Well were off on our travels again and this time it is Egpyt.

We check in early & make our way to the gate, disappointed not to bag the emergency exit seats (it's a 5 1/2 hour flight and the extra leg room would have been most welcome) the flight is almost full though and the seats have gone! Luxor is home to antiquities and judging by this crowd more are going out there, it seems the ancient attracts the ancient! The call goes out for the elderly and infirm to board first and after the dust has settled Kathy and I are alone at the gate (codgers: 1, cuttsy:0) The plane is only half full, it's the rear half which is full - packed in fact! There is no one upfront at all, in fact the trolly dollies have to move people forward AND ensure the empty exit seats have people in them, just in case. It's a stretch, they need able bodied people and there are not many of us on board! (codgers:1, cuttsy:1).

We make it to Luxor and the transfer coach, the bingo brigade flash their bus passes and once again bag the best seats, we though play our trump card and jump in a private mini coach!(codgers:1, cuttsy:2 - game set and match) that'll learn em!

We start our first full day with a cruise on the Nile into Luxor town, things have indeed changed since our last visit 15 years ago, gazing through the three thousand year old columns we see the new McDonalds with it's red and yellow sign, towering above everything there is a telephone mast, the 21st century obelisk to match the original. I guess this is what is known as progress!!!

Next we hit the souhk and despite the tripadvisor warnings it is the normal Arabic market banter. Yes everyone wants you to look in their shops, buy cheapy cheapy gold, take home half a kilo of spice 'asda price' but the alley cafes are packed with wizened old arabs drinking tea and puffing on the the apple shishas, doorways offer glimpses of artisan workshops and the whole place moves to the clamor of people making a living. I love all this, after all it is why we travel. This is not hassle this is experience, we throw ourselves in headfirst and keep smiling.
Which is what I do despite the comments from the hawkers "you a very lucky man", "does she have a sister", "buy one get me free" - Kathy is loving it!
one cheeky bugger even come out with "Sir, you have a beautiful daughter, is she married" by this time Kathy is really enjoying herself!

After an afternoon by the pool we head in to town for an Egyptian meal in a little restaurant hidden in the back streets - this is traditional arabic with the call to prayer from the mosque next door adding to the atmosphere. All in all we have had a full and enjoyable first day. Tomorrow we head out to the west bank to see some of the sights, I am looking forward to seeing the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut, this is 3700 years old and is in excellent condition, Dulux take note there are wall paintings which still retain all their colour!!!

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