A snake in the market

Our boat docked in Luxor for the evening, which gave us a nice opportunity to explore the market. The view from the boat was magnificent with the market at the bottom of a hill with temple ruins in the background. I met three South African women on the boat and they were eager to explore the market but didn´t want to go on their own.

So I suggested we all go together.We had reason to go shopping. The boat had a fancy Galabia party planned for the evening and the Bazaar shop on the boat didn´t have what we were looking for.Markets in Egypt are really something! They are colourful, chaotic and noisy! They sell everything from food to silk scarves. The clothes and scarves come in exquisite colours and are beautiful. Handmade pottery items are everywhere and you can buy it for cheap. I also saw the most exquisite drapes and material at this website for homes.

Items for sale at the Market in Luxor

Shop owners are eager to help and don´t be surprised if you are quickly surrounded by people trying to help you find that perfect item. Haggling is at the order of the day and it is all part of the fun. It is almost expected of you to bargain. I enjoyed it and the 3 women would often call me to bargain on their behalf. Here I have learned to half the given price which will from your base. If you go too low the person would walk away. If they are still prepared to sell the item to you then you could go lower. Here in the markets of Egypt I have learnt my first lesson in negotiations which proved to be very helpful for future travel.

So there I was walking through the market and not paying much attention to anything else but the clothes and items on display. I hardly noticed what was happening on the ground. I remember it was quite difficult to walk close to the stalls because people were pushing and I decided to walk in the street close to the side walk. You can just imagine how noisy this market was with people talking and shouting. The next moment I tripped over something.

In my absent-mindedness I kicked over a small basket and the lid went open. As I looked down I saw it: A snake! I must have screamed very load because in seconds the police was there to see what was happening. I think I was white as a sheet and everybody wanted to know if I was OK. Luckily I didn´t step on the snake and when I looked again he was inside the basket. The man was a snake charmer and that must have been a poisonous snake.

I felt so stupid! I apologized and quickly got out of there. I got the shock of my life. When I was looking for my three South African friends I saw them haggling with a shop owner. Last time I looked we were still together. Where are your friends when you need them?

A view of the market as we walked back to the boat

I learnt a lot in the markets in Egypt. From that day on I watch where I walk and don´t walk with my head in the clouds. I also learnt not to buy food in these markets. One of the South African women bought peanuts from a stall. She ended up in hospital for 2 weeks. We were warned not to buy food there but she thought peanuts would be harmless.

I did find my perfect outfit but I will tell you all about our Galabia evening in another blog!

Sunset from the boat as we returned

Where: Luxor, Egypt
Date: 25 March 2005


I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. Oh my goodness, I would have been running so fast, over the people if need be. I am not normally fearful of snakes but that would have done it. Beautiful photos, look like so much fun otherwise.

  2. I had a lot of fun on this trip Jan and thinking back now this episode was quite funny. People who know me knows that I get frightened very quickly especially when I see spiders, snakes and other crawling and flying insects. I did scream very load! LOL…

  3. This is absolutely fascinating! I am dreaming of exotic places and vibrant colorful markets now…:) It's late where I am now but you can bet I will be back and reading more as soon as I get the chance! :)The snake sounds awful though…ugh…:)

  4. My eldest daughter loves markets and i'm sure would have the perfect companion for you, but she has always had a phobia for snakes, so god knows what would have happened, you kicked the basket, she'd kick the bucket.

  5. Oh I'd love to see a snake charmer more than a snake, ahahaha… Oh, you lucky lucky girl! I've been dreaming to go to Luxor for the longest time while I was in Libya. It would've been great visiting this beautiful place :D…Thanks for sharing your experiences here :*

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