The Land of the Pharaohs, from Bristol

Earlier this month, staff at Bristol Airport swapped their uniforms for something a little more extravagant, as the hub celebrated a new Thomson Airways route to Luxor, Egypt, with a pharaoh-themed fancy dress party.

Luxor, the site of the Ancient Egyptian city, Thebes, is one of the most popular tourist resorts in North Africa. The city sits on the banks of the Nile, and claims the ruins of the Karnak temple, and the nearby Valley of the Kings as landmarks.

Explorers can also book a felucca (a small yacht) ride on the Nile. The Greek historian, Herodotus, once said that Egypt was given to the world by the famous river, emphasising its importance in founding the ‘Land of the Pharaohs.’ Man-eating crocodiles, weighing 225kg, were also gifted to Egypt by the Nile.

With an average July temperature of 41 degrees Celsius, Luxor is an ideal destination for both sun seekers and would-be historians alike.

Airport bosses say that Thomson has helped boost winter capacity at the North Somerset hub by an impressive 55% over 2009, by adding the Luxor route, introducing a flight from Bristol to Gran Canaria at the beginning of November, and making the decision to base a second aircraft at the airport.

Bristol claims that seven new Thomson routes will go on sale during the winter of 2010/11, but it is unknown whether the airline’s latest additions are included in that figure. Flights to Larnaca in Cyprus, Heraklion in Greece, and Reus in Spain, are at least some of the routes to be introduced during the colder months.

Thomson is operating the flight to Luxor alongside its sister company, First Choice. Tickets for the route are being sold at £199 for a return trip, all taxes included. The price is for a single adult returning after a seven or fourteen day stay in Egypt. Naturally, First Choice is offering package deals for Luxor, with a week at the four-star hotel, the Iberotel Luxor, costing £374 per person.

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