Friday, April 27, 2012

Jane Akshar | LinkedIn

A lovely recommendation on my LinkedIn profile
Jane Akshar | LinkedIn: Jane provides a first rate service, and has a great network which enables her to make arrangements all over Egypt, not just in Luxor, in order to ensure any visit there a trouble-free, memorable and enjoyable experience. Not just a Guide; not just a provider of accommodation; she arranges transport where major tour operators have failed, tours of sites away from crowds, and many other activities which make her service unique. Having been to Upper Egypt on many occasions, and having used other local agencies, I can thoroughly recommend her service in preference to the major tour operators who rarely provide the really personal touch.”

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Come back to Egypt, travel Australian CEO pleads -

Come back to Egypt, travel CEO pleads - Wholesaler News - “Egypt is open for business and no one should feel unsafe travelling there,” Mr Reynolds said.

“As somebody who travels regularly and extensively, I think there are no greater risks travelling to Egypt than there are travelling to the UK. People don’t give a second thought about visiting London even though it recently experienced some fairly significant civil unrest.

“It’s time for Australians to return to Egypt with confidence and help rebuild one of the world’s greatest destinations.”

Lots more in the full article
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Travel photos of the week: your stunning images - The Globe and Mail

One of my ex-guests had this stunning photo published in the Globe and Mail travel feature.
Travel photos of the week: your stunning images - The Globe and Mail: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hurrah we now have 91 reviews - Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

A great stay in Luxor - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: “A great stay in Luxor”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012 NEW

It was a pleasure to stay with Jane in her Flats in Luxor at Al Gezera for 5 nights in March. It is the perfect location, quiet, a short walk to the ferry to take you across to the East Bank and plenty of local shops to purchase food, internet etc. Jane's helper, Mahomed, prepared 2 beautiful lunches for us and we had a great dinner with Mahmoud at his impressive Tahrir Villa. Watching the hot air balloons drifting across the valley while we ate breakfast was a delight. Jane organised sightseeing trips for us during our stay and provided our driver Ahmed who was very friendly and efficient and always available whenever we needed him, as well as our wonderful guide Hussein who we found to be very knowledgeable. Jane also organised a fascinating trip for us through Middle Egypt with a very competent driver, Rageeb. We would recommend Jane and her Flats in Luxor to anyone considering a stay in Luxor.

Great location, great food and great service – Highly recommended - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: “Great location, great food and great service – Highly recommended”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012 NEW

We stayed 10 days in the top-floor Bastet flat at Goubli - with lovely views over the fields towards the Nile - from 2nd to 11th April 2012. This was our second time at the Goubli flats, although we had also used Jane’s guiding services on earlier visits to Egypt.

Our party consisted of two couples and two teenagers, and with three spacious bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen, and good-sized lounge/dining room we never felt cramped. The balconies provided extra spaces for relaxing, and of course there was always the cool downstairs reception area, rooftop or poolside terrace to escape to.

The apartment was comfortable, good-sized and clean, with bedding and towels provided. Last time we stayed we suggested that it would be good if basic cleaning materials were easily available (i.e. dustpan/mop & bucket) and it was great to find these in the flat. It shows that they really do listen and act upon customer feedback and illustrates how much they care about their guests.

We found all the staff to be very friendly and approachable, and any request was met with smiles and prompt action; great service all round.

We had intended to prepare our own breakfasts, but after trying what was on offer we allowed the staff to prepare and provide breakfast for us each day in the rooftop restaurant with its breathtaking views of the Theban hill; you can even seen Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el Bahri. They have a new cook on the staff, and the meals were truly excellent; as usual we visited the good local restaurants such as Fayrouz and Africa – but in our opinion the meals at the flat surpassed these in quality, flavour and quantity, and were very reasonably priced as well – so we ended up eating at the flats more often than we had originally anticipated!

Although we are ancient-egyptophiles, this was the first visit to Egypt for the other couple and their two teenage sons, so we asked Jane & Mahmoud if they could arrange some typical tourist activities; we enjoyed a balloon ride at dawn, a donkey & cart tour around the local village, a sunset trip down the Nile with dinner, a trip to Banana Island and Quad biking in the desert. The large swimming pool was also very much appreciated by the boys.

Although the flat is a little way from the main road and ferry this was never a problem as we could easily arrange for a courtesy car to drop us off. It was also easy to arrange taxis for our own day trips so that we could visit the sites at our own pace. A big “Thank you” must go to Captain Ali for his excellent services; a true gentleman. Local shopping is easy too.

There are still fewer tourists in Luxor at the moment, but we felt quite comfortable walking around on both the East and West banks. My sister-in-law remarked that she felt safer than walking in London during the evening.

Thank you to Mahmoud, Jane and the Goubli staff for making our stay so pleasant and memorable. We will definitely be back as soon as we can, although we may stay in the new Villa next to Medinet Habu next time – we had a quick peak at this new development, and the high standard of finish is very impressive. Can’t wait until next time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A new Trip Advisor Review from New Zealand: Flats at Luxor - An excellent experience - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Flats at Luxor - An excellent experience - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: I stayed at the Goulbi flats for 4 nights in March, and I have to say it was a wonderful experience. This was my seventh trip to Egypt and Luxor and it was the first time I stayed at an independent flat as opposed to a hotel. Our flight came in very late, but we were met by Mahmoud, who was very friendly and gave us a quick rundown. The flats themselves were very clean and well kept with everything you could want. All of the furniture in the flats was very comfortable as well. All of the fellows they have working there are friendly and anxious to help you out as well.

The location was very different than the hotels on the East Bank and you'll be well away from the hassle on that side. I can only highly recommend these flats as a relaxed alternative to the hotel scene. If you need to go into the village to have dinner, Jane can recommend a great cab driver as well. Don't forget to have a BBQ on the roof one night as well!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Theban Mapping Project AUC Library Update

As I went past my Arabesque House the other day I saw they had put up the sign for the library. This is Kent Weeks baby and should be a great resource. He said

"There will be books on. Health, child rearing, exercise and diet, agriculture, Natural history, general and middle east and Egyptian history, arts and crafts, science and technology, fiction, etc, etc. We will have a few journals, such as National Geographic in Arabic. Donations welcome

I hope for an initial minimum of 2,500 volumes, an upper limit of perhaps 7,500, but that depends on the reception the library receives. If it becomes very popular, we would consider enlarging it.

We will also continue to poll our users as to reading preferences, and will in part be guided by their needs as we acquire books. At least 75% of the collection will ultimately be in Arabic. One room of the library will be devoted to Egyptology, conservation, and archaeological site management. We already have the start of excellent collections in those areas and have already an outstanding collection of topographic, geological, and cadastral maps of Thebes.

We are buying one computer now and hope to acquire two more to provide access to our collection of CDs on archaeological subjects and online resources. (we are the only library in Egypt except for AUC to have access to Jstor).

We hope to have one female library staff member on duty to encourage girls to make use of the library and receive their father's blessing to do so.
Library hours are designed to fit local work and school schedules, so we will open 3-9 in winter, 4-10 in summer.

Our audience will include students from elementary grades through university, tour guides, antiquities department employees, Villagers, tourists, foreign residents."

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Decorating your own apartment in Luxor

Michael on the roof owns the penthouse flat and has his own views on flat decoration. He started with his lounge (stars) and bedroom (grapes).

This year he decided to get his hall, dining room and kitchen. He was fascinated to see techniques that must have been used in the original tombs being used. A chalk covered piece of string to get lines for examples. Can you recognise which tombs these are from.

This is the hall.

The kitchen

and finally the dining room

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Warning Akhenaton Hotel Assuit - don't honour bookings

I organised a trip for some guests and book Akhenaton Hotel, Assuit. With my driver, we confirmed the booking the day before in Arabic. When they got there the next day the hotel manager denied the booking but another member of staff told the driver the manager had decided to give away the room as the hotel was full. Be warned.

My wonderful driver managed to find an alternative hotel for the guests.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Golf in Luxor

For all you golf addicts, get your irons out and enjoy a round of golf in Luxor.

Royal Valley is superb golfing experience. Our 18– hole championship course and its elegant Clubhouse are situated on the East Bank of Luxor, 13 Km from Luxor’s city center and 8 Km from Luxor’s International airport. Royal Valley offers a wonderful combination of year round sunshine and desert golf where you are only moments away from Luxor’s spectacular ancient civilization.

Royal Valley Gold Club: - Sent using Google Toolbar