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Chapter Eight ~ Holiday in Upper Egypt
January 1942 to April 1942


 

A very good friend, Flying Officer Ted Elliott had been granted a week's leave. Surprisingly my application to join him was granted. We quickly agreed on Luxor and Aswan as our target - hitchhiked to Cairo and caught night train to Luxor. Booked in to cheaper of two hotels still open, though tourism had virtually ceased. Spent 1st & 3rd days seeing the vast temple areas of Luxor and Karnak. Excellently preserved after 2000 to 4000 years buried by the desert. 2nd & 4th days spent visiting, on foot, the Valleys of the Kings, Queens and Nobles 5 miles across the river, including tombs of Pharoahs as much as 4000 years old eg Tutenkhamun & Rameses V.

Also visited the vast temple of Queen Hapshetsut, the Ramesseum and Collossi of Memnon. The Tombs of the Nobles were in a neglected state, with mummies still lying around. Paintings in some tombs as fresh as when painted. Only saw one tourist. 5th & 6th days spent going the 130 miles to Aswan ~ only one hotel open. Hired small yacht to visit to Kitchener's Island and Elephantine Island and visit tombs of the Princes. Also visited many quarries from which came many obelisks and statues. Returned to Cairo (600 miles) by overnight train, and hitchhiked remaining 140 miles to Port Said.

Back to training as a Fighter Controller in co-operation with the Hurricane Squadron. Late in February, Mudie and I were sent to Fayid, near the Bitter Lakes, to install a Radar & Control Unit and Ops Room there to cover the southern Suez Canal area from Ismailia to the Red Sea. Tented site, without electricity, during sandstorm period. Haircutting difficulties. Returned to Port Said in April to promotion to Acting Squadron Leader (paid).

Keywords
People
F/O Ted Elliot
W/Cdr Mudie
Queen Cleopatra
Queen Hatshepsut
Tutankhamen
Places
Fayid
Cairo
Luxor
Aswan
Valley of the Kings, Queens & Nobles
Karnak
Kitchener's Island
Elephantine Island
Bitter Lakes
Suez Canal
Things
Sandstorms
Training as Fighter Controller
Promotion to Acting Squadron Leader
Cairo-Luxor-Aswan Railway
Photos
 Water wheel : Nile at Luxor Jan.1942
Temple at Karnak, Luxor Jan 1942
Fetching water from Nile at Luxor Jan.1942
Entrance to tomb, Valley of Kings Jan.1942
Abandoned mummy, Tomb of Nobles, Deir-el-Bahari, Luxor Jan.1942
Cataract Hotel, Aswan Jan.1942
Petrol Can Boats on Nile at Aswan Jan.1942
Camels of Egyptian Camel Corps. Aswan Jan.1942
Unfinished obelisk, Aswan Jan.1942
Hurricanes, Port Said air strip Oct.1942
Unit Camp Site, Fayid, Canal Zone March 1942
Driving through Sinai Desert Feb 1942
Bedouin, Sinai Desert Feb 1942
Fayid, Bitter Lake March 1942
Barber in camp, Fayid April 1942
Self waiting barber, Fayid April 1942

 

 

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