Cruising Down the Nile
Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
15Trip End May 29, 2010
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The flight was only an hour long and we arrived in Luxor (formally known as Thebes) at about 6:30 Wednesday morning. I hadn’t been able to sleep at all since I got up Tuesday morning but didn’t seem to be too tired yet (a mix of adrenaline and coffee)
We loaded our luggage onto M.S President Commodore and settled into our rooms (I shared with Yasmina, one of our Arabic teachers that was with us, cutest little thing ever!) Thankfully the rest of the day was free- some people were out sleeping the rest of the day. I took a nap, went to lunch, then explored the boat. Up on top there was a deck with a small pool, lounge chairs, and a pool table. I made myself comfortable and spent most of my time the next three days relaxing on the top deck. It was ungodly hot out but I just couldn’t get enough of the sunshine
Thursday morning we headed out early in the morning to the Valley of the Kings- this is where many of the greatest pharoahs of Egypt were buried in the most elaborate tombs I have ever seen. King Tut, Ramses I-XI including Ramses the Great were all buried here and we were able to go inside three different tombs. On the other side of the Valley of the Kings was the tomb of Queen Hatshepsut- who was the only woman pharaoh- girl power in true form. I’m fond of her. After morning touring we went back to the boat and settled in for the day as we finally began to sail down the Nile!! I spent the whole afternoon on the deck, it was beautiful to be able to lounge and watch the scenery of Upper Egypt go by as we cruised on the Nile.
Most of the other guests on the boat were Europeans (mostly British) and were aged sixty or older. Nothing wrong with that, but we were definitely the youngest people on board by far. As soon as the Egyptian crew heard us speak Arabic they couldn’t stop beaming. We definitely endeared ourselves to them through the language. One older man was literally giggling with glee that these young white kids actually spoke Arabic. On our way to breakfast one of the crew said "Sabah-el kheir" (good morning) to Yasmina then turned to me and said “Good morning” I responded with “Sabah el-nuur” (the response to good morning in Arabic) and he broke out into the biggest smile ever
That night we went through a Lock on the river- I had never in my life seen something like this and was super fascinated- I took an insane amoutn of pictures and was right up in the front of the boat watching every step of the crew. The next morning we toured a couple more ancient temples (they were all gorgeous and beautiful, but I was getting fuzzy on the history). My afternoon was spent on the deck (again!) and we even had tea time in the afternoon- wonderful! We made another stop in the early evening at another temple, then returned back to the boat to get ready for the evening’s festivities. It was Galabaya night! A galabaya is a long single piece of cloth worn by Egyptians, both men and women. The women’s are very sparkly and decorated while the men’s are more plain and solid colored. We all bought galabayas and dressed for dinner at 8pm. The whole entire boat was dressed in various galabayas, and the old British men were wearing turbans on their heads- kinda funny. Mine was hot pink, of course, with gold hieroglyphs and pyramids all over it- I was a little bit in love with it.
After dinner we all gathered in the large entertainment room where there was music and a dance floor. That’s when the games began- yes, I said games
Sean wore a woman’s galabaya, and ended up playing this horribly sexual game with a string and a potato (I was about to leave during this-dude, I have CLASS with him) which he ended up winning because his dress was so short. Every time he sat down, he crossed his legs forgetting how short his dress was- the girls screamed at him to put them down immediately each time. Such a stressful night.
Then there was the belly dancing competition- three teams of two. I refused to go up and dance unless the announcer guy shut his mouth with all the sex talk, and if he made one single dirty comment about my body, my dancing, or any of the women up there he was going DOWN (yes I said this all out loud, I'm sure he heard me). I went up with Becky still bitching about the announcer and noticed our competition was the two oldest, sluttiest ladies on the ship. I sound mean, but these women were wearing things none of us girls would even dream of wearing! Obviously,I was determined to show them up. I continued to bitch until the music started and then I began my belly dancing moves with Becky on the dance floor
Saturday morning arrived quickly after that and it was our last on the boat. We had finally made it to Aswan and we set out to visit the Aswan High Dam in the morning. Afterwards, we spent the entire day in Aswan- we ate lunch on the Nile, then took a boat across to visit the Botanical Gardens. I fell in love with all of the flowers there (such pretty pink ones!), which you can tell by my pictures