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!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Engagements, Red Sea and Buses

I just spent a couple of days in Hurghada with my daughter and her man. I was delighted to learn that the day before I imposed myself upon them, he had proposed to her!  Wonderful news! It's times like this that I miss being in the UK. I could have been planning a wedding with her, buying dresses etc etc and generally having a great mum/daughter time together.
But I am here, in the country that has become my second home, and I will be going home as soon as I can and will definitely be there in plenty of time to buy my "mother of the bride" outfit!

Hurghada surprised me, the hotel was lovely with a great beach right outside my balcony. I had an amazing view of the Red Sea, almost being able to dangle my fingers in the water from the balcony. We didn't do much, except spend time together, but hey...... it was all about that, not sunbathing or shopping.

I did have an interesting journey there. I decided to get the bus, but made the unfortunate mistake of booking the Upper Egypt service rather than the Superjet.

The bus left Luxor at 7am on the dot! Brilliant I thought, on time!  Hmmmm a bit presumptive of me.  By 7.45am, I could see the skyline of Qena in the distance, bang on time, and this was after we had picked up sundry bus company workers going to the depot in Qena. Then we hit Qena! A large detour around the city found us in the bus depot fuelling station, where we were filled up with fuel, with all the passengers sitting on the bus. Once we had done that, we headed back into Qena to yet another depot where we were thoroughly hosed down..... again with all of us still sitting on the bus. Once clean, we were joined by a man with an extremely large bus tyre who managed to get the said tyre on the bus and off we went..... to yet another depot to deposit the man and his tyre there.
Finally, some 2 hours after arriving in Qena, we left and headed for the Eastern Desert road to Hurghada. A brief 15 minute stop for toilets at 85kilo cafe, and we were off again. My nearest neighbour passengers were 4 German people who were heading for Safaga.  Why did I get a bad feeling about this?
We reached the end of the desert road, with Safaga directly in front of us, but we turned right and headed towards El Quseir, drove for about 20 minutes before taking a small road which doubled back towards Safaga. Ok I thought, the bus station must be this end of town. Minutes later we were in yet another bus depot being refuelled and hosed down. The nice German people asked if that was where they needed to get off the bus........they got an emphatic "no! Stay!"   So they did.
We returned to the main coast road, fully expecting to turn into Safaga itself but the bus bowled its way past Safaga towards Hurghada. I was a tad concerned, so spoke to the Germans, who had no idea of where they were, and they spoke again to the driver. He had forgotten them! And then he wanted to just leave them in the middle of nowhere so they could take a taxi back to Safaga.  Eventually, we turned around and took them to the outskirts of Hurghada and left them to get a taxi from there.

I eventually arrived in Hurghada at 2pm, some 7 hours after leaving Luxor!  Needless to say, I returned on the Superjet bus, 4 hours door to door almost!

Just one of those stories that we just shrug off here in Egypt,  We would go insane if we didn't learn to just "go with the flow"



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Feluccas on the Nile






This week has been another busy week, but a fun one!
During the past week, I and my regular Egyptology guide have become more than a familiar sight at various temples and tombs, but I missed out on sailing as I got double booked and had to do Karnak Temple instead of sailing the Nile!  What a choice to make....... both are experiences I love, but needs must and one set of guests happily sailed on Felucca Spirit without me, and the other guests spent a happy afternoon in Karnak and Luxor temples.
Of course, I was pretty happy too!

So because I had to miss out on sailing, I had a nosey around my pictures and found a small video I made some time ago and I would like to share it with you now.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mythology in Egypt

I am currently over halfway through a course in Greek and Roman Mythology. I am doing it for fun as it is something I am very interested in.  It's hard work getting back to the whole study thing, and having to write an academic essay for the first time in over 40 years really tested me to the limit! But I did it, and did well!

During this course there have been lots of things that I have learned that link in very nicely with my love of Egypt and the religion and rituals of the Pharoahs.

As we all know, gods and goddesses abound in Ancient Egypt, and I was very surprised at the number of myths, such as the creation story, that are very similar in Egyptian, Greek and Roman myths.  Amazingly so!

Not only Ancient Egyptian myths are cropping up time and time again, but also many of today's traditional and cultural practices here in Egypt. Greek traditions of Xenia (hospitality) is widely practiced here in Upper Egypt, even to this day.

So my mission once I have finished this course is to spend some time learning more about the similarities and seeing how I can incorporate all this into my tours and into my spiritual practices here in Luxor.

So be prepared to be bombarded at some point with some extra titbits of information about Ancient Egyptian myth.

Yesterday was amusing, my guide and I were back at Hatshepsut temple and Deir El Medina for the second day in a row! I am having so much fun though, and I am learning a lot from the excellent guide I am now using on a regular basis. Well, I do use other excellent guides, but like all of us, I have my favourites. I am even understanding hieroglyphics and can read one or two as well!  Before that we had a wonderful discussion with another tour guide about the work of David Rohl and the Exodus! Our guests loved it, 2 egyptologists and me having a major debate outside the tomb of Ramses 3.

Now, its back to work! Karnak temple in the morning with lovely guests!
See you all later!



Thursday, 25 October 2012

Where did the time go?

It's now almost the end of October 2012 and I am wondering where this year has gone?

Its been busy year, in one way or another, some good, some not so good, but hardly ever boring!

I do apologise for being away from blogging for the last few months, I have no excuse.

So, a brief rundown and catch up on me and my life in Luxor.

The new apartment is lovely, I am very happy here and finally the weather is cooler so I can get out into the garden. This week has been a busy week, with lots of clearing, strimming and pruning. Its looking good out there, and hopefully the work will mean the trees and plants will become much lusher over the next few months. Dead wood gone, bare branches pared back, grass cut and the palm trees got a haircut!  Hard work but very satisfying.

Business has been hit and miss, but the guests I have had have all be absolutely fabulous! I have had a lot of fun with all of them and hopefully made a few new friends.

Some friends have visited, and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself with them. Great times!

My broken wrist is all healed, except for a bit of soreness from time to time. It was fun trying to do everything myself (stubborn so and so that I am), but I also want to thank everyone who helped me out in many different ways. I had one treasure in particular and my heartfelt thanks go to him, even though he will never read this.

Ramadan came and went. That was hard, business was non-existent, so money was tight, but we got through it and came out of the other end fighting.

I have to admit to getting extremely bored while there was no work, so I signed up for an online course in Greek and Roman mythology. I am halfway through it, and I have read the Odyssey for only the second time in my life, written an essay for the first time in 40 years (still waiting for evaluation on that one lol) and I am now about to start reading Hesiod's Theogony.  Its all fascinating stuff, and I am learning a lot, and its great to be able to link the Egyptian myths and legends, gods and goddesses with the things I am learning now.

I have one more week of the luxury of taking my time over the study, then I am busy again with work for a little while

I am looking forward to the Winter Solstice, when I hope to be at the amazing Karnak temple, and I am thinking about 12.12.12 and what to do to mark that auspicious occasion. Suggestions on a postcard please lol.

So on that note, I think I have brought everyone up to date and I promise to try to update my blog more frequently.

(Note to self: Get batteries for the camera in order to post photos!)

And finally I want to say Happy Eid to everyone! Muslim or non-muslim. A celebration is for everyone to share and I hope that tomorrow's muslim feast helps to bring peace to the world.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Rababah Community Centre, Tod, Luxor, Egypt

Although I have not yet been to look at this great project, I love what I have heard about it. They are currently looking for books to stock their brand new "public" library. English, Arabic, dictionaries, fairy tales, childrens books, adult books......... anything and everything.  So this is a plea for help,donations of any books you don't want anymore, or cheap second hand books that you would be happy to donate.

Below is a precis of the work Rababah are doing (Rababah is run by Kris and Lydie Huybrechts of StarGazing, Luxor)


About

Rababah Community Centre - Tod, Egypt
Description
Established in 2003, Live is Beautiful was started with the intention of helping the people of Egypt. Together with the local community we decided to open a school in Tod, because we believe that education is the key to a better life. We rented a house and volunteers made three classrooms in which we offered free extra lessons to children and adults. The classes were such a success that the bui
lding soon became too small so we looked into the possibility of building our own place. The city of Luxor donated a plot of land and Belgium Architecture students drew the plans for a school/community centre. In 2010 we layed the first brick of Rababah.

Today three classrooms are ready and Rababah is a warm inviting place for the whole community of Tod. In the early morning there is a kindergarden which is run by mothers. During the afternoon the school is open for all children up to the age of 14 who can get their extra lessons in Arabic, Mathematics, English and History. In the evenings young adults have their English classes.

On the 1st September 2012 we will open, together with Planaterra Foundation, a public library which is the first of it's kind in Upper Egypt. Apart from books, it will host a quiet area and it will offer reading classes.

There is a Facebook page and it would be great if anyone using Facebook would "like" the page





Sunday, 29 July 2012

Catch up

So, it's been a while and lots has been happening here in sunny, hot Luxor!

I guess it all started when I broke my arm....... now that kind of put me out of action until I got the hang of doing things one handed. I got quite inventive too!

Just a couple of weeks after I had the accident, I was offered the chance to move into a lovely apartment. In the space of a week, I accepted, packed, moved and began the one handed unpacking. I impressed myself! I say began the unpacking, because it has taken me a month to actually open all the boxes, some of which had not been opened when we moved to the last apartment. Lol, that was only meant to be for 3 months, so I only unpacked the necessities....... that 3 months lasted just over a year!

I am sure sure anyone in Ramla will now know me as the crazy lady with a left arm plastered from shoulder to fingers, dragging a heavy suitcase in her right hand, a large holdall balanced precariously on said suitcase and a large bag slung over her right shoulder......  It was fun! I had to bring stuff to the new place (fortunately just around the corner), empty it and take the cases back to be refilled. The 2 of us moved pretty much everything except the big furniture this way!  The furniture came on the ubiquitous donkey and cart!  Loved it!

The day before we moved, a friend arrived from the UK. Needless to say, he was co-opted onto the "moving team"....... Thanks Lee!! Love ya loads!  Luckily he was here for 2 weeks, staying at the Hotel El Mesala and once we were actually in the new aparment, I could spend some time with him sightseeing.  We didn't do too much as it is very hot now, but we had a great day in Abydos and another day we went to Esna temple and managed a pyramid hunt as well.  Yes Suzie, we saw the Al Khula and Edfu pyramids!  Shame we never looked for the Abydos one.
We also had a great day watching the Abu Haggag moulid from the comfort of the Snacktime balcony... decent food, cold drinks and the fun of the moulid!

Things are quiet again now, the plaster is off my arm, although almost 2 weeks later and it is still swollen and sore,  but every day sees an improvement and I can do most things now.

We are now just over a week into Ramadan, and I am enjoying it, although not fasting myself. In many ways, I like Ramadan, the streets are quiet during the day, and there is a great atmosphere in the evenings after iftar.

So, that's my quick catch up!

Just one picture to show you.......... yes, its a pyramid that is not in Lower Egypt!  Its between Esna and Efdu at Al Khula....... and of course, that's me with my wonderful blue sling!



Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Trials, tribulations and tears of laughter

A few of you may know that I recently managed to find the only puddle of water laying on the floor of a local restaurant, resulting in one of those cartoon-like scenes where the feet decide they would prefer to be in the air, but fail miserably and only manage to reach knee height while sending the rest of the body slamming to the ground backwards.  Elhamdulilah, I only broke my lower arm, and the treatment I received at the hands of the local Egyptian hospital was second to none.

I would like to say, at this point, a huge thank you to one of the felucca boys, who never left my side the whole day long, the taxi who drove me to the hospital leaving without my knowledge and without asking for one piastre, and a good Egyptian friend who took such good care of me, even after the "other half" had been tracked down.  The said "other half" has also been amazing, but I think he struggles with the independent "I can do it myself!!!".

This last couple of weeks have been a huge learning curve. Mosquito bites on my upper right arm, a left arm totally encased in plaster and physically impossible to reach the bites to put cream on, resulted in some amazing contortions but I did it!! Folding sheets to put on the drying rack took forever, but I did it!! I have yet to figure out how to light the gas, but I will! I was defeated though, when trying to open a new bottle of Sprite, but I will prevail!
Washing dishes has become an art form, and putting a clean fitted bottom sheet on the bed this morning was accompanied by lots of grunting and groaning.  Pillow cases are blooming hard too!

Anyway, now that the bottom of my back is no longer hurting so much, and I am getting used to the weight of the cast, I have realised that we can do anything we want to do, and do it with gales of laughter.........  as I have many times over the last 2 weeks.

That old saying, "if at first you don't succeed, try,try and try again" is so true!

So, should you see me out and about.........walk past because I truly CAN do it myself! And if you see me crying, its only tears of laughter at some of the inventive ways I am discovering!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Healing and Therapy Day 25th May 2012



    • Friday, 25 May 2012
    • 11:00 until 19:00 in UTC+03
  • Near Gezira Garden Hotel, Ramla, West Bank, Luxor, Egypt
  • I am having another Therapy Day on Friday, 25th May 2012, between the hours of 11am and 7pm, at my home.
    I will be offering the following:
    Reiki treatments
    Crystal Healing
    Indian Head Massage
    Hopi Ear Candling
    In addition I will have my "cards" around if anyone wants a mini reading.
    I am also hoping that a good friend of mine will be here. Jon, who lives in Dahab, is hoping to be in Luxor in the next few days, and will offer help and advice on yoga, as well as talking to people about his work with sounds and toning. He would love to meet any of you who can come.

    Once again, I am making no charge for anything except a charge of 60EGP to cover the cost of the Hopi Ear Candles.
    However, there will be a confidential box available if anyone would like to tip the therapist!

    I do hope that you can join me (and Jon, hopefully).

    If you wish to attend, it would be useful if you could email me with an approximate time that you would like your treatment. It just saves you having to sit around waiting if someone pipped you to the post!
    hazel.isis@googlemail.com

    Hope to see you all

    https://www.facebook.com/events/255551667885800/

Monday, 21 May 2012

Healing and Therapy Day 25th May 2012

https://www.facebook.com/events/255551667885800/


I decided to hold a Healing and Therapy Day at my home, last week. But it seems I did not advertise it well enough.

So..........
I am going to try again and I am having another Therapy Day on Friday, 25th May 2012, between the hours of 11am and 7pm, at my home on the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt.

I will be offering the following:
Reiki treatments
Crystal Healing
Indian Head Massage
Hopi Ear Candling
In addition I will have my "cards" around if anyone wants a mini reading.
I am also hoping that a good friend of mine will be here. Jon, who lives in Dahab, is hoping to be in Luxor in the next few days, and will offer help and advice on yoga, as well as talking to people about his work with sounds and toning. He would love to meet any of you who can come.

Once again, I am making no charge for anything except a charge of 60EGP to cover the cost of the Hopi Ear Candles.
However, there will be a confidential box available if anyone would like to tip the therapist!

I do hope that you can join me (and Jon, hopefully).

If you wish to attend, it would be useful if you could email me with an approximate time that you would like your treatment. It just saves you having to sit around waiting if someone pipped you to the post!

Contact me at hazel.isis@googlemail.com

Hope to see you all

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Thrive

Today I watched a movie called "Thrive - What on Earth will it take?"

Amazing movie. Basically the movie is about big business, banking, global domination and suppression of the masses. Scary stuff in there. It also concentrates on sacred geometry, a subject I would love to learn more about.
The Flower of Light in the Osirion at Abydos in Egypt is clearly part of this sacred geometry and the ramifications of allowing sacred geometry into our lives is immense.

There was far more than I could possibly talk about in a blog, but I would highly recommend anyone to find this movie and watch it! It will give you more food for thought than you could ever imagine.

They do have a website, which goes into much more detail than the movie had the scope for...... I am about to start reading!

http://www.thrivemovement.com

Please find the time to take a look

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Inner Temple - Initiation: A Yoga Journey upon the Inner Nile

We now have our dates for the November dahabiya cruise "The Inner Temple - Initiation: A Yoga Journey upon the Inner Nile".

This fantastic week long, private dahabiya cruise promises to be the voyage of a lifetime. Yoga and sound, healing and therapies.  Classic travel on our very own traditional dahabiya. Temples, tombs and all that this amazing land has to offer!

Join us now!  November 21st to 28th 2012

http://jonathanorchard.wordpress.com/nile-cruise-luxor-to-aswan-november-2012/  for more information!

If you require an information pack, please email either me, hazel@spiritofthenile.com or Jonathan ptaah1111@yahoo.co.uk


Saturday, 12 May 2012

David Rohl in Luxor!

David Rohl has just been in Luxor filming for his next film about the Exodus. It is due for release in 2013 in the US and will then be released for television internationally.  Its a long time to wait!!
I love David's work and have been lucky to hear him speak about Ramses and the Battle of Kadesh. I have read almost all of his work, and watched as many of his television programmes as I have been able to watch.

Thanks David for sharing these photos of the film session in Luxor, Egypt. I hope I do not have to wait too long before Luxor actually gets to see the end result!


http://davidrohlontour.blogspot.com/2012/05/filming-in-luxor.html?showComment=1336820736603#c6152066543418924384

Friday, 11 May 2012

Summer Specials!

Summer Specials start with our May 2012 offer!

Book 2 half day tours or 1 full day tour and get a free sunset felucca sailing!!

We hope to see you soon!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Voice of Yoga

Just an update to my friend Jonathan's blog.  We are looking for followers and I am sure that anyone interested in yoga and everything associated with it will find his blog really interesting!

http://jonathanorchard.wordpress.com/blog/

Enjoy!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Visiting kids!

Last week was a great week. Both of my kids were here at the same time!

Unfortunately, their flight was delayed because of the huge sandstorm we had. While we hung around Luxor Airport the kids were happily drinking coffee in Marsa Alam, where they had been diverted to, before the plane finally arrived in Luxor some 5 hours late!  But it was still a fantastic feeling to see them both walking through arrivals!

View at dinner
 We did not have a strenous week, a week is too short, so it was good to just catch up and spend time together.

We did, however, manage a fabulous day at the Red Sea and had some seriously good beach time.
Balloons on our early start
Red Sea, Hurghada










The drive back was a tad scary though....... Western Desert Road, in the dark with most Egyptians never using any lights!
Mini sand storm in the desert
Sunset over the desert










Sightseeing was minimal this time, although we did spend a great afternoon at the Valley of the Nobles, before heading to the Ramesseum Cafe for a beer.










Sailing of course........ and the last afternoon was spent on the river. Perfect wind, very relaxing and a gorgeous sunset.











We had lots of eating out and I was especially impressed with Pizza Roma. Great Italian food at reasonable prices.

Sadly, the week passed far too quickly,  and it was time to head back to the airport.

But I loved having them both here and I am hoping its not too long before they are back!


Friday, 6 April 2012

Tones of Creation - Initiation: A Yoga Journey upon the Inner Nile

Tones of Creation  Click here


We have a new Facebook page for our unique tour.  A full information pack is available now upon request.  If you have any questions or need more information, please leave us a message on the Facebook page.

Jonathan has some brilliant workshops planned for us!  Be there!

Jonathan also has a new blog which is in progress...... but it is accessible now.  Have a look!

Jonathan's blog



Friday, 30 March 2012

Tones of Creation - the cruise with a difference

Jon at Giza Pyramids
I am honoured and delighted to be working with Jonathan Orchard, an amazing yoga teacher, musician and poet on this fabulous yoga holiday. More information on Jon's work can be found on his websiteJonathan Orchard Yoga!

We aim to combine yoga with meditations and sounds, and link it all in with Ancient Egypt and the eternal River Nile.

Dahabiya - sail in style
We are cruising on a dahabiya south to Aswan for one whole week of spirituality!

Our first cruise will take place on June 20th, 2012 and we will be celebrating the Summer Solstice in Karnak Temple, Luxor. This is a special moment on its own.



Sunset over Karnak sacred lake
Add to that visits to various temples en route to Aswan, each with its own individual spirituality, a relaxing sail on a twin masted dahabiya, yoga classes and meditations, tonings and therapies and we think we have the perfect holiday.

It is a retreat with a difference.


Briefly, this is a precis of our journey

"Join us for a compelling eight day journey into the inner worlds of awareness. Enter into a deeply transformative process born from the depths of the Egyptian Mysteries.  Our focus will be the Seven Seals or chakras and the vast universe that exists within each of them. By exploring these energy vortices within your own subtle energy body, known as the Ka by the ancient Egyptians, you will activate and free life-enhancing energies.

From an esoteric and mythic standpoint, the sacred pathway of the chakras is sometimes referred to as the Inner Nile. This is due to the fact that subtle energies continually move through this pathway, metaphorically, like the waters of a river or a stream.

The classical neters of ancient Egypt are often associated with the pantheon of gods and goddess as expressions of fundamental forces of consciousness. On this journey we will be working with the flow of subtle energy from these archetypal beings.

Other systems of alchemy or energy or energy-based transformation recognize similar life-enhancing subtle energies, but call them by different names. Yogis use the word prana, while Taosits use the term chi. These three (neter, prana and chi) are quite similar in many regards though the methods for working them in meditation are quite different.
We will be focusing on prana.

By entering deep meditative states through the use of sound, you can effect the flow and quality of the neters within your own Ka. This refinement of subtle energy is the source, the stream from which positive life change occurs during this journey."

More information can be found on our Facebook page at Tones of Creation  or we can be reached via email for a full programme information pack as follows:


The eternal River Nile

We both hope that you can join us on this journey!   

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tones of Creation

Coming soon!

Tones of Creation
Initiation:  Journey upon the River Nile

A brand new project for me in collaboration with Jonathan Orchard, yoga and all things spiritual!  Music and singing combined with yoga and spirituality.  Add to that a private dahabiya, the River Nile, Ancient Egypt's temples and tombs and you have the journey of a lifetime!

Jonathan is "The Voice of Yoga"   Jonathan's website

Watch this space for details of the most amazing Nile cruise ever!!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Luxor Spring Festival

https://www.facebook.com/Lxr.Spring.Festival

I have just heard about a Spring Festival to be held in Luxor on the 17th April 2012.  It is being held at the Luxor Royal Golf Club.  It is open to everyone, so if anyone either living in Luxor, or visiting on holiday would like to go, I have the following information for you.

The provisional programme is as follows:

1- FIRST & MOST AMAZING COLOR FESTIVAL @ LUXOR for THE FIRST TIME
2- AMAZING DJ PRODUCER ... MOMO RIVERA
3- LUXOR BEST DANCE CREW , offering 5 dances ... pharonic style .. modern dance ,,, egyptian dances etc
4- POetic EVENING WITH MUSIC , by Hisham el Ga5 the most Brilliant Talented poet in upper egypt
5- a Musical Concert by Egyptian Super Star Hamza Namira
+ ofcourse Super Star Michlle rounds if she agrees
Vip Ticket 100 L.E : Front Line Seated + Soft Drink on a Very Comfortable Chair And Table
Golden Ticket 75 L.E : Seated on a regular Chair ... 2nd Area
Silver Ticket : 65 : Non Seated Full Entrance Ticket

free Transportations are offered for Vip & Golden Tickets
100 % security By police officers , Ambulances , anti - Fire Cars , and Body Guards ,+ 50 Regular security persons

children under 6 are for free
from 6 - 12 are for half Ticket ...

Tickets are priced very reasonably and it looks like it will be a good day out!

And if we are lucky, we get to see our very own Michelle Rounds performing for us yet again!

For more information please telephone +2 01098226644 or email barhomdman@yahoo.com  

Monday, 19 March 2012

Pyramid of Tukh

What a great day out!

I spent the day with great friends out and about exploring this amazing country. Now in response to all those who, when they visit Luxor, ask "where are the pyramids?", prompting hysterical mirth in response, we can now say..... just north of Luxor!

Today, we went to see the Pyramid of Tukh..... 3rd Dynasty, Pharoah Huni, father of Khufu!  A badly damaged step pyramid which is actually well worth seeing.  I got to sit quietly inside the collapsed part of the pyramid and thought it was an amazing place for meditation.  I didn't want to leave!

At the same time we visited some small tombs, sadly with nothing really left in the way of reliefs, but still worth a look.  They are 18th Dynasty and the area around the outside is littered with pottery fragments, bits of which still have some paint on them.  Beautiful.











To finish our little tour, we then headed to a temple dedicated to Set.  Nothing much there to see, as all the stone has long gone, but you can clearly see the outlines of the walls, and there are a few bits of stone laying around.  Lol I am going to have to Google Earth it now to see the actual shape of the temple.

Next to the site of the temple are many, many pre-dynastic burial pits...... need to wander around there next time!

Finally, we finished off at the Ramesseum rest house...... and a good long natter!!

There will be more pics later once my friend is back home and can upload her photos!  She will blog it herself, so I may just point you there to see the rest of the pictures.

Thanks to Stan Kurowski for allowing me to use his photos!





Thursday, 15 March 2012

Business Today: Disputing the Numbers

Interesting article from Business Today regarding tourism numbers for 2011.   Seems they included half a million Libyans fleeing the fighting there in their tourist numbers.   Well I guess it was donkeys and ice cream in Alex for all of them!  And how much of the number crunching is anything to do with the IMF and its loan requests

Business Today: Disputing the Numbers

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Destination Palestine!

A friend of mine is joining an amazing "tour" (for want of a better word) to Palestine this summer and the group are offering the opportunity for anyone to join them!  My friend is hoping to use her Reiki and other healing skills to help the people near to the town of Hebron.
It is an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to help Palestine, in very small ways, or very big ways and also gives members of the group the chance of a lifetime and a wonderful experience.
There is a  Destination Palestine event being organised in Coventry to explain more and introduce people to Palestinian culture.

If you are even remotely interested, please see the following Facebook group for more information and contact details:
Destination Palestine

Below is a copy and paste from the page!


  • Dear Friends,

    Habibi is delighted to invite you to our fourth upcoming event on Sunday 1st of April from 4-9PM

    'DESTINATION PALESTINE'.

    A small group of 20 ordinary people just like me and you decided to go to Palestine and make a change. With no organisation forms to fill, no funding, just the passion and the courage to make a difference. They just had a few meeting, booked the cheapest tickets with a few pounds in their pockets, they boarded Easyjet making their destination the West Bank, Palestine.

    They were warmly welcomed by the Palestinians who made space in their homes in a small village called Beit Kahil in Hebron.
    Where they travelled like a Palestinian, lived like a Palestinian, shared their food, their stories, worries and happiness.
    Just a few people managed to draw a smile in the whole village of Beit Kahel.

    Those 20 people have inspired many more who are now making their Destination Palestine this Summer 2012.

    If You Have Ever Been Interested In Visiting The Holy Land Then Now Is Your Chance to Join us on this very special event and share with us our extraordinary experience through fruitful stories from Palestine.

    You will also have the chance to speak to those who are going this summer 2012 and hear what they have of exciting activities for the adults and children of Beit Kahil in the West Bank.

    The evening will consists of Palestinian arts, performances, music, speakers, images and a video to share, while Palestinian food and drink will be served.

    Tickets: £5 (available at the door)

    Why Not Making Palestine Your Next Destination?
142 Far Gosford StreetCV1 5DY Coventry, United Kingdom

Friday, 9 March 2012

Doors and knockers!.

I have had a great day out today with a friend who is here for just a couple of days and we found ourselves on a mission to find a particular mudbrick house in the Medinet Habu area. We found it, although could not gain access as the caretaker was not around.



But..... the main door to the house was a really old, solid wood door with the most fantastic knocker made of solid bronze!  Wonderful.












I think my new mission in life will be to find old doors and amazing knockers!



Monday, 5 March 2012

A great week in Luxor!

I had a great week last week!  I am not sure where to start but it was a wonderful mix of work, fun and peace.



During the week I spent a wonderful morning in the Valley of the Kings with 2 lovely Belgian ladies who I was looking after for a friend. 4 hours and only 3 tombs! We loved it!




I made it to one of the films at the African Film Festival, wandered along the new corniche before heading for coffee with yet more friends.



I spent a couple of hours on a caleche.... visited Ace Animal Hospital and was taken to view a working water wheel complete with donkey turning the wheel.  (There was a cow, but apparently, the cow had gone lol)

I also went to Karnak temple, again another amazing morning, I find new things every time I go there!

A friend bought me a pressie from the UK..... I now have a fabulous new bag which was stuffed full of gorgeous smellies, and a nice chunk of really strong mature cheddar!

I spent quite a lot of time on the East Bank this week, and had a lot of fun while I was there. Copious amounts of coffee were consumed at varying times!


The building work has slowed down now....  the building in front of me seems to be complete from a building point of view, next door is being painted as we speak (and the outside walls are canary yellow!!), the roof seems to have ground to a halt.

This is the building in front of me when they started in November, it is now a 3 storey building! But fortunately it is not blocking my view of the river!
Hodhod bird



And here is a hodhod bird on my balcony, with the new building in the background!





Home is once again a reasonably quite place to return to.  Well, except for today and yesterday when they have decided to play music very loudly and sing along! I am guessing it helps the paint to dry!

Another West Bank sightseeing excursion tomorrow morning is planned, should be fun and I am hoping to see the new statue at Amenhotep Third! Must tell the driver to drive slowly! 

View to the West Bank from the new corniche



Another busy, but fun week looms!  I hope you all have the kind of week that I think I will have!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Email problems

I think I have solved the problem outlined below. All emails now seem to be working ok.  But if anything does bounce back at you, please use this alternative email address.

Thank you.

I have just changed over my hosting company and I am having problems sending and receiving emails from spiritofthenile.com

If you do need to contact me, please use my hazel.isis@googlemail.com email address for the time being. I am trying to work it all out, but as I am not particularly techy, I am a bit lost on this one.

Please bear with me lol


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Yet another great travel report!

Yet another great travel report from the UK's Independent newspaper!

Alone on the Nile

At last there are some very positive reports coming through. Great to see!  

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Felucca down the Nile!

Great report on the journey from Aswan to Cairo on a felucca, by Joshua Marichich and Will Reynolds!

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/americans-sail-the-nile-document-effects-of-egypt-revolt#full


I followed their progress on their blog On The Nile, 2 Americans set sail in search of the New Egypt  but sadly did not find out about them until after they had left Luxor!  I communicated with Josh via email........ it would have been fantastic to have met them while they were here!


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Feluccas on the Nile

I am so impressed with myself!  Despite the demolition of the balcony above me, the bricks being hauled up to the roof, and the big iron winch being dragged up the stairs at 7.30am, I have made myself a You Tube video!  It has taken me hours and hours, but its here!!  Enjoy!

am I am so impressed with myself

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Gloop of cement!

As some of you may know, the building I am living in is undergoing a little building work!

This work started early in December last year and is still ongoing. I am beginning to feel beseiged!

They started on the roof where there is already a small studio apartment, and they decided to build a second studio apartment and divide the large roof terrace into two.

At the same time, the privately owned flat next door to me was scheduled to undergo renovation. This actually meant knocking down all of the internal and external walls, and completely starting from scratch. The only thing virtually left standing was the cement and steel supports.

Within a few days, the family who live directly in front of me started to build a new home, the unfinished building at the side of me decided it wanted finishing,  and the camels kicked up such a fuss they never shut up!

My gloop of cement
Today, some 2 months down the line, the roof now has 2 unfinished, but still being worked on, one bedroom apartments, there is a domed studio being built on top of those........   the flat next door is still little more than a shell (with the odd hole where they actually knocked through our joining wall).......   the building in front of me is now a 3 floor apartment block (unfinished) and they are still working on the building at the side of me.

Everyday, the banging starts at around 7.30am until after sunset, it reverberates around me from all angles. My adjoining wall to the flat next door is shaking and rattling on a daily basis, and why is it when they hook up the big electric winch to haul the bricks and cement up to the higher floors, they insist on doing it at 7am outside my bedroom window!

The landings and stairways are constantly covered in dust and concrete, my floors need washing EVERY day! And I have given up trying to keep the balcony clean!


 But despite all the noise, banging, dust and grime, I can still look at the River Nile and Luxor Temple from my balcony. A minute's walk brings me to this amazing river and even though it is driving me crazy at the moment, I can sit it out and wait for my peace to return......   Inshallah!  And just to remind you, this is a great picture of sunrise one day last week as I waited outside Luxor temple for my ride to pick me up!  Wonderful morning!
And just for good measure, this is my new, young gamoosa (water buffalo) who lives under my balcony and who smiles at me every morning to say good morning. She is gorgeous and has one brown eye and one blue eye!

Can I live with the noise? Yes I can, when I have all this on my doorstep!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

We need more blogs like this! A perfect time to come to Egypt

I have just read this blog. Great report on a trip to Egypt........ Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Luxor!  Great descriptions and it sounds like they had fun!
They also spent a couple of nights on a felucca from Aswan!  Don't forget we offer the same trips for anyone interested!  Camping on the River Nile!  Wonderful!

http://my.tntmagazine.com/blogs/15/177/egypt-a-year-after-revolution-b

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

El Mesala Hotel and a brand new pool

Today was the official opening of the brand new swimming pool at El Mesala Hotel on the West Bank of Luxor.
El Mesala is a great little hotel, very reasonably priced and highly recommended. They have recently opened their rooftop restaurant with the most spectacular views of the River Nile and Luxor Temple, and now they have completed this phase of developement with a lovely swimming pool.



The weather was glorious! Tea and cakes were served and a few children just could not resist the temptation of being the first ones to test the waters!

It was definitely too cold for me, as the heater has not yet been installed, but as the end of winter is almost upon us, I doubt it matters at the moment.  One or two brave ladies did take the plunge and said once you were in the water it was lovely! They were still there relaxing on sunbeds when I left.  I have no doubt that a lovely lunch would be served by the pool to finish off their day.

This is yet another huge reason for choosing El Mesala Hotel for your relaxing West Bank stay! Great hotel, family run, one of the best chefs in Luxor and now you can swim and soak up those rays!

What better way to round off a day of sightseeing, than a dip in the pool with a few refreshments to take you through to dinner.


Thanks to Helen Bailey at Egypt Unveiled for her excellent photography!
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150506475362864.371256.606142863&type=1







Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What the ????

I have been sent this by two of our previous guests who are appalled at the scaremongering bias of the BBC!

Unfortunately, my internet connection is not allowing me to view it completely, but I will be responding.

For those of you who love Egypt, live here or visit it, for those of you who have been in Luxor in particular during the last year, for those of you who know the difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, please look at this, and please contact the BBC to complain about this blatantly biased reporting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16710618

This is what one of our previous guests said to me

"I was angry tonight to watch a World News slot called
Could Islamists change the face of Egypt tourism?

It was so one sided and showed a local village some miles from Luxor where a family wanted Sharia law and segregated beaches for men and women. It then went on to show an empty Luxor where alcohol was banned
I have sent a complaint to BBC"

Another said 

"This was on the main BBC news last night - I am sure it won’t help the tourism industry…."


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Big Red Bus!

What a day!
I escaped the building noise this morning intending to visit a friend out in Gabawi. I called for a car to take me there, he was busy but would get me in a little while..... a missed call to say he was on his way.
So I sat for a little while trying to ignore the cement mixing machine outside my balcony and not succeeding. I decided to walk into the village to catch the bakery for the new, fresh bread and pick up some cakes to have with our coffee.  Called my friend and told him I would start walking and to call me when he was on his way so that I could tell him where, exactly, I was and off I went.
It was a beautiful morning, perfectly warm with a slight breeze.
After visiting the bakery and stopping at a couple of other shops, I started to walk towards Tod and the checkpoint.  Halfway up the "dual carriageway", coming around the corner towards me was A BIG RED DOUBLE DECKER, OPEN TOPPED BUS!!!!  I could not believe my eyes! Full of tourists it was! I thought I was in London!! I must have looked absolutely gobsmacked as the little man who was cleaning the road was laughing his head off at me!  I didn't have my camera with me, and by the time I would have got my phone out, the bus was gone.  So I am very sorry I do not have pictures to show.
I asked a few questions and apparently the bus has a Cairo registration and no-one seemed to know if it was offering tours locally or was here for a special group. But what a great idea! It looked fantastic!
But my day continued, full of the unexpected. I ended up walking to the Colossi of Memnon, watched a fight going on between the police and one of the hawkers there, had a cuppa in the Memnon Restaurant, chatted about the Hatshepsut bazaar incident and the tour guides boycotting the temple, before calling my ride to find out he had forgotten all about me! At this point I did consider walking to Gabawi, refreshed after my tea, but he sent another car for me, and 2.5 hours after leaving home, I was at my friend's house.
I spent a lovely afternoon chatting, drinking Kenco coffee and eating cake, before heading home. Even that ended up with a detour to the bridge because they had received a delivery of diesel and my friend did not want to miss out on filling the tank!  It ended up taking an hour and a half to get from Gabawi to my home!
Wonderful day on the West Bank!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Biometric visas

It seems there is at last clarification regarding the fingerprinting required for visas to visit Egypt.  It is only diplomatic passports and foreign embassy workers who have to have biometric visas, which include digital photograph and fingerprints.
Visitors for tourism only will not need these visas and can continue for the time being with the standard tourist visa.
To be fair, 3 years ago, the UK was asking for biometric visas for ANY Egyptian visitor to the UK, no matter what the purpose of that visit was, so I think the decision not to include tourists in the new scheme is extremely fair and hopefully will encourage more visitors to return.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/31792/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-implements-biometric-visa-requirement-for-fo.aspx

Interview with the Minister for Antiquities


Interesting interview with Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister for Antiquities on Al Ahram online news

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2012/1080/eg42.htm

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Looking back at 2011

What an interesting year!

2011 has seen some major changes in the world, we have seen revolutions, natural disasters, royal weddings, financial upheaval, and a few miracles along the way.

For me personally it has been a challenging year in many ways. We began the year on a high...... business was good and we had the promise of a great season....... then we had January 25th and the Egyptian Revolution. I am proud to say I was here throughout this incredible change.  Yes, I was caught up in a small teargas incident, but nothing major happened here in my adopted town. I celebrated with my egyptian friends, I was glued to anything and everything on television, I spent hours talking, debating and explaining my own personal views. I even found a copy of the Egyptian Constitution and read it end to end.  On a personal level, yes, I suffered financially, but Egypt is more than one persons finances. I can only hope that 2012 will bring Egypt all that it so desperately needs.

2011 has seen a house move for me....with all its trials and tribulations including disappearing flying carpets, but it also brought a view of the River Nile from my balcony instead of a concrete building across the street. People moved in and out of my life, sometimes not in a good way, but sometimes in a marvellous way.  Almost like the move over the River Nile moved my life in an entirely opposite direction.

I have met some wonderful people during this year....... many guests who are now friends and many others who have come into my life and left again, but leaving behind them lots of warm feelings and happiness. Some older friendships have been renewed or become closer, others sadly have gone.

I spent time on 11.11.11 inside Luxor Temple with some great people. I started a group for Reiki and sharing our knowledge (although we do need to get back on track with that now that Christmas and New Year are over lol) and on a spiritual level, some fascinating people have dropped into my life. I hope they stay.

The felucca has been busy, well as much as she can be during a revolution and we have spent many happy hours sailing with guests or with friends. The drop in tourism has affected us, obviously, but we are all confident it will return to normal. But is it a case of quality over quantity? We have certainly had quality this year!

A year of contrasts, a year of excitement, a year of sadness at times, but always a year of learning to live my life as it is meant to be lived.

2011 has been interesting to say the least, now lets see what 2012 has to bring!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Very Happy, Prosperous and Joyful 2012 from myself, Saeed and all the team at Spirit of the Nile!

Happy New Year!!!!