After 3 days in Cairo it was time to follow the Nile’s path to Luxor. Arriving at the station after endless traffic, we weren’t surprised to see very few tourists. Just as they had told us at the hostel, booking an overnight cabin was easy.
The trains were much older than expected but looked well cared for. Still, we had to rely on our innermost resources to remain positive when a train arrived and the last tourist, a young Chinese male who looked in his early 30’s, boarded his train and upon entering his cabin which was right next to the entry door, placed his hands in a sad way on the window pane looking forlorn as the train departed. A police officer had greeted us upon entry, and although the environment was not at all threatening, he kept close the whole time, in a polite and non-intrusive way.
About 15 minutes after our Chinese friend departed a large and rather old-looking train pulled up. A young Egyptian girl who had been peaking at us discreetly pointed at it and smiled. She was letting us know that was us. Up we go and thanking her, we grabbed our stuff and made our way to the boarding platform where there was a young man in a uniform hanging from the door in classic train butler fashion.
The police officer came to bid us farewell and as we got on, we immediately realized it wasn’t that bad after all. The trains in Egypt are old, there’s no way around that fact, but they keep them up as well as one can imagine. And we were provided with 2 beds, a small seating area and sink, crisp, bleached sheets, a soft pillow and mattress. We were grateful- its a long ride from Cairo to Luxor, about 9 hours.
After washing up they brought us dinner which was simple but delicious meal of fried chicken, rice, hummus, and bread. We pretty much polished our plates and then decided to visit the train lounge. To get there we had to cross about ten wagons, jumping from one wagon to the other Indiana Jones style. Unforgettable! When we arrived there were a couple of guys smoking cigarettes and drinking tea. We didn’t want to stay long but had to have at least one tea. Then it was bedtime. I was excited at the thought of waking up in Luxor. Stay tuned for the tale of our 7 AM arrival!