wmtc: aswan

Last night our car to Abu Simbel fell through, and we weren’t sure what to do. There are dozens of tour companies that will arrange transport, and our hotel does that for most guests, but the prices are wildly inflated, and the driver sees very little of it. What to do? Call Abdul! At first ...

wmtc: aswan: welcome home

Right now I am on the glorious roof patio of Bet El-Kerem, a Nubian guesthouse in Aswan. I’m sitting under a huge bamboo roof surrounded by beautiful fabrics on the couches and tables. We’re on a hill, and to my right is a view of the Nile, and the city of Aswan beyond, and in ...

wmtc: luxor to aswan

Several readers have commented on the degree of detail in my posts. I realize that this is more than many people want to read. That’s fine with me. I write these travel logs mainly for myself. I have kept a travel diary of every trip I’ve taken since graduating university. I used to write them ...

wmtc: luxor: east bank sites: museums and souq

Our last day in Luxor was busy and fun. If you ever travel to Egypt without a tour group, I highly recommend securing the services of a driver. We have saved ourselves untold time, aggravation, and probably heat stroke, and we were able to pay generously while getting a great deal for ourselves. Would you ...

wmtc: random observations about egypt and egyptian life

I have so many of these saved up, I might as well make them a separate post. — All the men trying to “help” you at the sites, and most taxi drivers, and restaurant owners — pretty much everyone — asks where you are from. When we say Canada, they say “Canada dry”. Sometimes the ...

wmtc: luxor: abydos and dendera and a face-plant

I had an eventful morning! We had an early breakfast and met B’lal downstairs at 7:00. I said hi, and fell forward, down two steps, onto the dirt road. The hotel has a piece of carpet covering the steps to the entrance. It was bunched up, my foot caught underneath, and down I went. (As ...

wmtc: luxor: east bank sites: karnak and luxor temples

We thought we had settled our taxi troubles, but that was not to be. This time, “the father of B’lal” showed up, thinking we were taking a road trip. Instead, we went to Karnak Temple on the east bank. In a blog full of superlatives, Karnak temple may top the list. First, it is massive. ...

wmtc: luxor: the trouble with taxis

A guest post from Allan: Laura has mentioned some of our troubles with our various taxi drivers in Luxor. She has not wanted to get into too much detail, but she thought a guest post on the subject would be a good idea. So I’ll be the one giving you way too much information. In ...

wmtc: luxor: west bank sites, day two, and we miss abdul

These posts are one day behind. I write in the morning, but cannot get an internet connection until evening. Our taxi arrangement should be great, but it has not gone smoothly. Today (Wednesday) we had three different drivers, and very nearly a fourth. With the exception of B’lal, none of them seem to understand the ...

wmtc: luxor: west bank sites

Yesterday was a full day of ancient sites and excellent Egyptian food. I woke up from a rooster crowing! Seriously, it called “Roo-uh roo-uh rooooo”. That was followed by the morning call to prayer. It’s a very pleasant way to start the day. We had breakfast in the lush, green courtyard at the hotel. Breakfast ...

wmtc: luxor

Naturally we had to haggle for the taxi ride. Every transaction begins with an argument. We both really dislike it. We could pay the first price offered, but it is always wildly inflated. The train station is on the east bank of the Nile, where all the big chain hotels and most of the tourist ...

wmtc: overnight train from cairo to luxor

The train was interesting — and eye-opening about the divide between the first world and the third. We decided to take the overnight train from Cairo to Luxor, as internal flights are quite expensive, and we are already taking three of those. The fare includes a sleeper car, dinner, and breakfast, and it ends up ...

wmtc: cairo: egyptian museum

We had our last breakfast looking out onto the Giza Plateau, and the massive, ancient, extraordinary pyramids. I loved the Egyptian breakfast, and I loved the scenery. We packed up, left our things with our wonderful hosts, and took a taxi to the Giza metro station, to the Sadat station on Tahrir Square. The Egyptian ...

wmtc: cairo: islamic and coptic cairo

We had an awesome day of sightseeing today; I have much to report. We had planned to ask our hosts if they could connect us with a guide for Cairo sightseeing for Sunday. The plan was to do the Egyptian Museum today and sightsee with a guide tomorrow. While we were having breakfast, Abdul, our ...

wmtc: cairo: markets

This is going to sound like a bad day — but it wasn’t a bad day. It was a crazy day, a day that we’ll probably talk about in amazement for a long time to come. Out here with the Great Pyramids across the street, we are not really staying in Cairo proper. We’re in ...

wmtc: post about saqarra now coirrected

Yesterday’s post contained a coding error that rendered five or six paragraphs invisible! Please see below; scroll down to [update].

wmtc: saqarra, dahshur, memphis

I had a bit of a rough night — what am I doing drinking strong tea at night?? — but I must be running on a travel high, because we were up and out early. Yesterday, when we asked our hosts about arranging a driver and guide for us to see more local ancient sites, ...

wmtc: cairo, day two

I was very pleased to have slept a full night last night. The time difference is so much easier going east. We hear the Muslim call to prayer very loudly, but I went back to sleep afterwards. Each room in this hotel is equipped with earplugs! We had breakfast on the rooftop patio; all the ...

wmtc: cairo, day one

Greetings from the Pyramids View Inn, Cairo, Egypt. Although I don’t post photos until after we return (sometimes well after!), this is one photo you have to see now. This is the view from the window of our hotel room! Seriously: the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are immediately across from us. From our ...

wmtc: pupdate and soon off to egypt

Things are considerably calmer around here now. The three giant issues we were dealing with have all settled down. One, as much as I hate it, we’ve adjusted to Tala’s absence. Two, we got our insurance settlement and bought a new (to us) car. And three, Diego’s health has greatly improved. The “new” wmtc mobile:a ...

The Wandering Joe: New Years Resolutions, the easy way

Every year I set a few New Years resolutions that are both achievable and usually more ‘administrative’ than personal. This year is no exception, however I’ve also committed myself to a couple of more leisurely ones. Now, as most of you know, I’ve been an old man since long before I was even a young ...

wmtc: pupdate, pressure, and poor customer service

Diego at the beach Three weeks after losing Tala, Diego became violently ill. The usual home approaches didn’t work, but when the trip to the vet didn’t work, I was really worried. Seeing this dog — normally the picture of happiness, with a voracious appetite — so quiet and sad, and unable to eat, was ...

wmtc: update from the land of the missing white dog

We miss Tala a lot. Of course. Need it even be said. Somehow I have gone from abject grief to poignant acceptance quicker than I expected. I have no idea why this is. With each dog we have said goodbye to, eventually I get to a place where, thinking of them, I feel sad but ...

wmtc: tala

We must say goodbye to our sweet Tala today. At the vet yesterday, we got the worst possible news, and we know we must do this right away. I’m grateful that it’s a clear decision. Tala, Tala Bobala, Talabo, T-bo, T. Skinny Face. Princess Tala. My Little Girl. She started life in a puppy mill ...

Dead Wild Roses: The West Wing – In Excelsis Deo

The holiday season seems to magnify all the emotions, it can make for some rough times during the last couple of weeks of December. Sometimes it is good to pause and reflect and what is, and what isn’t and focus on the people and ideas in one’s life that really matter. Sometimes it works, sometimes ...