I first went to Luxor in March 1986 with a friend from college, and staying in the Hotel Philippe, where the air-con didn’t really work. It was very scruffy, and we had to negotiate our own way to the Valley of the Kings. But it was very special.
I seem to remember going again at Christmas time some time in the 90’s — my memory seems rather fuzzy, somehow — this time staying in the Hilton and taking a day-trip down to Dendera by boat to see the spectacular temple of Hathor. What I remember best about Dendera is the temple compound, the mud-brick walls of which looked like a Hollywood set for The Mummy. I also remember eating nothing on the boat — the plates are often washed in Nile water — and learning later that everyone else had been struck down with ‘gyppy tummy’. I remember visiting Medinet Habu and being greatly impressed by it.
I’m going again soon, to get some sunshine and get away from the cold and dark. I went out and bought some guidebooks, and learned to my astonishment that there are now armed guards everywhere. I don’t know whether this will prevent me visiting Esna and Edfu, but I hope to do so. I’d like to see KV5, the massive tomb excavated by Kent Weeks, which made quite a splash a few years ago. They found two staircases in the tomb, but no-one ever said if they went down the second one.