Most tourists come to Upper Egypt right away – by plane, by train or by coach in a convoy. They set off from Luxor or Aswan, to visit the temple of Horus in Edfu, the sanctuary in Kom Ombo or the rock temple in Abu Simbel. Luksor ze wspaniałą świątynią to również dobra baza wypadowa dla wycieczek do Karnaku. One should not forget about the treasures on the west bank of the Theban necropolis. Extremely interesting Central Egypt for years 90. XX w. it is almost inaccessible to tourists due to Islamic terrorists.
Historically, Central Egypt never existed. Lower Egypt ended just beyond Memphis, where Górny began, extending all the way to the 1st Nile Cataract. Central Egypt – the area between Cairo and Qena – invented by nineteenth-century archaeologists. That's a handy term, because the region has features that make it different from the areas of the Nile Delta, and even more than Upper Egypt. Cities are provincial in nature, the village has also retained its former appearance: The fellachs work the land, using tools from centuries ago. Growing Population, the lack of industry and income from tourism exacerbate poverty, and this breeds frustration and grudges against the authorities.
A large Coptic minority lives here (ok. 20% society), which must coexist with its Islamic neighbors. Copts consider themselves descendants of the ancient Egyptians and sometimes treat Muslims with an indulgent distance. However, they are aware, that they are second-class citizens.
In years 90. XX w. a wave of Islamic terrorism against the local Copts began to build up. Terrorists in the Minja and Qena area raided trains and ships.
As a result, Central Egypt was closed to foreigners. There are only individual travelers reaching certain places. No hotel base, poor condition of roads and public means of transport causes, that even traditional pilgrims do not come here anymore, who used to travel along the path of the Holy Family.
After the wave of attacks in 1992, 1997, 2004 i 2005 r. Egypt is considered a dangerous country. The authorities limited the stay of foreigners to a few relatively safe zones.
To recover income from tourism, the Egyptian government quelled the rebellion and made a sort of deal with the Islamists. For now, a shaky balance continues, but most of the restrictions have not been lifted. Most journeys between cities and monuments take place in convoys protected by the police. For this reason, reaching certain areas is sometimes difficult, and even impossible to some. In Central Egypt, the police escort travelers on tours, and even walking around the city. Despite such safeguards, it is not always possible to feel confident.
For tourists traveling by rail, there are three trains that regularly run from the Cairo railway station to Luxor and Aswan (and back), protected by armed plainclothes policemen. In dangerous Central Egypt, it is said that at the box office you can buy a ticket for any train. Tourist coaches, taxis, and also cars carrying foreigners must move in convoys. The Luxor-Aswan and Luxor-Hurghada routes are traveled daily by three convoys; Asuan-Abu Simbel – 2; Luksor-Abu Simbel – 1; Luksor-Abydos – 1. Convoy routes and times may vary. You must come to the meeting point at least a quarter of an hour earlier, although sometimes convoys leave with a delay. Central Egypt is excluded from scheduled convoy routes. If the group wishes to travel by car along the Nile, should consult the Ministry of the Interior.
Buses run from Cairo Abud stations, The Monib i Turgoman. Several air-conditioned coaches run daily to Luxor and Aswan (along the Red Sea coast). The comfort is definitely less, than on the train, and the travel time is similar. Tourists are not allowed to go by bus to Central Egypt. If someone could get there by train, the policeman immediately tells him to go back to Luxor. In individual cases, if there are no more than four foreigners in the vehicle, it can work. These restrictions do not apply on the way to Hurghada. Tourists are not allowed to use multi-passenger taxis. The flight by plane is the fastest, though not the cheapest.
Nile Valley – main attractions
• Luxor – Od XIX w. this is where lovers of ancient history meet, Egypt and archeology. The exceptional accumulation of monuments in a small area resulted, that the economy of the resort, aspiring to obtain the status of a separate municipal province, is based on tourism.
• Kings Valley – This name describes two rock gorges crossing the mountain massif. In the western part, Amenhotep III and Eje II are buried, while the eastern part is the resting place of the kings of the 18th century, XIX, and XX dynasties and their families. The ancient Egyptians used to call it the Great Field or the Miracle Ladder of the West.
• Aswan – It is the third largest city in Egypt, situated on the eastern bank of the Nile. Visiting this busy one, modern resort with an old one, almost nineteenth-century center, provides an opportunity to see a real souk, listen to Nubian music and taste the specialties of Nubian cuisine. Hence, it is closer to Abu Simbel and other saved Nubian temples.