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, 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!

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.

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.

Interview with the Minister for Antiquities

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

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!!!!