowing the ex-pats here I know they would all agree. The quality of life in Luxor is much higher than the UK as costs are much lower. Food stuff is about 1/10 of the UK and of course there are no massive heating costs. A very modest pension will keep you living like a pharaoh :) It makes a terrific difference to your day to wake up to sunshine and friendly village life.

Survey reveals 7 out of 10 retired Britons abroad likely to stay | Mail Online: "'Retiring abroad is still very much a popular choice and expats are happy with their chosen life paths.

It's encouraging to see that the majority of expats believe they made the right decision in retiring abroad and are living their chosen dream. It is enlightening that 92 per cent of expats chose not to retire to a designated expat community.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flats in Luxor recommended by A Place in the Sun


A great article about buying property in Luxor, Egypt and we are the only owner developers selected to appear in it. What a recommendation from A Place in the Sun, a highly respected UK TV program and magazine which advises people about where to buy overseas property as well the pitfalls and advantages. It was just a few weeks ago that the photographer came and he took a number of excellent photos of our buildings. It was our Goubli building that was selected for the front cover and I am even quoted in the magazine. www.aplaceinthesun.com/magazine/August2010

We have over 20 properties for sale ranging from one bedroom flats and villas to three bedroom flats and four bedroom villas. Buying direct from the property owners saves you so much money as there is no commission payable to agent but obviously you want to be reassured that the seller is reliable. As I said in the article, ask for references, reputable property developers like ourselves can supply these easily.



With year round sunshine, no massive heating bills and food costing 1/10 of the UK prices this is an ideal retirement area. Live like a pharaoh on a very modest pension. Alternatively Egypt is the ideal year round holiday destination, with Easy Jet starting flights in Nov for £121 return. Use it just for yourself or friends and family. Alternatively we will find you holiday rentals under the Flats in Luxor banner. No need to worry about finding clients, we do the advertising, arrange deposits and bookings, meet and greet the guest and finally arrange tours of local sites the Valley of Kings and Karnak temple for them.

All out buildings are located centrally so you won’t get any complaints about being isolated. In fact all our West Bank properties are within site of the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, can’t be better located than that.

Featured Apartments in Luxor - Nubian Villas

Nubian Villas
Over on the West Bank we have developed a small village of traditional one bedroom villas. No roads on the West Bank have names which makes life a bit more fun. However once you have been there once finding your way is no problem and we always offer a complementary pick up to all our guests.



This satellite map shows the location next do to our larger Goubli property. The satellite picture was taken in June 2009 before we finished the properties but at least you can see the foundations.
These villas are for sale, long term rental or holiday rental. There is plenty of availability for Christmas. Please contact us at info@flatsinluxor.co.uk for more details.



Staff on the premises 24/7 and they maintain the communal areas, provide security and will run errands or help with translation. Built in 2009 these are our most recent project and aimed at those guests looking for a more ecologically friendly and green holiday property. Traditional architecture and building methods were used on this development. Each villa consists of a one bedroom studio with a separate kitchen and bathroom.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Goubli from a hot air balloon


A guest just sent me this great photo taken on their hot air balloon trip. You can see both Goubli and the Villas.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sail the Nile for 160 Euros

Sail the Nile is pleased to offer a sailing cruise on a dahabeya for 160 Euros per person per night.....with no minimum passengers. In order to do this the cruises are on set days with set schedules. Saturday 4 night, Monday 4 nights, Wednesday 3 nights and Friday 3 nights.

Everything is included site visits, tickets, Egyptologists and all meals, please email info@sailthenile.com for more details

Friday, August 06, 2010

Flats in Luxor - Al Gezera after refurbishment

After 7 years Al Gezera was looking a bit tired and needed a lick of paint. We had also found that having two bathrooms had proved very popular at Goubli. With the master bedroom being so big it was easy to put a shower room in. Mahmoud got the painters to make the outside of the building orange, after it had been cream and green for a long time. Everything looks really fresh and nice now.

So this is the lounge/dinning room and balcony.




Then the two twin bedrooms and the family bathroom.






Then the master bedroom and shower room


Lastly the kitchen