Augustine's Luxor Photo Journal - January 5-12, 2005
photos and text ©copyright Natalie d'Arbeloff 2005
VIEWS of the NILE from the EAST BANK
Tall triangular white sails, slim pale boats punctuated with leaning figures - I've never seen more beautiful water-borne objects than the feluccas of Egypt, graceful and swift as angels.
The Corniche is the promenade all along the East Bank of the Nile. It is where you go down to board your felucca or motor launch or floating hotel/cruise ship or simply amble along leisurely whilst refusing (as cheerfully as your mood or character allows) the offers put before you by innumerable local entrepreneurs who spend their entire time waiting for you to part with your money. This is understandable, since tourist cash is most likely their only source of income, but somehow you don't want to be reminded of this at every step you take.
I discovered an oasis of tranquility in the back garden of the Novotel, about a half hour's walk from my less posh hotel, and spent some pleasant hours there in the sun, observing the Nile, the palm trees and the foreign guests browning by the pool, built on a floating deck.
The attempt to give the Ministry of Electricity (foreground) an "ancient temple" look didn't quite work but the view from the roof terrace of my hotel is still unmistakeably Luxor. Sharp felucca sails slicing the rosy haze enveloping sacred rocky mountain and fields of the West Bank.