August 7th, 2007

De Luxo

I gave myself 9 days to explore Egypt. I felt that that was enough time to catch another city. I decided to choose Luxor. I had a theory that the word deluxe in English evolved from the city name of Luxor. It turns out that luxor is Arabic for palace, so I suspect the resemblance between the ancestors of deluxe and the city Luxor are because they are cousins.

On the day I went to Luxor, I checked out of my hotel and headed to the train station. I found a couple of ticket people who spoke English and asked for tickets. I was told that the trains were full for the next 3 days. I didn't want to fly or take the bus, so I gave up on my Luxorian aspirations and found a new hotel. The new hotel offered me a tour to Luxor. I accepted on the condition that I could leave that night. Apparently, tickets sell out on the white market far earlier than on the black market and I was on a train for later that day.

I learned that Luxor was the capital of Egypt back in the day. The Karnak temple, which took some 2000 years to build, is located there. As is the Luxor temple, and the Necropolis. I ran the battery in my camera down with the number of photos I took at Karnak and Luxor. The valleys of the kings and queens were not as impressive, but more famous.

However, Luxor wins my award for least favorite city in the world. Walking in the city was oppressive because, every 30 seconds or so, someone would try to take your money. They could be very aggressive in doing so. They were the most predatorial people I have ever encountered. I had one day totally to myself while traveling. I decided to hang out in the hotel because I found going out to be so unpleasant. I even ate at the hotel restaurant to avoid having to go buy food.