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Cruising the Nile: The Panorama of Egypt

 

You are back on your vessel, so settle yourself down on the upper deck and just watch Egypt's panorama unfold before your eyes!

Endlessly on both banks daily life shows itself to you and seems much as it has been over the past hundreds of years. Agriculture, of course, predominates and that still requires all the efforts of man and animal to take full advantage of the rich alluvial soil on either side of the river. With the advent of the dams at Aswan, the seasonal floods are now a thing of the past but it is clear to see the dramatic and sharp divide between green cultivation and stark desert within 500m of the river bank - and that contrast is stark!

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Past other cruise ships, darting Kingfishers, triangular sailed feluccas with patched and grubby sails, bizarrely flaming palm trees, the quarries and tombs of the quarry masons and the communal tricycle delivery cart washing places, the whole of life unfolds before you.

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In the late afternoon we reach the Ombos temple, or the Crocodile Temple, on the Nile's east bank - that of "life". This is a really beautiful temple with the frieze of the Pharaoh being anointed by Gods with the life giving waters of the Nile. Around the temple are many other friezes of fascinating interest including one that shows a range of medical instruments of the period. Others show the bound prisoners brought up from what is now Sudan in the south after defeat by the conquering Egyptian armies.

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As evening falls, we then head further south and watch the rapid sunset behind the palms and mosque minarets.

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Overnight, the cruise passes through locks and heads further south towards Aswan and the High Dam built between 1960 and 1970 with Soviet aid to the Egyptian government. This massive dam effectively replaced the older "Low Dam" built in 1902 which was much less successful in controlling the flood waters of the Nile.

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On the dam itself is a large and futuristic edifice built by the Soviets as their tribute to the Aswan Dam project. Fanciful and very much 'of the period' it projects itself to the skies and beyond. Close to Aswan we see the first of the temples that were meticulously relocated before the waters of the new dams could flood them. The lovely Philae temple is a wonderful example of the technology of the period in that it was moved in it's entirety, stone by stone, by the Germans to another higher island just some 300 metres away from its original site.

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Fascinating to see is the graffiti carved into many of the the temple walls which were virtually covered by sand two centuries ago. European travelers on their tours of exploration came across these largely submerged ruins and left their messages in a way that today we would consider a virtual sacrilege but which is now part of the authentic 'history'.

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One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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Beautiful! Cruising the Nile provides an immersive experience from the comfort of home. The documentary transports viewers along the legendary Nile River, showcasing breathtaking landscapes and architectural wonders. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or an armchair explorer, this film offers a fascinating glimpse into Egypt's timeless allure.

Last edited by DrFumblefinger
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