Me, feluccas, history and healing in Luxor, Egypt

This is the story of a "felucca girl" in Luxor, Egypt.

I have refound my youth in this amazing country, making it my permanent home, spending my time showing tourists the wonder of the eternal River Nile on a traditional sailing boat called a felucca.

Egypt is a very spiritual land. A land of amazing energies and healing. Temples and tombs abound. Join me in experiencing the spirituality of Egypt. Reiki, Crystals, Healing, Energy Work..... all are available here.

Welcome to my world!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A new eco-village in Upper Egypt renews interest in sustainable tourism

A new eco-village in Upper Egypt renews interest in sustainable tourism

This looks nice......... lets just hope that the government can get tourism off to a start in Minya and surrounding areas. There is so much to see there..... Amarna, Beni Hassan, Tuna El Gebel...... yet it is so difficult to travel to that area.

But one enterprising developer has got the ball rolling........ I wish them well

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Visiting son!

Last week I was delighted to have my son here for a week in sunny Luxor. It has been over 2 years since I last saw him in person (Skype video does not count!), so it was brilliant to have him come and visit.
We had a mixed week of sightseeing and chilling and I do have to say, it was great to just sit and chat. Mind you, we had no choice if we were home as we have had no satellite here for almost 2 weeks now (building on the roof is yet another story!).

I am not sure what my son thinks my life is like here, but on his first day here, he found himself on the felucca with a group of 7 French ladies!!! All of them wanted to kiss him (well they are French) and only a couple of whom speak any English. But he coped and I hope he enjoyed himself.  I am sure if they had all been very young women, he would have been far more happy with the kissing thing. The following day he sailed the River Nile again....... this time with some friends of mine who were celebrating their wedding anniversary!

Yet another day found us at Tod temple and then in Esna, where I was happy to see that they are doing a lot of restoration work on the temple there.... some of the colours they are finding under the soot are incredible! Myself, the son and a friend enjoyed our trip immensely. We finished off the Esna part of the day by a walk through the souk! Wonderful fresh veggies and fruit at a fraction of the Luxor price! I was in my element and completely forgot that my son maybe was not so comfortable with it as I was. Culture shock indeed! But he coped and eventually we found our way back to the transport where we headed back north having a stop at Moalla on the way back. After numerous childhood accidents involving falling and breaking arms.... I have to admit being a tad concerned at the deep holes in the tombs there and went all "mumsy" in case he fell in. But he didn't and we left in one piece. Elhamdulilah!  At every place we visited we were on our own...... tourism may be suffering but it is perfect for sightseeing if anyone is here! Empty temples and tombs and space to wander around..... wonderful.

We also managed a day on the West Bank involving the Valley of the Workers, Nobles tombs and a couple of visits to the Ramesseum Resthouse, where we bumped into friends and had an enjoyable beer or two. And then we WALKED home!  Ramesseum to the Ramla....... after sunset, in the cold, wrapped up like mummys, but thoroughly happy.

Our week together went all too quickly and before I knew it, we were heading back to the airport and his flight home. But he will be back soon, at least he said he would!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Irynefer TT290

Yesterday, as part of my son's visit here, we had a wander around around the mountain, starting at Deir El Medina.
I was delighted to find that I got the chance to see the tomb of Irynefer (TT290) as Sennedjem closed on Sunday.
We got the tomb to ourselves, although I was disappointed to see a small group of tourists on a minibus taken to the tomb of Inerkhau and then watched as they were herded back to their bus without taking the little extra walk over to the north side of the village to see the newly reopened tomb of Irynefer! For goodness sake........ a ticket includes both tombs, the village itself and the small Hathor temple! Do these guides not want tourists to see anything here?
Anyway, I digress......... the tomb itself was beautiful! Beautifully painted with some excellent scenes depicted. On one wall was an Anubis with a mummified body on a lion headed bed....... lovely....... I particularly liked the paintings of a white wigged man and woman...... (not sure who they were), the painting of Irynefer and his wife with a cute little white cow, and Irynefer drinking from a small lake.
I do now need to do some research and find out more about this tomb, but it was well worth seeing and I would recommend anyone getting the chance to visit should do so.

Sorry I have no pictures..... obviously it was not allowed!


Wednesday, 30 November 2011

FJP to win or not?

Does the apparent success of the Justice and Freedom Party in the first round of elections in Egypt mean something sinister? With the majority of the population outside of Cairo, and a long way from Tahrir Square, are their needs being ignored, or put aside in the quest for democracy?  Democracy for who? The illiterate?  The farmers? The small shopkeepers? Or the liberal, middle classes who do not know hunger, can afford 20LE for latte as opposed to the majority who would not even know what a latte is?
Is this apparently large vote for the JFP a reflection of what they want, or is it buying votes? If it is buying votes, then are they looking directly at the majority of the population's needs and will they come good on that?
I was told that the MB would never win any elections, the people do not want it, but it seems my source was wrong...... possibly.

Many questions, and maybe no answers......... just food for thought

Some interesting comments by an aquaintance of mine, Nicole Hansen, living and working in Cairo.

"A suggestion to my liberal friends: Fast tomorrow, and reflect on what it is like to be hungry. Don't go to Cilantro for your 20LE latte and muffin. The people who voted for FJP and Nour parties because they gave them food ormoney didn't do so because they are uneducated or because they are religious zealots, but because when one has to choose between life and death, people will always choose life. Until survival is no longer the primary concern of the majority of the population, then the people will logically choose who feeds them"


And


"On CBC a few weeks ago they brought this guy in from the Fayyum to be interviewed in the studio. He was 52 years old but looked 75, had no steady job, his wife earned 150LE a month. They rent a house for 200LE a month, are 6 months overdue on their rent and their lease is up in May. They have no furniture and sleep on the floor. They eat beans and macaroni from a charity, usually 1 meal a day. He had an old mobile, he didn't buy it, he happened to have found it in the street that day, and didn't even know how to turn off the ringer when it rang in the middle of the program. His daughter is first in her class in school but he cant afford to buy her new clothes for the eid. They asked him if he knew who the prime minister was, he didn't. And you know what, he told the interviewer he knew people who had it a lot worse than he did. That is the average Egyptian for you."







Unrest in Egypt unlikely to pose threat to tourists: MD

Unrest in Egypt unlikely to pose threat to tourists: MD

See the above link, but the text is as follows:

I write to clarify a tremendous misconception that is being purveyed about Egypt and the problems facing it.
The press in general is portraying Egypt as a country in considerable disarray. At worst, the common misconception is that the situation in Egypt is extremely dangerous and that the country should not be visited.
I spent the last two weeks in Egypt. I visited Cairo, Kom Ombo and Edfu, Aswan, Luxor and Sharm el-Sheikh. I visited all accompanied by my wife and my daughter, Stephanie. While we were always accompanied by a tourist guide and people who had invited us, there was never, for one moment, a question we were in danger or threatened in any way. We of course did not venture to Tahrir Square, nor to any area where there was news of disturbances.
But let's be realistic. This is a matter totally between the Egyptian people and their government, which is currently a military dictatorship.
No guest or visitor is in danger. In fact, an Arabic principle is that guests are protected. Visitors are revered and treated well. We were treated like royalty - pampered, in fact. While it behooves visitors to be responsible and use common sense, one can still visit Egypt safely and in comfort. We are very glad we were in Egypt. We cherish our memories and we have made many new friends.
Dr. Barry Lycka, Edmonton

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Divided Egypt?

Just read an interesting article by tmideastposts.com regarding the current differences in thinking between Cairo and the rest of Egypt.  It reflects many of the views of the local population here in Luxor who simply wish to be able to move forward, regain their livelihoods and be able to live with peace and justice for everyone.


A Divided Egypt - Outside Cairo

These are 2 Americans sailing a felucca down the River Nile and blogging their journey! Great reading!

Felucca down the Nile.. Blog


Monday, 21 November 2011

Egypt Unveiled Photography

I have written before about Egypt Unveiled Photography...... great photographs by a friend of mine.

Helen Bailey lives here in Luxor, Egypt  (she is not related to David Bailey!) and I personally love her work.

She has now got herself online with a Flickr account

Flickr Egypt Unveiled

and a Blipfoto account

Blipfoto Egypt Unveiled

When you have a few minutes, check out her photographs, visions of my adopted home!  Enjoy

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hotel recommendation


Following my previous blog about self catering accommodation, I thought I would share a few more of my recommendations for somewhere great to stay.
This blog is about a small hotel on the West Bank of Luxor, the El Mesala.  Run by an Egyptian family, it has the perfect location, right on the banks of the River Nile with direct views of Luxor Temple on the East Bank.



Sit on your balcony and watch the river traffic as it wends it way up or down river while gazing at one of the most impressive monuments of Ancient Egypt.




Hotel El Mesala is currently adding 6 additional rooms, making the total number of rooms at 18. All have individual air conditioning, refrigerator and television.  The rooms are simple, but spotlessly clean.

A new rooftop restaurant is also currently being created and I do have to say the views from the roof are absolutely amazing, virtually the whole of Luxor lies in front of you!  And within the next couple of months there will be a brand new swimming pool for your enjoyment.



They currently have a small restaurant at the front of the building, with excellent egyptian and international food at great prices, and their onion bahjis are simply to die for! They even have a small selection of Indian dishes on the menu.

Give it a try if you are looking for somewhere smaller and more intimate than the large East Bank hotels, a hotel that is just a few minutes walk from the local ferry is a perfect place to combine peace and solitude with all the life that the East Bank has to offer.

Contact us at Spirit of the Nile if you want more information, alternatively check out the website Hotel El Mesala  but please mention Spirit of the Nile in your enquiry.

More small hotels and apartment rentals to come soon....... all personally known to me and highly recommended.




Tuesday, 15 November 2011

11.11.11 in Luxor Temple





Our day in Luxor Temple began around 9am in the morning. West Bank rendevouz for just 4 of us, the rest to meet us outside the Temple entrance.
We had already been told that it would not be possible to join with the Diana Cooper School for their meditation, so I had been busy preparing a couple of hours of meditations and everyone was planning on bringing something with them to share with the others.



2 of the West Bankers had overslept, so it was just 2 of us who caught the ferry across the River Nile. The other 2 were following as quickly as possible.  I had 2 guests here on spiritual tours and they were joining us as well.
We finally made it to the temple, my 2 guests were already inside having a look around, 2 had overslept and 1 was in the bathroom in McDonalds! 2 more had already called to say they were running late lol.
So, it was something of a " ok........ so this will go where it will go" moment. Obviously, the best laid plans were about to go awry!

Off we went, tickets purchased, found my guests and we made our way to the very back of the temple. Many of the guardians know me and were all asking if we wanted to pray..........a combination of my own good self, and the fact that the temple's Sun Court was very busy with the Diana Cooper group. There was also a large group from South Africa there too.... (saw them again on Sunday, when my guests were visiting the Sekhmet Chapel........ we had to wait until they had finished!).

By the time everyone had arrived it was after 10.30am...... so it all turned very relaxed although we did manage to do a little bit of meditation and a couple of readings.  Then it was 11am! We all got comfortable..... and I prepared to guide the meditation.
I do have to admit that I would have loved to have been listening to a guided meditation instead of guiding everyone else, but hey..... the end result is the same.
So we began..... and the temple was almost silent. A few tourists wandered in on us, but left fairly quickly.
There were 8 of us in total....... but just as we reached 11.11am....... 3 ladies eased their way in, sat down and joined with us. And now we were 11!  For myself, even though I was guiding the meditation, I still felt a wonderful sense of peace, and an angelic shower washed over me.

After the meditation we stood in a circle...... joined hands ready to chant an OHM...... when 2 egyptian ladies with 3 children came by.  The children joined us..... laughing and smiling, one of the guardians also joined us.... and we began our circle. We must have done our chant very loudly, as we heard nothing from anywhere else..... maybe we drowned them all out!

Although the day did not turn out as I had planned, in many ways, we were there! We were open and waiting at the moment the energy flowed down..... and we received it.

We ended the day in unity with a small group consisting of English, American, German and Egyptians and 3 lovely children who will be the future of my adopted home. I hope the love they received on Friday, will bring them bright futures and many blessings.

Love, light and blessings to you all.

And many thanks to Helen Bailey...... Egypt Unveiled Photography for her wonderful photographs!



Monday, 14 November 2011

Self Catering Accommodation in Luxor


    West Bank - Al Gezera - Goubli - Balcony  

Are you looking for accommodation in Luxor where you have the freedom to come and go as you please?


If so, we recommend Flats in Luxor for spacious, comfortable apartments on both East and West Banks. Many of the apartments have access to a swimming pool, so after a hard day around the temples and tombs, what better way to relax.   The flats are perfect for a family who love the freedom that an apartment can give.


 Al Gezera Village - West Bank - Balcony   Al Gezera Village - West Bank - Lounge

For more information email us at hazel@spiritofthenile.com  or contact Jane at Flats in Luxor directly, but please mention Spirit of the Nile in your enquiry.

We at Spirit of the Nile, can arrange all your felucca cruises and sightseeing tours with your transport collecting you from any hotel or apartment, East and West Bank, so wherever you choose to stay is convenient for you.
















Friday, 4 November 2011

NMEC museum in Cairo

Al Ahram Weekly. Report on the NMEC museum Cairo

Interesting reading about the ongoing project to develop the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Fustat, Cairo.
I cannot help but notice the final paragraphs setting out the idea of all the Royal Mummies being moved here, "to recreate the experience of visiting the tombs in the Valley of the Kings".  Combine this statement with the intention to build replica tombs on a hill on the West Bank of Luxor in Gurna, and we do have to ask if it will not be long before the Valley of the Kings itself becomes permanently closed to the general public, and only extremely large amounts of money will allow access to visitors.
I personally would not pay large amounts of money to take a holiday here if I could not see the real thing. I can go to Vegas and see a replica of Tut's tomb and have fun in the casinos at the same time!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Living in a cocoon or Universal protection?

As you all know, I now live on the West Bank of Luxor, but I am beginning to think I am living in a parallel universe!

Recently, I seem to live my life saying just a few words such as "really? did it? who?"  I know nothing and I know no-one!!!  I see things posted on forums and internet sites, Facebook and other places and I have no idea what any of it is about!  Snippets of information find their way to me now and again, but its almost always hearsay and everyone else seems to know all the details, but this person living here has wandered around deaf and blind!

Or have I?  Maybe these things........ which are predominately negative are not meant to impact on my life. My life is meant to be happy, joyous and loving and I like it that way. Stress, trauma and negativeness have all been around me at some point or another, but recently they have stayed away. Ok, so I still worry about money, and I guess I will continue to do so until things improve with the tourism situation, but I am still here, still working, still paying my way and everytime I think "something needs to happen"....... something positive always does!

The Universe, the Source, God, the Creator, call it what you will........  keeps my life, in general, happy, joyous and positive.  I have sunshine every day, I have Spirit, I have the River Nile outside my door, I have temples and tombs a few minutes away, Ancient Egypt everywhere I turn. I have Reiki and crystals and the power of the Universe, good friends and wonderful family.  What more do I need?

Elhamdulilah!

Oh and I now have full satellite back!!  They just switched the cable with a dish belonging to an empty flat..... but the cable is still draped over the balcony!

Off now to sort out winter clothes, the nights are getting nippy!

And! Saw the crescent moon last night........ low in the sky and a gorgeous orange colour, I was on the ferry and watching the moon when a shooting star fell right over it!  A magical moment!


Saturday, 29 October 2011

Luxor Reiki

This evening we had our second meeting of the Luxor Reiki Group, although I do have to admit that we did not actually do any Reiki.

We were a small group, due to a few who were unable to attend, (sickness, dodgy dongles and other stuff), but we had a fun time playing with crystals and discussing the forthcoming 11.11.11 and 2012 scenarios!  Possibly a visit to Luxor temple on 11.11.11 to join in a large group meditation! We will see. I am sure we will be exactly where we should be..... the Universe will make sure of that.

Somehow we always manage to go over our allotted time, and we did it again tonight. But hopefully we all learned something.

I do have to say a very special "well done!" to one of our group. You know who you are!  She was doing a simple crystal balancing on one of the girls, and suddenly the healing started to flow.  She is not Reiki attuned, or attuned to any specific healing energies........ but she sure as heck healed!!

Thank you to all who came and here is a reminder of the gorgeous setting we had for our spiritual evening.  Mountains of the West Bank to our right..... the River Nile to the left and the most beautiful sunset and new moon in front of us!




Qantas Travel Alerts | Emergencies

Qantas Travel Alerts | Emergencies

Almost all Qantas flights cancelled ! Ouch!

Official: LE26 bn lost to corruption since outbreak of the revolution

Official: LE26 bn lost to corruption since outbreak of the revolution

So right! Hubby is still trying to renew his driving licence, refusing to pay any money "under the table". He is currently being given the run around by the hospital who are preparing his medical report. Two appointments so far, and two failures! But "money under the table" would have got him a pass whether it was right or not!

He just wants to do things properly.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Satellite cables and "engineers"

Wednesday of last week, my satellite decided not to work anymore.  Subsequent investigations revealed that the holidaying Egyptian in the flat next door had used his own satellite engineer to fix his satellite. In the process he managed to take out all the satellites in the building! No-one had tv anymore except for the wonderful Egyptian channels which are obviously all in arabic!

The said engineer was fetched back, wandered around a bit scratching his head and disappeared, promising to return on Friday. Hmmmmm Friday? Like I believed he would return.

In the meantime I am unable to watch tv in English, hubby was away and I managed to read more books than I have ever done in my life!  The flat is exceptionally clean as well.

Saturday saw the landlord here with his own engineer. This one seemed to know what he was talking about, and apparently someone had been on the roof and messed around with all the cables, so the whole thing needed re-cabling.  And the dishes were being moved from the roof terrace to the roof of the studio apartment. But not on that day.

By yesterday, Wednesday, I was bored of reading, the flat was ultra clean, all ironing done and I threw a strop!

Today, (while being told the engineer would be here at 11am) the engineer arrived at just after 2pm.... ok, not bad for egyptian time. At least it is the same day.  He then proceeded to throw a new cable down from the roof, dropping it down over the balcony above me, and bringing it in through the patio doors! Hey Presto!  I have satellite back!!

But...... the cable....... all the cables are internally fixed into the walls. This one is outside and there is nowhere to bring it in. Now for me, it would make sense to drill a small hole and thread it through, or is that too much to expect?  No....... I now have a rather thick cable descending onto the balcony, tied around the wrought iron railings, draped across the middle of the balcony and in through the open patio door!

So in order to watch tv, we now have to have the door open and have to unplug the satellite so that we can close the door.

Supposedly, this is temporary until the landlord can come and look.  It will be interesting to see how long that actually takes.

Just thought I would also share this felucca convoy picture that I took on Monday while out walking with a friend. We were out for 5 hours..... walked along the River Nile on the West Bank, then cut inland to Esba before heading back through Tod and back down into the village and home.


Monday, 24 October 2011

2012

2012 is almost upon us, with its Mayan prophecies of the "end of the world".
Next month is a unique opportunity when worlds begin to converge. 11.11.11 is the start of big changes according to many.
What does this all mean?  I have no answers, but many believe they do.
On a spiritual level it is claimed that 11.11.11 is the beginning of true spiritual enlightenment.
All over the world there are mass meditations being held to tap into the new consciousness that is there for us.
Here in Luxor, the Diana Cooper School is holding a meditation in Luxor Temple. In Giza others are planning a mass meditation at the Pyramids. In Sedona in the States, Mexico, Peru........ all the ancient places of ancient civilisations....  People are coming together to bring light to the world.
We are all aware, (from our own daily lives, the news we read and watch on tv, the general feelings of materialism and often despair) that things need to change. We need to find our way back to loving life itself and not worry about material things.
For me, I have learned to live without many of the things I considered necessary for a happy life. As you know, tourism in Egypt has suffered during 2011 and that includes myself. Money flow dried up...... but have I starved?  No! Do I still have a comfortable roof over my head? Yes! Am I just as in love with this country as before? Yes!
Later today, I am going on a long walk...... along the banks of the River Nile and around through the villages. I will count my blessings that all this is for free, given to me by "The One", whoever that "One" may be.

2012? 11.11.11? What do they mean? Will my life change? Can I be ready and prepared to accept whatever they bring?

I regularly receive emails from the TUT Adventurers Club, operated by Mike Dooley.  He has just released a new dvd about 2012. These are a few of his words about 2012

"Before us lies the most exciting time in recorded history. As a species we’re about to cross a threshold that’s never been crossed before – from darkness into light. Being here, now, was of our own choosing – the adventure called to you, the challenges tempted you, and the possibilities left you utterly breathless – for what might happen and for what might not happen; for the heartbreaking and for the paradise making. 

The future is ours to shape, though there’s been plenty of reason to anticipate the worst in terms of global upheaval and chaos. Recently, however, there are unmistakable signs that due to a shifting of consciousness, the potential for calamity has been lessened. More and more people are asking the hard questions and discovering they have clear and simple answers—answers that reveal their power, their divinity, and ultimately, their responsibilities. In the coming months and years, it will be those who understand what’s really happening and who respond swiftly to the changing times, that will be richly rewarded as they learn how to deliberately engage life’s magic, live lives of love, and revel in their role as natural born creators.

You are powerful, it is time –"

Do they resonate with you? 


The dvd is for sale and I am sure that it will be excellent. There is a link on the right hand side of your screen.






Thursday, 20 October 2011

Egypt's Nile cruises docked, awaiting tourism recovery

Interesting article from Al Ahram on the state of tourism in Aswan. Obviously what is happening there is being replicated here. No cruise boats in Aswan means none in Luxor either.

Quote
"Long an autumn tourism hotspot, Aswan is seeing only a trickle of foreign visitors in the wake of the revolution, leaving many workers anxious about their future livelihoods
Reuters, Thursday 20 Oct 2011
Aswan cruise
Traditional Egyptian 'Felucca' boats sail on the Nile river in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan.(Photo: Reuters)



The newly launched Al-Hambra cruise ship sailed only twice on the Nile before President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February and has been docked since then on the banks of the river, its plush fittings gathering dust awaiting the return of tourists.

Aswan, the site of majestic pharaonic ruins and one of the most famous stops on Egypt's Nile cruises, has few of the tourists who normally throng its tree-lined river banks. Instead, dozens of ships are moored waiting for customers.

Of the more than 300 cruise liners usually touring this section of the world's longest river, part of a tourist industry that is a major source of revenue in Egypt, not more than 40 are still setting sail, operators say.

"I'm keeping the boat open just to pay salaries, but not to make profit because that's not going to happen anytime soon," Albert Zakaria, manager of one of the operating cruises, Beau Soleil, moored behind the deserted ship, told Reuters.

Like many, Zakaria accepts he has to pay the bills and salaries even without revenues, so as to be ready once tourists return. He is not sure when that will be.

Tourist numbers have plummeted, dealing a blow to the millions of Egyptians whose livelihoods depend on the 14 million or more visitors who once came to Egypt annually, providing one in eight jobs in a country beset by high unemployment.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt dropped by more than a third in the second quarter of 2011 compared to last year. Some 2.2 million people visited Egypt in the second quarter of this year, down from 3.5 million in the same period in 2010.

In Aswan, in the far south of the country, high season doesn't usually start until fall when the weather is cooler.

Some tourists are returning but many cancelled after 25 people were killed in a fresh burst of violence in Cairo, when Christians protesting about an attack on a church near Aswan clashed with police.

"Tourism is dead. Thank God we still have jobs but every time we think it will get better, some catastrophe hits us," said Moustafa Ahmed, a hotel waiter, lamenting that tensions that erupted this week started over a row in the village of Marinab, just 150 km (90 miles) north.

Tourism is Egypt's top foreign currency earner, accounting for over a tenth of gross domestic product. The Tourism Ministry has said most arrivals now head to beach destinations.

The hotel occupancy rate in Aswan is now hovering around 15 per cent while cruise ships are at 30 per cent, said Abdel Nasser Saber, head of the Tour Guide's Syndicate of Aswan. They would normally expect to be full or even over-booked.

The tourism sector has been suffering since the uprising that ousted Mubarak in February, with brief months of relative relief, but matters won't improve, residents in Aswan say, until Egypt is stable and finished with its transition.

"This is a stark improvement from before. There have been long months when there was no one at all. Any clashes and spilled blood is going to keep the state of tourism like this," he said. "We have to take the effort to calm potential tourists and get these elections over and done with."

Egypt's ruling military council has scheduled parliamentary elections to start on 28 November for a staggered four-months-long vote but no date for the presidential vote has been set yet and serious haggling continues between opposition groups and the military over the process for transition.

Frequent protests and labour strikes, an eruption of sectarian tension and a lack of evident security is the complaint of many of the sector's employees.

"If you drop a dark spot into a glass of milk, you probably won't want to drink it. There has been no accident involving a tourist, but not everyone is ready to put themselves at risk in a country going through transition," said Maged Nader, manager of the Sonesta Cruise boat.

"With poor management by authorities and the continuity of chaos, a lot of people are losing faith in the revolution," Nader said, whose boat is now luckily running with 60 percent occupancy after Sonesta Cruise merged its lines.

Wide-spread disappointment among regular Egyptians with the way the military is handling the transition is also giving rise to concerns that civilians won't be taking over power soon.

"The idea of military rule scares tourists. Most of these worries will continue until the presidential vote and civilians take over," said Farid Farah, General Manager of Nubian Travel, warning "when tourism stops, everything does with it."

Tourists who have come say they aren't that worried.

"My friends told me not to go when they found out I was coming to Egypt but I told them I see no reason not to come here. Egyptians need our help and this is one way to do it," said Carrisse Young, 32-year-old American tourist.

"I haven't felt unsafe at all. Everyone is very friendly and we are having a fantastic time," said Young, who arrived the day after this week's clashes. She is like many tourists in the city, who were tempted by cheap rates and bargain prices.

Budget tourists don't bring in the same revenues, however. Tourist guides say they are less interested in expanding their travel plans and don't always tip well. Guides complain they get few customers. Some work once a month, if at all.

Any staff that join hotels and other places of business during high season have lost their source of income. For many more, their employers can't always pay their salaries.

"Salaries are sometimes late, because I pay when I have the money. We are all patient because there is nothing we can do at this point but the problem is we can't project when this dry spell will end," Beau Soleil's Zakaria said.

Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said in April he saw a rebound by the last quarter of the year, even if it still meant a 25 percent fall in revenues from 2010.

But that would be if there were no disruptions, workers in the sector say. After Sunday's clashes, nine of Zakaria's booked cabins cancelled their reservations.

Labour strikes and frequent protests are not popular here.

"People have to calm down and let the country regain its strength. Our economy is collapsing and if we keep going like this, we will have nothing -- no state -- left to fight for," said Bahaa Rabiey Mohamed, 26-year old salesman in Aswan's empty bazaar, where he now gets little or no business.

Ayman Tahano, a 42-year-old working with a free traders association for the Aswan bazaar echoed the sentiment.

"All these protests for pay hikes are absurd. They are taking all the money the government has and without working for it. They waited 30 years -- can't they wait six more months?" he complained, referring to the three decades Mubarak was in power.

"I told my children's school teacher who is striking for a higher wage that if this keeps up, I think we are going to have to rob them because they are getting cash from the government while I'm sure not getting any income from anywhere," Tahano said, bursting into a laugh."

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A pyramid in an English shire

I have been reading a book about Lord Nelson and discovered that my local stately home, Thoresby Hall has a pyramid in its grounds!  It is called Nelsons Pyramid and commemorates the Battle of the Nile.


Thoresby Hall is now a hotel and spa complex, but it is the family seat of the Pierrepont family and my own grandmother was in service there as a young girl. My great grandfather was a carpenter on the estate and they lived in the estate village, Perlethorpe in the early part of the 20th century.





The pyramid itself is about 12 feet high, and was built in 1799. English and French ships involved in the Battle of the Nile,  are listed on each side of the entrance, together with details of guns and casualties.




So it seems not only am I linked to Thoresby through my families work, but also because of my love of all things Egyptian!



And I never knew, and I have never seen it!


Credit to Stephen Richard Aizlewood for the use of his photographs.

Back to blogging!

After a busy and sometimes weird few weeks, its time to get my blogging on the road again.

We have had a good few weeks with regard to business.  Not anywhere near back to normal, but its looking good and we are eating at least! Luxor is starting to come back to life, slowly but surely.

We have also had some wonderful visitors on the felucca and some great days with them on the River Nile, here in Luxor.

Fishing has recently been the order of the day and Saeed is now the very proud owner of a "real quality" fishing rod and tackle.  But he never got a chance to play with it before a guest beat him to it!  We had a full day out on Saturday, moored up at Bird Island while the crew got on with finishing off the cooking (meat tagine with all the trimmings, yummy). Obviously there is a small walk around we can do while waiting to eat, but the island is small and the fish were swimming around the boat.  So out came the rod and tackle!  In half an hour or so one of the men must have caught at least 12-15 small fish! He was trying to get some of the bigger ones that were close by, but they were having none of it and stayed well away from the bait.   Fortunately Saeed was able to have a quick fishing session while we ate the gorgeous food they had prepared.

This is the one that got away!


So a huge thank you to Terry!!  One of our amazing guests who gave the rod as a gift following a couple of days out fishing with Saeed.  It will be well used and next time you are all here, the fish dinner is on us!

So I guess we can now offer fishing days as an extra.

I am sorry I do not have photos....... I really should take my camera out with me every time!! I will do so in the future!

In the meantime........ what is it about mosquitos that means they only attack me?? Its the middle of the day, I am inside with the door closed and there is just one of them buzzing me!!

And!  My neighbours are building, maybe for the family or maybe to rent or sell.

Fortunately my view will not be obscured as the work is just to the left of me....



Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Eva News........ cruising the River Nile

I love this travel report about Nile cruising.  You can see the pyramids from a grotesque cruise boat sailing between Aswan and Luxor and rooms are sufficiently small. Local feluccas with amenities almost like those of the cruise ships!!  Not on my felucca lol.

But read for yourself...... copy and pasted below..... link at the end.  Love it!


Ever been to a magical cruise? Then the Nile cruise is the only fabulous and official cruise that can take you around the uncharted waters of the Nile.The romantic and hassle free Nile cruises are sure to take you in a relaxing and pleasant cruise in your life.
This is the only Nile cruise that is a typical floating boat and hotel in per se en se in the entire world. Other marvelous amenities do exist like spotless lounges, bars, swimming pool, discotheques, and gift shops. The rooms in the Nile cruise are sufficiently small with and amazing air conditioning amenities to ensure that your air is pure and sufficient .
Rooms have TV , twin beds, private shower, dresser. There exist varying standards for rooms, which are acknowledged by stars. High-ranking cruiser rooms are spacious with gorgeous amenities rivaling those of the international standards. A test of a single Nile cruise will testify that there is no cruise equal to the Nile cruise.
Nile cruise is romantic,awesome and grotesque to say but the least. They can accommodate large corporate clients as well as family or individual expedition. What is uniquely amazing about the Nile cruise is the deep and rich Egyptian history as entailed in the Pharaohs antecedent. A normal cruise will take an average of 3 or nights.
Along the Luxor and Aswan dam you will be able to see the most amazing historical artifacts including the great pyramids of Egypt. Depending on your test and favorites, you can either chose the luxury cruiser of the local feluccas whose amenities are almost like those of the cruise ships. Feluccas amenities are basic but one get to enjoy the sites at the close up level than those onboard the cruise ships. So, save a dollar and welcome to the unique fallacies Nile cruises.
Orbital for your Nile Cruise you can be assured that your nile cruise holiday will meet your highest expectations. We visit all the Nile Cruisers regularly and insist that all aspects of travel egypt meet our very high standards.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Turmoil in the Supreme Council of Antiquities??

Staff of the SCA are continuing to protest for permanent contracts etc. But is the apparent turmoil as bad as it appears to be? The "lovely" Nevine...... previously the voice of Zahi Hawass gives us this report.  No money in the coffers, ill health being given as a reason for resignation. Are we being primed for the return of Zahi?

Political battle rages around Egypt's antiquities

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

James Watt: Rediscovering Luxor

Wonderful blog from the British Ambassador in Cairo, Egypt
Very positive and appreciative of the economic problems Luxor is facing.

Thank you Sir

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Lapis Lazuli, Egypt and snippets


I have been working on my crystal workshops and decided to share just a few titbits with you.  I hope you enjoy!

Anyone with any interest in Ancient Egypt will know that the crystal Lapis Lazuli was a much sought after stone.

Pharoahs made good use of it in amulets, statues and jewellery, seeing its brilliant blue colour as a sign of power and protection.  They used ground lapis lazuli as a colour base for the paintings they produced in temples and tombs, and also used it as an eye adornment.

Pharoah was considered divine, and to use lapis lazuli was to initiate divine communication, thereby endowing the user with divine understanding and mental facilities. 



Lapis Lazuli has been found at pre-dynastic settlements, including that of Naqada, circa 3300-3100BC.
It is associated with the sky goddess Nut and Ma’at, the goddess of truth and justice. It is also claimed that the sun god Ra, had hair made of Lapis Lazuli.
Its Ancient Egyptian name is Khesbed.

The stone has also been used in medicine.  As indicated in a medical papyrus located in the Berlin Museum, the stone, along with malachite and jasper, were strung together and hung about the neck of a child suffering from a nasal illness. 

The Ebers Papyrus, dated from about 1600 BC, contains a formula for a medicine used to cure cataracts of the eye, and this includes lapis lazuli, milk and slime from the Nile (also called "crocodile earth"). The Ancient Egyptians, Sumerians and Babylonians also gave the stone credit for relieving neuralgia and head pains.
Other tales speak of gifts of lapis lazuli cementing the fidelity of friends, and dreaming of Lapis denoting a successful affair of the heart.

Judges in Ancient Egypt had to wear small lapis lazuli pendants of Maat on gold chains, as a sign of the responsibility of their office. If you wished to call upon one of these goddesses, you placed a piece of lapis lazuli as an offering on your altar.

Astrologically, Lapis Lazuli is associated with Sagittarius.  It is under the influence of the planet Venus and represents the 4th hour of the night.

When working with Lapis Lazuli in crystal healing treatments, it is a versatile tool, allowing us to work on the third eye and throat chakras.  It treats migraine headaches, throat, larynx, thyroid and thymus problems.  It also helps in the treatment of bone marrow problems, insomnia and vertigo.
On a spiritual level it assists in Stargate work and spiritual journeying. It gives deep peace, provides protection, blocks psychic attack and amplifies thoughts.  It expands the senses by opening the third eye, connecting heart and head to create balance.

Lapis Lazuli is linked with Archangel Michael (strength, protection and truth), Raziel (knowledge, chief angel of the Supreme Mysteries) and Zadkiel (abundance, wisdom and kindness).

In addition, from a Feng Shui point of view, Lapis Lazuli brings skills and knowledge when placed according to the Feng Shui principles.

In Buddhism, the “Medicine Buddha” is the Buddha responsible for healing and medicine.  His title is Medicine Master and King of Lapis Lazuli Light.

In 1669, according to William Rowland, translator of The Complete Chemical Dispenstory, the stone “purgeth chiefly melancholy, cures quartans, apoplexies, epilepsies, diseases of the spleen, and many forms of dementia. It is worn about the neck for an amulet to drive away frights from children; it strengthens the sight, prevents fainting, and abortion, but it must be removed near the time of delivery lest it keep up the child."

And finally, for the football fans among us, the first World Cup trophy was made of gold plated sterling silver and lapis lazuli. Sadly it was stolen (for the second time) in 1983 and has never been recovered. Its replacement uses malachite instead of lapis lazuli, still staying with the ancient traditions.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The endless mysteries of the pyramids

The endless mysteries of the pyramids

Interesting article from the Washington Post. Sacred Seven is alive and kicking in the many theories that abound.

So will we ever know the true purpose of a pyramid? What did it represent? Which of the theories will turn out to be the correct one?

Will traditional egyptologists win the day, or will the alternatives manage to prove their theories?


Friday, 9 September 2011

visa changes update

Now the visa changes are being looked at again, as tourism officials question the new rules.

While I agree that Egypt must be one of only a few countries in the world where a visa can be obtained on arrival, it has to make the visa application process easier.

It also needs to address the lack of any alternative to a tourist visa extension for the many thousands of foreigners living in Egypt, who do not meet the rather strict residency criteria. Residency is not citizenship, it is merely the authority to live in Egypt and lasts for 5 years, renewable. It does not entitle the holder of said visa to work.  Work permits are an entirely separate issue.

It would be interesting to see if enough foreign "residents" on tourist visas could get together to try to get amendments to the Residency Visa criteria and allow the tourist visa to remain just that...... a visa for short term tourists.

http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/other-top-stories/egypts-new-tourist-visa-policy-raises-concern.html

Sharm el Sheikh - the new Ibiza??

Love this report on Youm 7 English news site.

Apparently Sharm will be the new Ibiza and this lucky hotelier has 107% occupancy!!  I am so happy I am not staying there, where are the excess guests sleeping? Sofas in reception?

http://english.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=344499&SecID=12&IssueID=149

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

An Empty Abydos Temple, Egypt and a missing highway!




Last week I had the great pleasure to spend the day in Abydos, Egypt. This is the site of the Cenotaph Temple of Seti 1 and also his son Ramses 2.
Outside Seti 1 temple
For me, its a magical place and no other temple has the same spiritual feeling as this one. For the egyptologist tourists amongst us, its wonderfully preserved with the most exquisite reliefs on the walls.

Seti 1 temple
Ramses 2 temple
Humanised Djed Pillar


The walk across the desert to the smaller Cenotaph Temple of Ramses 2 brings us to a more ruined temple, but with such wonderful colours it is hard to leave.





Our journey began in the early morning with a drive up the East Bank road, through Qena heading towards the barrage  bridge at Naga Hammadi.  However, things did not go quite as planned. Our drive to Naga Hammadi was without incident, but at Naga Hammadi, things changed.

On the track to the new bridge
The old bridge is in the background
They have built a new bridge over the River Nile here, to replace the ageing barrage bridge. Ok, great! A new bridge to cross, and from a distance it looked like a wonderful bridge! But how to get there?
The only road was a small track running alongside the river and the police directed us along that track. So we bumped along, wondering how the big tour coaches and articulated lorries coped with it. Not to mention the people who live alongside this track. I imagine it was a very peaceful place to live, but it is obvious that the track will be widened and the houses will be demolished and these people will lose their land and their homes.

After 10 minutes we arrived at the new bridge.

There is small evidence that there will be a new access road to the bridge, but it is not there yet, just a sandy track leads us onto the bridge itself.  At that point we could not see the other side of the bridge but as we drove over the brow of the bridge, um.......... the road stopped after the end of the asphalt of the bridge. Another track leading to a t-junction.  Left or right? Toss a coin?  We spot a few men in the distance to the left, so we head that way to ask directions.  Not a good egyptian trait, asking directions is admitting they don't know something. But they send us on our way, another t-junction and take a right. But......... a young man on a motorbike is frantically indicating that we follow him........ to the left.  A decision is taken to take the right that the older man told us to take.

I have no idea where we ended up, but the villages that we passed through were full of confused faces at the "tourists" driving through their village.

But eventually we found the "high"road and quickly arrived in Abydos and had a wonderful day wandering in peace and quiet.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Thomson Holidays - scaremongering for profit!

Some friends of mine were here on holiday last week on a package booked with Thomson Holidays UK.

In their pre-holiday literature was one of the worse cases of scaremongering I have yet come across with regard to holidays in Egypt.

Basically they said


"the Foreign Office has instructed British tourists not to book excursions in Luxor except through representatives of their UK tour company."


I am appalled by this blatant lie!  There is nothing on the Foreign Office travel advise stating anything of the sort!  It is simply to line the pockets of the tour company and its reps! 


My friends spent a week in the Sheraton watching pretty much all the other holiday makers staying in the hotel unless they were on a Thomson coach!  They themselves had a brilliant holiday, all under their own steam and without any incidents whatsoever!  I met up with them twice, once at Snacktime overlooking Abu Haggag Square on Friday, immediately after Friday prayers...... and again for dinner and drinks on Monday night on the West Bank.  They loved Luxor and were upset that so many other tourists were not enjoying their holidays as they were too scared to go out of the hotel.


There is a link to the Trip Advisor hotel review that they did where you can see in Ben's own words what he thinks.


http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294205-d301831-r116958947-Sheraton_Luxor_Resort-Luxor_Nile_River_Valley.html 


Please share this with everyone you know, especially if they are planning a holiday to Egypt! They need to know this is a blatant lie!



Thursday, 4 August 2011

Spirit of the Nile Website

Finally, my new website is live. It still needs a few tweaks here and there, but all the new packages are now available and online.

Egypt Unveiled Photography
Spirit of the Nile Website

Whatever your needs are while you are in Luxor, Egypt we will do OUR best to provide YOU with the very best.

We are now offering spiritual tours and workshops, in addition to the felucca packages and sightseeing packages.

Egypt Unveiled Photography
If you have any special requests, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

We are not including external flights or hotels, so that you can have the freedom to choose a package holiday or independent travel. We can however, help with smaller hotel bookings or independent apartment rentals if required.

Egypt Unveiled Photography




We are also looking at working closely with a local photographer to offer courses on a daily or weekly basis and have access to egyptology courses for those who do not wish to partake of the spiritual aspects. A perfect solution for a couple with different interests!

We hope you find the time to check out the website. Please contact us if you require any further information.


Egypt Unveiled Photography


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Trip Advisor Listing!

I am so happy! Finally I got a listing on Trip Advisor under Things to Do, Attractions! I had help and the listing is being changed to reflect all that I now do, but its on there and available for review!

Please if anyone reading this has sailed on Spirit or taken a tour with us,  could I ask you to write a review for me?

Spirit of the Nile - Trip Advisor


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Reiki and Chronic Pain

dGreat article here about the use of Reiki to treat chronic pain.  I personally confirm that using my own Reiki following abdominal hysterectomy a few years ago helped me to heal quickly, minimise pain and be able to leave the hospital sooner than normal.  Why not come to Luxor, Egypt and start on your own Reiki path. Learn how to use this amazing energy for yourself and for others.

Can Reiki help your chronic pain?


The practice of Reiki sounds almost too good to be true. By "laying on hands" on specific parts of your body or even just positioning hands slightly above your body, a qualified Reiki practitioner can help bring relief to your chronic pain and make you feel better than you have in years. It is an ancient Japanese technique and a form of alternative medicine also sometimes referred to as a "biofield" therapy.
In alternative medicine, Reiki is a treatment in which healing energy is channeled from the practitioner to the patient to enhance energy and reduce stress, pain, and fatigue. Practitioners say that it works by opening up a channel between healer and patient to transfer energy — a Reiki healer restores the body both physically and mentally.
During a Reiki session, muscles are relaxed, and energy flow is unblocked. This helps reduce physical tension and pain. Anxiety and stress also are reduced, helping to unblock and release emotional pain. Although you may not be completely pain-free, you feel relaxed, refreshed, and better able to cope with your condition.
Reiki and Chronic Pain: What the Research Shows
Though Reiki may sound very "new-agey," the effectiveness of this ancient treatment has been shown in some studies. "A [recent] issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine reviewed 66 clinical trials on biofield therapies," says Julie Kusiak, MA, a Reiki practitioner in the integrative medicine department at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. The authors of the review concluded that there was strong evidence that biofield therapies help reduce the intensity of pain in general and moderate evidence that these therapies help reduce the intensity of pain for people who are hospitalized or who have cancer, Kusiak says.
In addition, Kusiak says, a separate review article of 24 studies also showed that touch therapies were successful in reducing pain. This review article noted that the studies involving Reiki therapy seemed to have the most success.
When Reiki is examined for its impact on more specific types of pain, the results seem to hold up equally well. "Recent studies on Reiki therapy reflect a broad spectrum of its benefit for pain relief," says Kusiak. "During colonoscopy, Reiki treatment resulted in decreased anxiety and pain. With abdominal hysterectomies, the women who had Reiki therapy both before and after their procedures experienced lower anxiety and pain. Cancer patients being treated with Reiki reported lower fatigue, less pain, less anxiety, and better quality of life. And in a community of older adults, those who received Reiki therapy were documented to have reduced pain, anxiety, and depression."
Another plus about Reiki, adds Kusiak, is that it seems to be effective with very few side effects. "No serious side effects or risks have been identified in the medical literature on Reiki, and it is considered to be a very low-risk intervention," she says. "Since Reiki is facilitated either with a very light touch or with no touch — slightly off the body — it provides a therapeutic option for those who are in pain or unable to be touched."
Finding a Reiki Practitioner for Chronic Pain
If you're interested in finding a qualified practitioner of this alternative medicine, you can start by looking at Web sites such as The International Center for Reiki Training and Reiki Masters. However, Kusiak points out that standardization of the practice of Reiki is lacking in the United States, so your best bet might be to get a good reference and do some research on potential practitioners that you might be interested in.
"National standards are lacking for Reiki and other biofield therapies, so a key factor to consider would be the practitioner's level of experience and training," she says. "Ask them if they have an understanding of and experience treating your particular health concern. With serious medical concerns, you may need a practitioner who is affiliated with an integrative medicine program. Finally, as with any therapy, one needs to feel comfortable with the practitioner."