As ever, a succinct and informative post from PM. It definitely gets its teeth into the eternal travel dilemma - how to feel comfortable when you're unconscious ! I always maintain (in life generally) that the greatest gap lies between expectation and reality. PM also found the smallest; that between scalding and frigid on an unfamiliar shower 😆😎
Egypt is always going to be a conveyor belt for most visitors, outside of the resorts, and it's hard to get around this, given the country's geography. But PM is right to take the costs on the chin; how many times are you going to be there in this life ? Obviously didn't miss much, from her photos !
Back in 1989, when TWA still existed, took their 14 day tour. I believe there were 35 of us. We started in Cairo - 4 days staying at Mena House opposite the pyramids A huge WOW! During our stay there we traveled to Sakkaha and Memphis. Boarded a bus that took us to Alexandria - 2 days staying at Montazah Sheraton. From there we took a train to Aswan (dirty dishes - everyone sick). In Aswan, we stayed on Elephantine Island's Loews Aswan Oberoi. Went to Temples of Philae and flew to Abu...
A fascinating (and detailed) look at a site that many visitors completely miss, even based in Aswan ! The rescue (as with Abu Simbel) is a story in itself, but the 19thC visitors take the biscuit for hubris - wasn't it Edward Lear who set up his camp in the temple ?
My guess would be that only about 0.00001% of travelers to Egypt would have a familiarity with that book, interesting though it seems. You may very well have been the first person ever who recognized Hamada from Mahoney's book. But a charming tale it is and one that turns a good trip into a memorable experience. I'm saddened to hear that your story has you returning to Luxor already. I've enjoyed your Nile journey.
I've really enjoyed this journey...thanks! For anyone who hasn't, I'd suggest checking out the first 3 parts as well. It's amazing to realize how varied the architecture and the wildlife and even the river itself seem at different points along the way. Some of the variation serves to remind us, as well, how many many years went into all this; all of our civilizations are young by comparison, no matter how old they seem to us!
What a fabulous conclusion to a delightful series, Mac. Thanks so much for sharing this journey with all of us. I've wanted to visit Egypt for some time, but have always been a little reluctant to go somewhere I might get targeted for extermination simply because I'm a visitor from the west. But your series has made me want to see this sooner, rather than later.
Although I've wanted to go to Egypt most of my life, to Egypt and Japan, for some reason I haven't made it to either place (except through the Suez canal, which hardly counts). Your pictures of the colonial-era hotels, though, may be the encouragement I need to finally get there. It's probably less crowded now than it will ever be, also an encouragement.
Thank you kindly fellow Gumbo-ists. You have rightly detected that we greatly enjoyed our trip and it is so photogenic and endlessly fascinating. I always feel a total dullard when going to the tombs and temples and hear all the lists of Pharaohs, dynasties, goddesses and gods - all doing fantastic things at the same time as us Brits were living in mud huts.... I do encourage you all to go and visit now. You will never get better deals than now (but go in the cooler period). You will be well...
..an amazing journey, Mac, thanks for sharing it with us...and for anyone who hasn't been to Egypt, forget all the bad publicity you've heard and make this a priority on your adventure list; as someone who has been there, I can highly recommend it
For the first time in 25 plus years booked a package via Sonesta cruises down the Nile and he was our guide for just 3 of us. Abdul is very knowledgeable with excellent English. Several more posts can be found on at The Grey Traveller and an article about Sonesta . Always happy to answer questions if you have any more.
Thanks for the journey, Mac. Yes, it is sad that tourist numbers are down as there is so much to see. We were there in January'13 and loved every minute. Such a fascinating country and with friendly people too. Forget what you hear in the news, just go!
One of the most memorable trips in my journeys was to Egypt, and the overnight train from Cairo to Aswan was an adventure in itself. Our "first class" compartment was reasonably comfortable, but the trains are a bit dated and could use...
Poor Egypt gets some bad press at the moment and in the process their tourist numbers have fallen dramatically and that is understandable, however, in cities like Luxor tourism provides employment in one way or another for some 85% of the...
And so we arrive in Aswan, the furthest navigable point before the High Dam. From here some courageous souls can continue to the beautiful temple at Abu Simbel which was relocated with fantastic precision prior to the construction of the High Dam. The...
late afternoon on Lake Nasser near Philae Temples, Aswan There are many boats to be found on the Nile at Aswan, southern Egypt. These particular motor boats are used as water taxis to ferry passengers from one side of the Nile...
A better class of cockroach on board, too, doubtless 🤣🤣 we used a Glasgow built little old ferry boat with cabins added; it was rescued from Port Said I believe. The bugs didn't spoil anything though - they live there, after all. The teeth-gritter always came soon 'How deep is the Nile here, Bob ?' Er. . . er
In many things the old ways are sometimes better. When Europeans began (19th c.?) outfitting dahabiyas for leisurely Nile Cruises, they'd sink it first to clear out a variety of vermin. Too bad you didn't know that good old trick.
I read about that one - def a Victorian lady ¿a thousand miles up the nile? The odd highly colourful phrase in today's usage too ! 😆😱 BTW 'our' boat was a bit big to do that I guess, took 18-20 plus 6 crew, a jolly punt, though !
The mysterious 'mechanism' is the ability to raise and lower the keel to sail in shallower water. Hence the reason the boat heeled over further. A keel is necessary when using a high sail - a technology passed on from the Arab world to Vikings !
Plenty of great memories from Aswan - much more laid back than the churning touristopolis of Luxor, antiquities notwithstanding. The Nubian population adds a new cultural aspect, allowing the visitor time and space to absorb the timeless river’s influence, with the desert at barely a stone’s throw away. Fab pictures.
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