News, events and Egyptology from Luxor, copyright Jane Akshar
In the Luxor update you wrote "guides are guiding and drivers driving" yet now you say Karnak had 35 visitors, down from the normal 6000-8000. I suspect the number of visitors to the sites on the West Bank are similarly way down, and there aren't too many people to guide and drive anywhere. There must be a lot of people in Luxor standing around wondering what to do. Unfortunately, even if things get sorted out quickly, it takes time to schedule vacations so I don't think business will pick up for a while.
I'm very, very sad about what is happening in Egypt. I've been there in 2008, and I really want to come back more times, but I don't know what this turmoil in Cairo will do to Egypt as a Nation. I'm afraid that the tourism and the new discoveries in the arqueological sites will stop. I've had the pleasure of being in the conference that Dr. Zahi Hawass gave in my country on the 19 of January about the New Discovieries in Egypt, and I was so glad about the things that we will be seeing soon... But on the 28 of January everything changed! I'm portuguese but I'm suffering for the egyptians momuments... I just hope the people of Egypt take care of them, because they are a treasure to the world, and we love them! I wish I can go now to Luxor, because is not croweded!
yes I do agree...I think insinuating things are operating normally when patently they are not is not having the effect you desire. I think more people than you think are watching this blog and telling us things are fine, in the same breath as mentioning tear gas and vastly reduced visitors to Karnak is not helpful. I am on the point of reinstating my trip I was to make this week...but would like to know the real situation there...good And bad... and I cant help a feeling of unease with what you are telling us. The FCO do not give travel advisories lightly.
Sorry if you are confused, for the people that are still here, life is operating normally. Sadly most have left that were here at the beginning and new ones have not come.I phoned up all my contacts for my updates. e.g. when I said feluccas were still sailing I had just spoke to some who had been out that afternoon. Regarding the balloons I was told they have permission to fly but no customers. I asked a guide if he or any of his friends had taken guests out. The only thing that is seriously abnormal is how empty the streets are.
Obviously having so few tourists around means things are not operating normally. It's bad enough in Luxor (and the rest of Egypt) having guys constantly shove trinkets in your face or acting friendly so they can get you to visit their cousin's store or take a ride in their uncle's taxi during normal times. With so few tourists around, the locals must be even more aggressive than usual. I pity the pour tourist who tries to go get something to eat or walk around the city now.
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