Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Protesters to the Rescue...Again!

Many of you will remember the human chain of protestors/demonstrators that protected the Egyptian Museum during the early days of the revolution, two years ago now. Well, they had to come to the rescue again, when police and government forces ignored the Semiramis Hotel's calls for help when armed thugs invaded. No "official help" came for three hours! Please help me get the word out to as many people as possible that it was anti-government protestors that helped out. You know the western media will focus on the lawlessness of Egypt right now and mostly ignore any "good news". Check out the El Ahram article here: "Egypt protesters come to aid of ransacked Intercontinental hotel".

Meanwhile, here in Luxor, it's pretty much business (not that there's a lot of that!) as usual. We ate at The Roof on Monday night, and were treated to "dinner theater" when a group of young people gathered in the plaza to commemorate the 25th of January/Revolution Day and chanted, sang, danced, drummed, listened to speeches and marched, all in a peaceful and laid back manner. It was too dark to get photos of the gathering, but here are a couple of Luxor Temple by night:
And they still serve the best lamb chops, lemon juice ('asir lamoon), and shisha in Egypt (and beyond)!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beau Goes to Paris...

I was reading a post on the Paris Breakfast blog maintained by my friend Carol Gillott, and was reminded of the fact that she paints watercolors of people and/or their pets in Paris (and other cities). So I decided to send Beau to Paris! I sent this photo:
Then I selected a "setting" from Carol's set on Flickr: Eiffel Tower Cats. It's not at the Eiffel Tower as you can see, but it has the Eiffel Tower in it, along with some champagne, as well as the famous Ladurée macarons.

And... (drum roll, please!) here is the wonderful result:
So, do you want to send your pet to Paris (or somewhere else)? Check out Pets in Paris Portraits and I dreamed my pet went to Paris. Or perhaps you'd like to send yourself?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Al Moudira Holiday...

Andrea and I went over to the Hotel Al Moudira on the west bank on Thursday afternoon. It turned out we had no internet access while there, so I was not able to post anything. We were the only guests for most of our stay! Very relaxing, as usual. Here are some photos to whet your appetite.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Let the Celebration Begin!

My birthday isn't until tomorrow, but the extended celebration period got off to a good start last evening when my good friend Andrea treated me to dinner at the French restaurant "1886" at the Winter Palace Hotel.
WP glassware -- très élégant!
Andrea's lobster and artichoke starter

My smoked salmon starter

Andrea's stuffed sole main course

My garlic and rosemary lamb loin confit with ginger & lemongrass

The dessert menu: oh, how to choose!?
My praline and chocolate confection with chocolate artwork

Coconut and caramel fondant and kiwi salsa (Don't you just love the "nest" made of pistachio?)

Two VERY satisfied ladies!

View from the top of the stairs looking west (Note the "pyramid" formed by the light.)

A wonderful evening and only the beginning of a marathon of partying! Thanks, Andrea!

Beau on a Hot Stone Roof

I just realized I haven't posted any photos of Beau lately. Here he is on the parapet of the annex roof:
He's certainly "grown up" and "grown out" since he arrived on November 2:
Of course, he's never met a bit of food he didn't like! In any case, he's a handsome boy, living up to his name.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not Egypt: Macaron Whimsy

More on macarons--in the January 16 issue of Bonjour Paris (The Definitive Guide to Paris) is this article: "The Whimsical World of Macarons", complete with a recipe for pistachio macarons from the master/maître of macarons, Pierre Hermé. I, however, will not be making that recipe. I "learned my lesson" when I took an evening class in the making of macarons at the École Ritz Escoffier in Paris. I now, to paraphrase something my ex-husband once said, eat macarons not make them!
Moi trying to make acceptable macarons!
Been there, done that, got the certificate! And now let someone with more skill and access to the right ingredients make them...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Modern-day cemetery sprawling toward ancient Egyptian necropolis

This story has appeared in the Egyptian press, but here is a comprehensive take on the situation from outside Egypt:
It's interesting to read what the villagers have to say about the situation.
We visited Dahshur in March 2012 and I am including some photos from that visit of the Black Pyramid referred to in the article.

Black Pyramid from the Bent Pyramid

Not Egypt: Jardin Pamplemousse

The first of Pierre Hermé's "Jardin" collection of macarons for 2013 is Jardin Pamplemousse (grapefruit). It is described on the website as "Pamplemousse, Clou de Girofle, Muscade, & Pamplemousse Confit" (grapefruit, clove, nutmeg and crystallized grapefruit). Miam-miam!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Latest Press on Andraus Murders

From Ahram Online yesterday:
Funeral for Wafd MP's murdered daughters in Luxor
CH provided masses of flowers for the funeral. The coffins were so small--almost child-sized! We are all so sad...

Monday, January 07, 2013

A Brutal Crime...

We are all in a state of shock today after hearing about the savage and brutal murder of two frail, elderly sisters in their home in front of Luxor Temple last night. We had just seen them in December when we took some Christmas cookies to the house.
Daughters of former MP under King Farouq killed in Luxor Palace

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Close Encounters of the Scorpion Kind

I had my first encounter with a scorpion today--a dead one (or so I thought at the time!). A guest here at CH found one in his bathroom and drowned it in roach spray. Once he told us about the creature we all had to traipse in to see it. He then scooped it up onto a napkin and left it to dry, after which he brought it out to the courtyard for us to see in a "drier" form. It really looked like a scorpion then. I ran to get my camera and took some shots with my hand next to it to show scale. It was pretty small, as you can see from this photo:
Well, as our guest told me at dinner tonight, it turns out that the little guy wasn't quite dead! I'm glad my guardian angel was looking out for me!

On a more pleasant note, Beau joined me on the roof for some sun worship this afternoon:
And the bee-eaters were out in force:
And one of them was actually eating a bee:

Wednesday, January 02, 2013