Day 1 - Late arrival in Luxor

We are here. It is truly only through our own persistence that we arrived. Alitalia airline canceled the Miami – Rome connection and never notified us. They then took it upon theirselves to change the Rome to Luxor connection to the next day. On the computer we found a flight out of Miami to Atlanta and then to Rome and requested that they book us on it. I can see why they are always on the verge of bankruptcy. After messing up the beginning of our trip they were in no way at all helpful in repairing it. Every time we contacted them we got different answers and never any resolution or help. Alitalia did not print my wife’s boarding pass out of Atlanta correctly. She was almost not allowed on the plane and when we arrived in Rome they had me on an Egyptair flight leaving 11 hours after hers. It was only from the help of our travel agent Beth, the people at the Miami Delta airline desk and the people at Egyptair in Rome that we arrived here. It was all very stressful but we finally arrived about 4 hours ago, 7:30 pm Luxor time.

We got a taxi to the Mercure. As for the Mercure, in the States we would consider this a two star hotel. The refrigerator does not work, the toilet never stops running, the toilet seat is broken, the bed covers have burn holes in them, the carpet is badly stained as is the bath tub and the lamp shades have burn spots on them from the light bulbs. They also informed us that we can not use our laptop because they don’t know how to connect it to their line. They have no wireless available and we did not bring a floppy disk (does anyone anymore?) to transfer files from our computer to theirs. The only internet access is two terminals in the lobby which cost $6.00 / half hour so no pictures until the trip is over. We can not afford to wait while they download.

Well that’s enough about the problems. We are on the 5th floor in front of the Nile and from our balcony we can see much of the west bank and have a good view of the Nile and Hatshepsuts’ temple. I can hardly wait to see it in the daylight. We don’t plan on spending much time in the room but if we do we will be on the balcony.

Written at 1 AM on the morning of Nov. 4 but for us it is still the end of day one. After we got settled this evening we walked down the Corniche (the main road parallel to the Nile) and saw the Luxor temple lit up. As I walked along staring at the Obelisk, 1st pylon and Colossi of Rameses the Great,

the colonnade of Amenhetep III

and the sun court of Amenhetep III

- it did not seem real. I have looked at it literally thousands of times in pictures and I still can’t quite believe that I’m now here looking at the real thing. It is truly awe inspiring.

The temple was closed but we took these pictures from the street.

We just got back from the front desk. There was no notification from AWT as to when we are to meet for the tour tomorrow and the front desk has no messages for us. They gave us the name of the tour guide, his room number and told us to call him after 7AM. We asked for a 6 AM wake up call.

So far we have had our ups and downs but tomorrow is a new day. A day full of walking the West Bank temples and a reception with Kent Weeks, which we are sure, will be great.

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