When I was young I wanted to be Indiana Jones, something about the life of an adventuring archaeologist really struck a chord with me. I mean who wouldn’t want to run through ancient ruins wearing a cool hat and being able to use a whip? It seemed just the life for me other than having to be outdoors a lot, getting dirty and being in peril. Still when I grew up one career path I thought about was an Egyptologist.
It’s one of those very specific careers where other than writing hieroglyphics for tourists you have to work in a museum environment so I gave it up to go and do something that would allow me to go to Egypt and see all the sights but most importantly get to do it from an air conditioned coach. So going to Luxor for New Years was very exciting, and one of the most disappointing trips I have ever been on.
I’ll make it clear from the beginning that it wasn’t Luxor itself, the buildings and history and scenery are stunning, it was the constant feeling that you had to avoid the people who would be on the take for everything. An ancient tomb thousands of years old that has survived the test of time is amazing any day of the year, but the tour guide taking a dollar to get you into a free ruin, or the guard who gets you to take “good picture” for a dollar, or being forced to take something then pay “a dollar”. A dollar, a dollar, a dollar. More time in Luxor was spent saying “No Thank You” than seeing the remnants of the Pharaohs.
That said, how can you be too upset when you wake up to this scene.
In those shadows are the Valley of the Kings, the tombs where untold riches were buried in holes carved from the rock. This is what made Egypt famous, the burial places of long dead men (and some women) who left their mark on history with their monuments. Where modern day politicians and philanthropists worry about their legacy you look at the towering yellow statues and realise that in a few thousand years we will still remember the names of Rameses, Cleopatra and Tutankhamun but modern day monument builders (ahem, Trump) will fall into the dust on the ground.
The most amazing part of Luxor, and all of Egypt, is the spine that runs through it. It is the life line that made Egypt the bread basket of the Mediterranean .
I know it is 4,132 miles long because a pub quiz told me so. It is also a glistening ribbon of blue that draws a line through the yellow hills and grey cities that lie on its banks. If I could get on a boat, away from all the people that ruined Egypt for me I would be the happiest armchair archaeologist in the world.
Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it. Thanks for the idea, emilyeggplant!
Source: Never Again