Towards the end of Oct, I came home from Bruges with Lisa, Freddie and Alex. I was going to Egypt with my sister on a special tour to Abydos. Adrian stayed on Piedaleau with a comprehensive ‘to do’ list – not least of which was to return to UK and pick me up from Heathrow on my return! He did just that which was brilliant as we had quite a late return flight.
Egypt was fantastic! The tour amazing and we gave ourselves a couple of extra days in Luxor at the end in order to relax and see a few things there. We stayed at the Winter Palace hotel in Luxor – just love a touch of luxury!
The tour itself was run by a very good firm – Ancient World Tours – and many people seem to book again and again with them. There were only 12 people on the tour, most were avid egyptology enthusiasts. But there were 2 or 3 of us thickos – you know asking the basic questions – but no one seemed to mind in the least. I really did learn a lot, which ain’t difficult when you start from ground zero!
I won’t go on long but here’s the list of places we visited:
Valley of the Kings – tombs of Tutakamen + others
West Valley – tomb of Ay; temple of Seti I (both in the day and at night) & the Ramesseum, Mortuary Temple of Ramesses II
Drive to Abydos – Temple of Hathor at Dendera
Abydos: Temple of Seti I and the Osireion; Temple of Ramesses II; Kon el Sultan; mud brick enclosure at Shunet El Zebib dating to 2nd Dynasty shaped hill known as Anubis Mountain; Tomb of Sensuret III cut into natural hill-pyramid; Ahmose Pyramid; Village of Beit Khallaf & 3rd Dynasty mastaba mud brick tombs; Greek site Athribis; White Monastery and the quarry used for the stone.
Luxor: Luxor museum; Valley of the Queens – tombs of Neffertari (absolutely fabulously restored – the colours are amazing!); Temple of Hatshetput
We were very well looked after and indeed we had armed escorts wherever we went by bus – never felt unsafe – the busier tourist places eg Valley of the Kings, were the worst just because of the crowds. In Abydos it was really only our group, so much more comfortable.
It certainly seems that Egypt is trying to improve the access to the ancient sites for tourists. I was amazed by the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor – they are aiming to expose the full 2.8kms – which you can see from the road bridge – mind blowing!
All in all an amazing trip! Only trouble is it has made me want to go again…. next time Adrian says he’s coming too!