Curator’s Diary, Monday 25th October 2010: touring Egypt

I am just back from two weeks in Egypt leading a tour for Martin Randall Travel. We spent a week in Luxor, and then traveled south to Aswan, on to Abu Simbel and then to Cairo for the final few days. It was HOT – 44 degrees in Aswan, but a great trip and a great group of people. I enjoy revisiting the sites and seeing how they are changing, in response to new archaeological discoveries or increased tourism. The excavation of the sphinx avenue at Luxor is altering the centre of the city, and, on the West bank, the removal of the village houses at Qurneh that have stood there for generations has entirely changed the landscape. At Cairo the level of tourism on the Giza plateau increases each time I go there; this time it was almost impossible to even view the Sphinx, let alone enter the Khafre valley temple. The pyramids at Dashur still stand in almost lonely isolation, though a road has been built between the Red Pyramid and Bent Pyramid to allow tourist coaches to drive more easily across the desert. Here are some images from the trip. I’ll be putting the rest on Flickr in the next few days:

 

Reconstruction work at the Step Pyramid, Saqqara

Reconstruction work at the Step Pyramid, Saqqara

 

 

Taxi at Dashur with the Red Pyramid in the background

Taxi at Dashur with the Red Pyramid in the background

 

 

Souk at Aswan

Souk at Aswan

 

 

Tourists at the Sphinx - and a stage being built for Kylie Minogue!

Tourists at the Sphinx - and a stage being built for Kylie Minogue!

 

 

Boys swimming at Luxor

Boys swimming at Luxor

 

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