Arabic musical instruments are fun. Get cheap and cheerful drums, tambourines or bamboo flutes from the suq, or quality stringed instruments from a reputable musical instrument shop. Leather handbags and belts are made on the cheap - whatever the label says. If you're tempted to buy a 'Hubba Bubba' (shisha pipe), bear in mind that a recent research study has just demonstrated that a single use of a 'Hubba Bubba' with tobacco is the equivalent of smoking 60 cigarettes. Statues and carvings are popular - and the ubiquitous scarabs are very portable! One guest reported that Fresh Sugar Cane one of her most successful souvenir-gifts - see right for her comments.
Hopefully the shop will return. Their impressive range included small embroidery cards complement wooden sculptures and furniture. The weaving is lovely - panels the size of your hand and large woven carpets. Ceramics, rugs and hand embroidered gallabiyahs (robes), scarves, paintings, jewellery and ornaments make a colourful and fascinating show. Across the Nile a similar shop (near Macdonalds) is part of an international Fair Trade organisation.
Breakfast on sweet tea and enameled bowls of "ful medames" at the ferry landing cafe before you start, or snack on sweet pastries, savoury breads or bags of popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts in the market. By 6am it's already busy, packed with humanity in the early morning haze.
White robed men squat, wielding aluminium pans to measure fruit and vegetables from palm-wood crates. Black-robed women carry laden baskets on their heads and sell ducklings, turkeys, fresh eggs or homemade butter and cheeses. Livestock abounds - look for people shearing donkeys, buying sheep and tiny baby goats or madly test-driving donkeys on a special track! But for souvenir-buying purposes the palm-frond brooms, baskets or ropes, earthenware casseroles and shawls are more practical!
At the King Mina Bazaar opposite the Museum of Mummification (on the Corniche el-Nil) the stallholders have a no-hassle policy. You can buy papyrus, brassware, silver jewellery and little stone models of sphinxes and other souvenirs here.
you shopped . . .
and you told us what you liked!
- cheapo instruments were a great hit with the kids!
The flute-y thing, drum and tambourine from the souk were a great hit with our grand-children! They used these souvenirs of Luxor at their church farmyard-style nativity day to add 'atmosphere' (rather than actual 'music'!)
- one of my most successful souvenir-gifts!
We bought a few sticks of sugar cane on a horse-ride that went through a sugar cane harvest. My grown-up children all loved it - even my health-conscious daughter! So I'd say fresh sugar cane is a good gift to take home - it's wonderfully novel - and the flavour is so unexpected and delicious. But it needs to be used within a few days - eventually it gets fibrous and brittle.
We carted home tiny bastet cat carvings and loads of other tiny, weeny souvenirs, pebbles from The Valley of the Kings, you know the stuff? we usually lose it all after we get home. well ta-ra! this "Egyptian Temple World Display Stand" from amazon. Whaddya think? (Not sure that's what it was designed for, but hey . . .)
Hope the idea is useful to someone.
Watch papyrus being made, and being painted. Your name - in hieroglyphs - can be added to some papyrus paintings.
You can also buy papyrus as large plain sheets (great for friends who enjoy art / craft) or as notebooks. Papyrus comes in all sizes and prices.
This design featuring Bastet (the cat Goddess) and a set of Hieroglyphics is typical.
Luxor is renowned for the quality of it's alabaster
(buy handmade alabaster if you can!)
Alabaster was made in the ancient Egypt in the times of the Pharaohs.
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