Luxor's bad before good

Ah Luxor, one of the many true lands of the pharaohs. A beautiful city situated on the banks of the Nile and surrounded by pharaonic history and culture. The temples and tombs here truly are a sight to behold, comparable only to the stunning Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom temples in Cambodia.

Sadly, since the revolution in 2011 with the Arab spring Egypt has suffered an economic crisis and subsequently, many historical sites are being leased to richer Emirate states. Salehadin Castle in Alexandria is an example of such practices. The repercussions of such have affected Luxor in many ways but it is most apparent as a traveller in the prices that are demanded of you for various commodities. Many taxies harass to the point of exhaustion unless you adopt an aggressive tone. People will pretend to befriend you to help you with any task only to hold out their hand in anticipation of compensation at the end. For myself, even after haggling I was often left feeling disappointed in the knowledge that I was still being over charged. Sure, wherever you go there is always a ‘tourist price’ but the attitude here made me lose many moments of enjoyment because I was frustrated that even the simplest of tasks were elevated to unnecessary battles.

An example of the ‘tourist price’ occurred in the Valley of the Kings; an incredible spectacle in itself. However, your 200EGP ticket only buys you entry into three tombs with no photography allowed inside. However, if you pay 600EGP you’re allowed to take photos inside three tombs of your choice. I chose not to trust this and stuck with the normal priced entry ticket. Sure enough, outside the first tomb that I wanted to explore there was a plaque prohibiting photography within. Nevertheless, if you threw the guide 20-50EGP he was more than happy to turn a blind eye while you snapped away. I personally don’t use photography on old historical pictures because they get hammered day after day with flash. If the lighting is okay for a snap on my phone and something really stands out to me I’ll take a shot as a memento, but I don’t encourage the use of DSLR, photography equipment and especially not flash as it just ruins images over time.

In another post I will explore the mental checklist that I believe is essential when planning a trip to Egypt. Even as a seasoned traveller and someone who speaks basic Arabic I was pushed many times to the limit of my patience, so the post will provide useful tips to bear in mind. 

However, Luxor was not without its good bits, as with all adventures! The above are just a few simple things I struggled with in Luxor, especially because the Pharaonic history here is grand and under viewed because of this situation. But I will soon post about the best things I found with my time spent there.


Defining My Long Trip to you

My Long Trip is about many things…

First of all it’s a site that I started to get hired, I have a range of equipment and photography skills that I get contracted out for. But photography isn’t easy. It's a complicated market full of other keen hard working people and you need to stand out. And many have niches in areas I simply don’t and that’s okay. 

But Im different, just like everybody else. My niche though is my ability to travel, to willingly go anywhere I need to, and get you images. Be it volcanos, the vast ocean, arctic land scapes or scolding sun that. Combined with my passion for my work means contracts are there, I’d just like more of them.

I truly don’t think the world has been drowned by many like me, willing to go anywhere anytime in any circumstance just to capture the beautiful images our planet has to offer. And because of that I have been in many ‘hairy’ and fantastic situations. Like anything there’s high’s and lows.

Second half of My Long Trip is about inspiration, getting people out in the world again realising there’s more to it, more importantly more to traveling than a gap year party between college and University with your current or new travel buddies. 


Theres thousands of cultures across our globe and billions of people. This fact a lone means something out there is going to interest you, much more than that latest console, car or sofa. So set goals and realise you can get there and experience anything you want, if you do a bit of research it won’t even cost you an arm and leg either because hostels, tuk-tuks and rooftop train seats create stories and when you can’t do certain things anymore its these stories that you keep forever. I promise that.

Istanbul

It was the 24th of Feb 2019 when I committed to exploring Istanbul with my friend, Faisal Iqbal. We desired a last-minute getaway and finally decided that Istanbul would be the destination of choice for us both. We noted the weather wasn’t predicted to be particularly great, but we resolved to remain undeterred and would endeavour to see as much of the wonderful city as we could, no matter what the elements threw at us.

We flew with Turkish Airlines who did a great job and stayed at Oba Hotel in central Istanbul, approximately a 5-minute walk from the Blue Mosque. Istanbul was an incredible city with deep rooted Ottoman culture. The people were polite and friendly, happy to help with directions and gracious enough to allow haggling when shopping which is always fun for someone like me.

This was my first trip away with my good friend, Faisal. It was nice to have someone with a sense of humour along for the ride. Solo travel will never cease to be special to me but having a companion there for even more laughs always adds to the experience!

Istanbul is definitely a destination for you if you wish to experience an eclectic mix of European and Islamic culture. The architecture is comparable to Rome in places and the atmosphere is warm and inviting in general. The history vast and saturates the city.

My only complaint was the volume of people. Therefore, I would suggest going to Istanbul during the off season to avoid the crowds and to allow yourself to be fully immersed in the experience of such a vibrant Middle Eastern city.

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