Saturday, December 12, 2009

A day in Quena 12/12/09

Early riser today I had to catch the 7.30 train from Luxor to Cairo I was getting off at Qena
Qena is a provincial capital located about 57 miles from El Balyana and 39 miles north of Luxor. It is most famous for its proximity to the ruins of Dendara. It owes its modern prosperity to the opening of the Wadi Qena towards the Red Sea, which is a major traffic route between Upper Egypt and the Red Sea. Tourists traveling between Luxor and the Red Sea will assuredly pass the outskirts of this City.
The city also has a considerable Islamic and Coptic heritage and a famous Mosque. The Maghrebi Abd el-Rahim settled in Qena upon his return from Mecca and founded a Sufi center here. Upon his death in 1195, the mosque was built above his tomb and became a place of pilgrimage. There is a huge modern mosque of Sheikh el-Qenawi in the main square which attests to his importance

waiting for the Minibus I could not resist this photo of the sun up through the banana tree.
and this sign on my neighbors wall, not that I want a bike today or any other day. but this is becoming a tourist area and needs must. so stick a sign up .

It was a pleasant train journey today, a bit cold as not many windows left intact on the locals train neither did the carriage doors close. and the wind was quite chilly so no camera shots, not as brave as those of you blogging about your expeditions in the snow. and windy beaches,
here we have hot days and cold nights at this time of year poor old me having to put a scarf and cap on one that covers my ears.
Once the train had stopped and most of the passengers got off I decided to join the end of the queue in the carriage big mistake we had the people from Quena getting on the train no such thing here as manners or courtesy, even common sense the train waits at least 2o minutes in the stations. so there is no need to be so aggressive getting on the train. and me being so broad I will not turn sideways to let any body pass the last 10 people to get on the train by pushing past some young girl students, got pushed back off the train shouting a load of abuse, we need to get on the train, what you doing on our train, tourist not allowed on this train, So here I am in Quena A city I have been to about 6 times in the past 2 years. so I know my way about . and stepped out of the station with confidence . and headed straight for a coffee shop as I had 1/2 hour to kill before heading off again to the centre of the city where the Forgery office is situated .

After a brisk walk and passing all these delightfull shops of an era to my mind that had long gone of laid out fresh fruit and veg, a realy old shop with a printing machine from the turn of the twentieth century

and more fruit that looked so inviting but I was in a hurry and thought get some on the way back to the station.

A quick snap of a brightly coloured green street light I thought was a one of , but then found the whole of the city had them in different sizes and in fifferent shades of bright green,

View of the famous Mosque from the Coffee shop. and a taxi to show you the colour I hate most.
Tangerine From Banana Island I shouted to this wholesale grocer not thinking I was taking a photo of my finger, at this point . excuse the pun, My Canon was tucked away safely in my carry shoulder bag. and only my trustee Olympus, shock proof water proof and drop proof camera was available for these quick shots problem is if I take the canon out I would not get to my destination in time,I was in the office dead on 9.00 handing in my id Passport in my case. at 11.30 I got a ,hmm ,hmm, and asked what the *****is going on Ah sorry Mr Your Lawyer is coming, and you have to wait, now me out of courtesy I would phone to say stay put or go for a tea. I will be with you at midday, but not these people even though I phoned the other partner to say I had arrived at the office , I was hopping to do this without having to pay for a lawyer and translator. ah well . we are in Egypt. everything is done for our inconvenience,
A walk about in Quena city I love these old buildings pity they are not very well maintained.

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several buildings had these gazebo's on the roof all are different in design apart from the dome. ( Not Mosques)

This guy as I was passing was just finishing having a piss not even bothering to get off his lazy arse to stand up. I was going to take a photo but then thoughts of Luxor flashed my mind and it was a day of no hassle . so I did not want to get into a verbal argument. but then its what the hell. and took one from a safe distance by then he had straightened himself up. this was in the high street in full view and where people had to get off the kerb unless they wanted to walk through a puddle of urine. now I wished I had taken the photo and not just listened to my thoughts of modesty.

Please keep off the kerb, these spikes are on most of the street corner kerbs.

And just a reminder we are in a police state.

No comments, Just some of the un modernized houses and a pity to say unloved.

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The two floor building is a police station for the elite secret police.

Tourists if they want to go to Quena for the day Have to catch, or told they have to get either the 9.30 0r 19.30 1st /2nd class train and they can only purchase a the day before for Cairo at a cost of 150 egp or 180 egp ist class. both the same type carriage but first class has a white cover on the headrest,( so conned again) that means you get to Quena at 10.30 and have to stay until 20.30 to come back. its a scam but there again I do not advise tourists to do what I do and travel on a toilet on a track that's all they are, the only thing that sees a bit of a clean is the floor. what windows there are on the train are either stuck on open or closed and you can not see out for the filth on the glass, these trains run every hour. day and night, most of the people who stayed on the train after quena were going to Beni Suef either to hospital or to visit someone in the hospital there, next main station is the factory town of Assut. these trains stop at every station and the train journey to Cairo is normally 18hours + so its not advisable for tourists to travel all the way to Cairo. the 1st class sleeper train does the journey in 12 hours stoppage at Beni Suef Assut and Giza stations before arriving at Ramsis st station Cairo. the day Journey by train in summer is well worth traveling Just for the scenery. as a lot of the journey travels along side the Nile. and all of the Journey travels through farmland,
local price to Quena is 4.50 egp one way on the train. I returned on a micro bus that was 3 egp but only took me to the outskirts of Luxor then had to jump on another to get to the centre of Luxor 35 piestas.
then wished I had taken the train, as soon as I got back to luxor and boarded the last bus the hassle started. 5 pound mister. not allowed on this bus, I just got on anyway And handed him the 35 piestas on getting off at the bus station, no arguing there because here there is a police presence. and I wished I was back in hassle free Quena.

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Elisabeth said...

That's a good looking pink finger in your centre photo, beats the man taking a piss.

Betty said...

Thanks for your post!. Those are very interesting places. I enjoyed reading it.
have a great Sunday!