Friday, October 31, 2008

Egpyt 4.0 -LuXor-

Luxor at last, that was %$£XO*&^ of 16 hours ride. No Pain No Gain? My body and mind were in pain but I gained nothing and loss a lotta precious time. Luxor is the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, known to the world's as the greatest open air museum. I was hoping LuXor is worth the 16hours agonies, LuXor has to make herself better than Cairo to compensate up my precious time!
It was a super relieve the moment I stepped out of that train, it was like holding my shits for 16hours and finally burst it out on a gold plated WC. The biggest different between sitting in a plane and a train for 16hours was the ass pain. If I spend 16hours in a airplane, I proparly need a wheelchair but on train, if was a pretty normal routine. ALERT from Lonely Planet - Luxor has more pick pockets than Cairo but for me this town seems calm and peaceful, Air yg tenang jangan sangka tak ada buaya!
I was very-very eager to shout at someone, most likely the person who was gonna pick us up. But the moment I saw our new guide who was totally the opposite of that fat, short and arrogant s0ohai, I couldn’t scold him. His name was Morehammat, six feet plus, lean body and a charming smile. Later I also gotta know him as a famous pub singer in Luxor. I just couldn’t get angry looking at him. Not only he looked better than s0ohai, he also bought each of us a big bottle of mineral waters near this cow butchery. A way to remind us, that we are lucky to be alive?
S0ohai failure to buy us the sleeper train ticket spoiled our whole trip and this 7hours delay of the train from Cairo to Luxor also messed up our schedule. We should be going to Aswan on sleeper train instead on Luxor, then only back to Luxor on day six.
Staying aliveeeeeeeeeee.... oh oh oh! Staying Aliveeeeeeee!

Egpyt 4.1 -Karnak-

Muhd suggested we visit Karnak before we checked into the hotel, so we agreed lorr since we don’t wanna miss a thing because there will not be a come back trip for me. This is what I called "Once in a Life Time Xperience!" Muhd asked if any of us has a student card and Trev did (What? Their Hongkong Uni Student CArd didnt has an expired date on them). With that student card, Muhd got a 50% discount for ONE entrance ticket and he pocketed it. What was the point of giving him the student's card, since our entrance fees has been included in our tour packages.
There were Sphinxes at the entrance of Karnak but Sphinxes in Karnak were different from those in Giza. Sphinxes in Karnak were made of Lamb Heads and Lion bodies, isn’t a lion's jaw with razor teeth much dangerous than a lamb's head? Actually, the reason for Ram’s head was because Karnak is the home of the god Amon, He was represented in his original state as a ram. Each sphinx protects between its forelegs, a standing statue of the Pharaoh.
The roads to this temple used to be continuously linked with sphinxes but now most of them are buried underground now due to thousands years sandstorms. Anyway most of the sphinxes werent in good shape, lat tau lat kuat. LuXor was hotter than Cairo
The Hypostyle hall is 54,000 square feet, that's the size of a football field with its 134 columns is still the largest room of any religious building in the world. We really need to learn from these guys about maintenances of buildings, this vast complex was built and enlarged over a 1300 year period. I can imagine KLCC will looks something like Wisma Sandakan after 130years, not even 1300years.

The hall would have been about more than 5storeys high,
It was hard to imagine that I walked between these huge papyrus like columns that originally held up a roof.
The Karnak temple complex or more famously known as Karnak was amazing, it managed to wake up from my dream. There were lotta signboards explaining stuffs but the best part about this place was that, photo and video were allowed. Hooray!

Child Prono?

The temple's Columns were massive, wonder how the ancients erect it with out Crane? Viagra or Tongkat ali?

Some parts of Karnak were actually built by brother of Alexander the Great and one part of this Temple was used as church. I think it will take at least 5 men to link hand at the bottom of these columns.
Columns these sizes are only used for super structures like KLCC, Burj Dubai and Dam. These columns were amazing even to today engineering standards but clients definately wont approved these over-design columns, mother of all wastage.

Karate girl???

I couldn’t believe it when I saw people making child pronography and kicking the columns publicly in Karnak! If this was the way egyptian protect their ancestor properties. No wonder no europe countires are willing to return egyptian artifacts to egypt.

No! The Kawaii Girl didnt manage to kick this structure down!

This top of the pylon fell down due to earthquake long-long time ago. Moreham did say something about the tip of the obelisk were wrapped of 80% Gold + 20% Silver Materials to make it shine like the Sun but not a single hair of gold left.

This is The Obelisk of Hatshepsut, the second tallest obelisk after the Lateran obelisk in Rome. It is 29.6m high and weighs approximately 320 tons. Hatshepsut was the woman pharaoh and after her death, her successor tried to erase her from history but he daren’t to touch this Obelisk for Obelisks are considered structure of God. Thus he built a high wall around her obelisk. This wall hid the lower two-thirds but left the upper towering above, that’s why there are remaining block works around this obelisk.

This is the last of four obelisks “The Obelisk of Thutmose I”, the other three has migrated to New York, Istanbul and Paris. Egyptians are generous people, they gave the best three away and kept the worst one. Courtesy lorrr. So what the tour guide told me in Istanbul was true lorrr.

Sculptures and statues were no less impressive than what they have in Cairo and Giza but why do Luxor allow pixs? I dunno the reason but I got a good time snapping pix of structures as well as homo sapien.

Before we left, I walked round this Kheper statue seven times so that my wish can come true. I wanna walk many 7 times but after the first 7times, I almost pesan pusing2! So I only managed to make one wish and that was getting Ten Million by year end but I forget to mention the currency, if its give me Indonesian Ruppiah then sei lol!

Beside the Kheper Statue was actually a lake. All Egyptian temples had a sacred lake, Karnak had the largest but it looks like a pot hole to me. I read some where, in ancient times there were actually goose here lorr for that Ram+Lion God also can transform into Goose. So, is he the Apocalypse in Transformer?

Here once stood the world's tallest obelisk, The Lateran Obelisk at 32.3 metres. Emperor Constantine ordered that the obelisk to be moved to Constantinople but it ended up in Rome instead, that’s sum up the quality of mail service during Roman Empire. It fell over at some stage in its life and was re-erected in 1588 in the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano.

We only spend like 30minutes here because we were so tired and hungry. MoreHam was a totally different guide to s0ohai! S0ohai talked 20mins and let us took pix for 5 min, Moreham talked for 5min and let us took pixs for 20min. He even shown us the best angle and took groups pixs for us, many times. Following Moreham way, I learnt little about places I had visit. I only known this place is call Karnak after I search for it from www!

So who is better?

Egpyt 4.2 -Perfumes-

After Luxor Temple, Muhd did what every tour guide will do. When Trev said Muhd is bringing us to a Perfume Museum and we will be shown how ancient perfumes are made. I know all along it will be Lions' den again but I didnt expect this Lions to be so damn poor in devouring their victims.
Just like all "tourist-ripe-off-shops" we were given papers and pens! Then, one of the kids just showed us how ancient perfumes were made through WORDS of mouth only! Here was where s0ha was much better; although she brought us to a tourist-ripe-off-shop (TROS) but she personally shown us how papyrus papers were made in ancient times while, muhd just sat in the corner and wait for us to be ripped off, very unprofessional. If you wanna cheat our money, also please make us feel good being cheated la!
The double storeys shops looked nothing like a perfume museum, its looked more like a beauty saloon with super bright lightings and ultra strong aroma. The three kids (gentlemen) whom entertained us, looks more like gangsters than a perfume experts to me. Slippers and Jeans berlubang-lubang??? Hermmm... Not even good enough to sell condoms!

It took something like 6months to produce those allegely pure perfumes. These perfumes were extracted from natural flowers and this technic has been in use since thousands of years ago, also allegedly used by Cleopatra. By the way, I learnt from s0ha that Cleopatra is actually Greek!
I was the only one interested to take pix, the others just sat and waited for the whole episode to be over. To justify the purity of their perfumes, just a drop of it will be enough to change the colour and smell of 500ml of mineral water. Indeed a highly concentrated liquid and its no alcohol, as alcohol will not mix with water.

Then came the most interesting part! According to the so called perfume experts, their perfumes were actually the same as some of the famous brands. Due to marketing licenses and other regulations, they couldn’t name their perfume accordance with those international names. I think its same like buying LV, Gucci and Prada from China made factory.
I was not interested in perfumes; I never bought any perfume in my life and not intended to start here. I got my God given perfume, my odour! She who loves me, must love my odour too!

Beside perfumes, they also sell oils for headache, body aches and etc. The super expensive version of Tiger balm, VICKS, Deep Heat and yokoyoko. S0ohai advised us not to buy anything from Luxor or Aswan as things are more expensive there and her words were quite true.
There were free drinks for us, soft drinks, tea, coffee and also Hibiscus drinks. I requested a hibiscus drink, my national flower. Not sure if that was a sign of patriotism or unpatrioticism, I just wanna have a try. I finished the hibiscus drinks as well as Lian's coke, very thirsty lah! I wondered why those Hongkies didn’t even touch their soft drinks, so I asked them not to waste drinks.

Then, a shocking discovery! They think that the bottled soft drinks are not of its original state. The bottles have been opened when they presented to us and there were no bubbles in the bottle. Sei lol! They sounds right le, it must either refilled by them or leftover from others!

Piuk! Piuk! Piuk!

Errrr, I am immune to Hepatitis but not sure about others illness!

Don’t care la, die die la!

We didn’t buy anything from the "Perfume Museum" and Muhd must be starting to dislike us, LOL!

Egpyt 4.3 -Breakfast-

We were lucky to escape from being butchered in the Perfume House because we were very hungry and tired after 16 hours of train ride.

On our way to have our "4PM breakfast", Muhd tried to earn some extra bucks from us again. Promoting Hot Air Balloons to us! Can’t remember exactly how much it cost, but it’s around 100euro per person. I was slightly interested (maybe 23% interests) but when I was told I need to wake up at 4am! Sorry la, even if that's free I still need to consider but I was not going to pay for my own suffering. I have enough of 16hours train and I want to get as much rest as possible!

So muhd failed again to rip us off again, I thought he must be very pissed off with us now. I don’t buy the theory of shopping sphere in Egypt! In our group, Cherrie contribute most to Egypt economy, she never stops buying.
The 4pm Breakfast was actually quite good, in fact the best food I had in Egypt so far. Goodanee! Hunger must have played a major role in "Egypt Best Food So Far" awards! The rice was good, something in between nasi lemak and nasi biyani or maybe my tasting sense has been spoiled by the perfumes?

The restaurant we went to, was actually an Italian restaurant selling pizza and pasta but Muhd manage to come up with Egyptian food. My guess, this was either his shop or friends' shops use for the "Lunch is included but not drinks" for tourist restaurant.
As usual Lunch was "paid" by the tourguide but we have learnt a lot since Day 0ne. We only ordered three big bottles of soft drinks, to lower the impact to our pocket. Again! Muhd failed to rip us off again! He must be verrrrrrrrrry pissed off by now but he was still smiling!

Egpyt 4.4 -Bath-

After "breakfast" I saw the World Local Bank on our way to the Hotel and the security guards were those heavily armed policemen! Safe ah? Within Luxor, there are only three main streets but their main streets looked more like service roads in Dubai.
Muhd said our hotel was Le Meridian but the hotel name was Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel, but we had no more powers to argue with him anymore, we were tired and dirty. Dont care Le Meridien Hotel or Lee Loh Mou, we just wanna get a proper bath after stinking for 36hours, anyway this hotel also looked good.
If s0ohai did bought us the sleeper train tickets from Cairo to Aswan, instead of 2nd class train from Cairo to Luxor, we would have stayed in "The Old Winter Palace Hotel Luxor" on our way back from Aswan. The Old Winter Palace Hotel Egypt owned by Sofitel was build in 1886, a 5-star hotel located on the banks of the River Nile in Luxor. The first hotel in Luxor, we would have been sleeping on a 100+ years old bed lorrr! Maybe not?

Because of that so0hai, everything was messed up!
The hotel lobby was quite entertaining place because there was a Pharaoh doing duo jobs, Pharaoh the Shoes Cleaner and Pharaoh the Waiter! Same person different jobs, Pharaoh must had bankrupted himself building pyramid. I think he wasnt happy I took his pix and not paying him. In hotel la Mr.Pharaoh not "force" tips :P!
The front desk guy photostatted our passports and asked us to arrange the Photostatted copies for him according to room we stayed in. First of all, when we gave him our passport in pair and according to room we stayed as requested by him. Now, after Photostatting, he requested us to arrange the passport copy for him again. He must be lazy, stupid or he couldn’t read English. Getting this kind of services from a 5stars hotel was unthinkable. Those front desk guys couldn’t even give me a proper smile!
But their rooms were gooooood, or maybe that was the effect of 36hours without laid! To be fair, the hotel was quite good in terms of furnitures.

Egpyt 4.5 -Temple-

When Muhd said we gonna have a night trip to Luxor Temple, there was 10% of me wanna stay in the hotel after 16hours in the 2nd class train but since everyone was going, I follow lorr. When I saw the entrance that light up with such perfection, I was glad I didnt give it a miss. This is Luxor Temple; it wasn’t big in size but definitely big in ego especially at night! This temple was dedicated to some ancient Egyptian god that I couldn’t remember.

There are actually hundreds of sphinxes once lined the road to nearby Karnak Temple but they aren’t dig up because lot of modern buildings has been build on top of them, some more there are mosques and churches. Nobody dared to touch this religious building.

Notice anything missing?

Y0! This was the original place of the obelisk that Egyptian (represented by Muhd Ali) gave to the French in return of the broken clock. I think because of this bad trade, Muhd Ali’s body is still kept inside the Saladin Citadel along with the French broken clock so that he will be reminded of that bad deal he made till eternity. Notice how cacat this temple looks. The temple looks like man with one testicle, woman with one breast, imbalance!!!
Muhd said when the one obelisk was lowered, in order to be transported to France, Ramesses name was also found inscribed on the bottom. Pharaohs were known to be notorious for usurping other pharaohs’ monuments and Ramesses was determined that this was to remain his own.
Search on the net shows that there are 29 known ancient Egyptian obelisks in the following locations: Egypt 9, France 1, Israel 1, Italy 11, Poland 1, Turkey 1, United Kingdom 4 & United States 1

Italy even overtake Egypt as the country with most obelisks, unbelievable pick pocketers. Actually in older times, Egypt was giving away their ancients relics like christmas presents. They thought those relics were of no use, so if any "stupid idiots" wanna clean up the mess for them, they willing give them away. So dont throw your old underwear away, one day it might be priceless! That's USA, Russia, China and India also rushing to the moon. One day human might make profit from the moon.
Does this place looks familiar? Oh... yeah! This place has features in few movies and documentray. The most famous one should be James Bond film, “The Spy who Loved Me” ! This lightings were superb, who ever came up with this idea is brilliant. When I passed by this area in the morning, it looked ordinary.

The character on the left is actually Ceasar, the great roman emperor. Roman empire are much more new than Pharoah time but because Ceasar also admire Egyptian Mural, he also wanted his pix to be upload to this ancient wall. Roman mural in an inner chamber !!

During that tour, I heard some Arabic guide talking in mandarin. Very impressive indeed, sounds quite clear and accurate. Sign of Chinese gaining strength in the World economy! When will there be Malay Languages Tour Guide From Egypt? 10years? 20years?
The most beautiful, magnificent, pretty, bombastic, fantastic, charming, stunning, striking, gorgeous, superb, wonderful, superlative, best, appealing, pompous, unbelievable, extraordinary, dazzling, spectacular, elegant, fabulous, marvellous sights of my whole Egypt trip.
Is Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah to the extreme! Is Woowwowowowow till the end! Is still fresh in my memory BUT I dont remember a thing about history in this Temple LOL. Too fascinated with its magnificient lightings!

Egpyt 4.6 -Dance-

After The Magnificient Night Luxor Temple, the van dropped us back to our Hotel. Our Tomolo schedule only start at 9am so I got lotta time to relax and recharge from the 16hours train torture. Roy, Sam, San & Trev went out outside of the hotel to see2 look2 and have dinner but I decided not to hassle myself so I stayed in the hotel. This wasnt the first time I decided to stay in hotel rather than exploring the place, really lazy tourist! But what's the point of running oneself to ground just to been there and did that? I rather have a relax holidays after all I had enough of hassle during works, LOL!
This werewolf like being really shocked the shit outta me, I wasnt expecting something like this in the hotel lobby. As a firm believer of UFO, BigFoot and X-files creature I was must find out what was going on. So I follow this creature to the open courtyard of the hotel.
I stumbled upon a pack of cigarettes on the floor and the warning of smoking effects was even bigger than the brand name itself. Do this really makes people think three times before they light a cigarette. Few years ago, I saw a very strong anti-smoking poster in my alma mater. Its relayed smoking to male dysfunctional male organ, that would be a stronger message lorrr...

This was the courtyard of the hotel, there were some shows going on and that King Kong was part of the show. It was an old folks home, we should be the youngest customers there. I guess no young person wanna waste money in a 5stars hotel. 5stars hotel are for Senior Citizen, definately a Grand place to stay (Grandma & Grandpa) mah! No wonder I never met all those hot babes I saw in those tourist spots.
I had my dinner at the hotel open court yard while watching those dances. I wasn’t expecting something too hot or sexy since its Ramadan Month and Egypt is officially a Muslim country. Three of us ordered sausages sandwiches and fish & chips, the food suxxx but their alcoholic drinks were alright since it was imported.
There were numerous different dances from four men and four women groups, salsa, cha-cha, Egyptian, Arab and other multi dances. I think 8 of them danced none stop for 3-4hours.
What really caught my attention beside those pretty dancers was this turn-turn-turn not stop dance. I think I saw some poster about this kinda dance in Istanbul but not sure what's the dance name.
That lanky male dancer tur, turn and turn none stops for 30minutes. He had good balancing skills and staimina. Its looks boring from those Istanbul Poster but Live Entertainment Rockzzzz!!!

During the last dance, eight dancers started pulling people from the crowd to join them. Most of the diners there have retired from dancing so we were the dancers main targets. I was reluctant to join at first but couldn’t resist anymore the advancement from the beautiful female dancer. I Didn’t manage to snap a photo of us dancing because we all busy dancing.

An entertaining night indeed…