Egypt

Egypt location map

Egypt

Egypt - cradle of mankind, Cairo - mother of the world, labels given to this unique country on the Nile by historians and travellers in the past. Since the early 19th century numerous archaeologists tried to solve the secrets of a 5000-year history. The climax of these explorations was the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by the British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. It triggered a real “Egyptomania” among the educated classes of Europe and America. Especially after the economic liberalization, the opening to the west and the peace policy towards Israel under President Anvar al Sadat in the seventies, Egypt attracted tourists from all around the world.

Bond went there in 1977 to fight against the megalomaniac shipping magnate Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Egypt is a land of many different faces and problems. The more than 4500-year-old pyramids of Giza, the temples of Karnak and Abu Simbel and the tombs of the Valley Of The Kings show you the Pharaohnic Egypt. Countless mosques (some are up to thousand years old) embody the Islamic Egypt. The modern Egypt is represented by the high dam and storage lake of Aswan and the moloch of the city of Cairo. With its more than 15 million inhabitants (doubling every ten years) Cairo is ranking among the Top Ten of the highest populated metropolises of the world.

For the tourist, particularly the Bond-fan, who is interested in special places off the beaten track, Egypt is not an easy terrain. The classic way of exploring the country is a package tour including some days in Cairo and a cruise down the Nile. The Bond-locations in Cairo may not be included in your booked sightseeing tour. Even if they are, you probably will not have the leisure to enjoy them sufficiently. So you will have to separate from the group and go on your own. There is a public bus- and even a metro-system in Cairo, but to save your nerves in the short time you’ve got there, I would recommend going by taxi. As everywhere else in a foreign country it is prudent to negotiate about the price in advance. Maybe your travel guide can help you with that. It is also a good idea to ask your guide or a hotel clerk to write down your destination in Arabic characters. Be as well prepared for time-consuming trouble when exchanging money, especially with traveller checks. Summarizing you can say: When planning your Egypt journey, make sure that you have enough free time in your schedule for the field trips you intend to do on your own.
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Karnak Temple in Luxor, where Bond and XXX fought with Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The second of the “Wonders of the World” of Egypt is the Karnak-Temple which is also a great Bond-location. It was built by various pharaohs between 1550 and 1100 BC. The Great Hall of Columns with its 134 gigantic columns is a truly awe-inspiring place. Most of the scenes where Bond and Anya pursue Jaws were shot here. When you are there you may wonder, how did Roger Moore manage to bear it, walking around all the time in a tux and a bow tie? And how did the make-up-artists make the sweat on his face disappear? Because the heat there is almost insufferable. The climate in Cairo is fairly tolerable, but each day in the south of Egypt is a real scorcher and in the temples the stone columns act like storage heaters reflecting the heat. For Barbara Bach in her sexy dress it was probably a bit easier.... Also various shots for the Agatha-Christie-film “Death On The Nile” with Peter Ustinov were taken on this very spot. Some scenes (dropping of the rock, camera-shots from bird’s-eye view etc.) are almost identical with TSWLM.

From Luxor starts the cruise down the Nile to Aswan. That is a very relaxing experience. You sit on the deck of the ship in the shade, sipping a soft drink, reading a book and watch the by-passing landscape, where only little has changed over last 3000 years. You will also see a lot of feluccas, the type of sailboat on which Bond and Anya “exchanged their bodily warmth”. In Aswan the most interesting places are the high dam, the mausoleum of Aga Khan, the Philae-temple and the “Old Cataract Hotel”, where Agatha Christie wrote her above mentioned novel “Death On The Nile”.
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This and much more can be found in the chapter
'With The Pharaos' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007

Connected hotels:

Mena House

Giza, Egypt
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