Authors note: This narrative begins partway through my journey to Egypt after my experience in Cairo. I apologize for being preoccupied with other writing earlier in my trip. If I can ever find the words to express a fraction of the magic and energy that was Tahrir Square and revolutionary Cairo, I’ll be sure to publish them here.
Arriving at 5am by sleeper train in Luxor, we called the Princess Hotel from the guidebook. The French-Egyptian couple that owned the establishment left behind a younger brother to look after the place during their absence in France. He picked us up at the train station. The Princess Hotel, more like a hostel, had a lot of character. The dimly lit entry way led up to staircase with several floors, but only the second floor was fully constructed, while the remaining floors were simply concrete slabs with bits of metal reinforcement poking out of the roof.
Our room consisted of three beds and a bathroom with an arrangement in which the entire bathroom was a drainage basin for the shower. It had bright pink walls and in one of the windows had been blocked off with a leftover cardboard box of Dasani water bottles. This box flew out of the window when we turned on the fan. We may have been the only guests at the hotel.