Week 1 in Egypt - Cruising the Nile
Trip Start Dec 10, 2005
24Trip End Ongoing
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Day 373 -Monday 5th March - Gatwick to Luxor....Hello Egypt
Up early to drop Mike at work and then off to Gatwick airport to catch the 5 hour flight to Egypt. We arrived at 7.00pm, got into a crazy airport where all these men hustled us to get a visa, when we eventually got our luggage we spent about 40 minutes going around in circles trying to find the transfer to the boat. As you walk out the doors of the airport all these guys come up and take your trolley off you and push it about 15 meters, load your bags into the coach and then want money and lots of it!!. The hassling has started!! We saw lots of interesting sights on the way to the boat with donkeys pulling carts and cars piled to twice their size with stuff. We got to the boat, the MS Treasure, which was docked just outside the magnificent Luxor temple
Day 374 -Tuesday 6th March - Luxor to Esna - Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary
Up early this morning to beat the heat and we were off to the west bank of the Nile to see the magnificent Valley of the Kings. The scenery here is quite amazing, the Nile really is the life blood of this country as everything is green to within about 1 km of its bank and then it is just barren desert. The mountain range where the Valley of the Kings was amazing and although it was totally barren it was very beautiful. The ancient Egyptians used this spot to bury their Kings and Queens and dug the tombs into the mountain sides. They chose this spot to try and keep secret the location of the tombs as they soon realized that the Pyramids were just a giant neon sign inviting tomb raiders. Unfortunately, the tombs here were also discovered and raided, except for Tutankhamen's which was the only one found in tact...can't wait to get to the Cairo museam to see it's treasures. We visited 3 tombs which were all rather amazing with painted and carved hieroglyphics
Tonight we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary by cruising down the Nile. We stopped at the lock on the Nile as only 2 boats can go at a time. However, when we arrived there were about 50 boats ahead of us and each one takes about 45 minutes to get through the lock so it will be sometime tomorrow until we can go through. They certainly are not very organized!!
Day 375 -Wednesday 7th March - Esna, Edfu
We were woken up at 6am by locals who surround the ship in their tiny rowing boats trying to sell stuff....they never shut up and are constantly yelling at people on the boat to buy stuff (which gets very annoying when every second they yell olah and just don't stop)....they did not stop until 11.00 when the boat finally moved to go through the lock
Day 376 - Thursday 8th March - Kom Ombo to Aswan
Woken up this morning at 4am by the call for prayer...which sounds quite beatiful and hypnotic but not at 4am!!!! Had to be up at 6.30 to get to the Temple of Kom Ombo early because of crowds and the heat. This temple was dedicated to the crocodile which they made a god as well and we got to see ancient mummified crocodiles
Day 377 - Friday 9th March - Abu Simble and Aswan
Today we got up at 3am to leave to go in a guarded bus convoy to Abu Simble which was a 2.5 hour drive through the desert
Day 378 - Saturday 10th March - Nile Cruising
This morning we visited Phila Temple which were also moved between 1972 and 1980 after the island on which they stood was flooded after the building of the High Dam...the High Dam was built to stop the Nile from flooding and wiping out all the towns that are reliant on it
Day 379 - Sunday 11th March - Nile Cruising to Luxor
We sailed through the night and this morning we arrived back in Luxor. Unfortunately, despite taking every precaution and not eating certain foods Gem was very very sick today with the runs and stomach cramps so was unable to go on the tours. Wayne got to visit the Temple of Karnack and the Temple of Luxor which were both rather amazing. Tonight Gem managed to drag herself out to attend the Sound and Light show at Karnack Temple...we were a bit sorry we went as while the temple was amazing, the show was rather boring and Gem was in pain. Gem unfortunately got even sicker tonight and spent the night chucking and extreme pain with none of the gastro medicine working. Fortunately, one of the men on the tour is a surgeon and bought with him some antibiotics especially for killing the bugs over here....Gem took them, threw them back up, took some more and passed out for the night. Wayne got to go to the Belly Dancing show on the boat but apparently it was not that good
Day 380 - Monday 12th March - Luxor
Gem woke up feeling relatively better this morning and very thankful Dr Frank gave her the antibiotics!! We said goodbye to everyone today and then got transferred to our hotel in Luxor....Egyptian 5 star is certainly not the same as 5 star elsewhere in the world!!! Never mind it is clean and the pool is nice. We went for a walk to find the internet, got ripped off and constantly hassled as soon as we stepped outside of the hotel. We managed to organise to go on a hot air balloon trip tomorrow over Luxor...they started off at 55 English pound each (on the boat it was 70 pound) and within 5 minuets we had her down to 30 English pound each without even haggling....very amusing. We went back for a swim and watched an amazing full burning sun set behind some date palms.