Saturday, 2 April 2011

Touring Egypt

November 21-30

The plane from Sharm el Sheik was delayed so much that we actually left after we were due to arrive in Cairo. We finally made it to our hotel, had some dinner, and pretty much went to bed. That night it was poor Vicki's turn to be sick, and she was a LOT worse than I was :( Our first full day on tour included a visit to the Egyptian Museum at Cairo and, of course, the pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. That night we upgraded to a sleeper train for our overnight journey to Aswan.

In Aswan we went for a Nile boat ride to the temple at Philae, where we saw our first hieroglyphs. We had dinner at the house of a Nubian village, which was fantastic. They even had a crocodile for a pet! The next morning we had an early start and were off to see Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel was VERY impressive. It is a sun temple that Ramses II built into the side of a rocky mountain. Both temples at Philae and Abu Simbel were relocated in the 60's/70's to preserve them against the raised water levels that resulted from the Aswan High Dam being built.


Abu Simbel

The next few days we spent on a felucca (sailing boat), where we slept under the stars for 2 nights. This was an extremely relaxing part of the tour, and it was nice just sitting watching the other boats go past. Every now and then a cruise ship would go past, and it was noisy and smelly. I much prefered the quiet wind-powered boat we were on :) (Plus, I don't mind getting close to nature to go to the loo, or sleeping under the sun :) I LOVE CAMPING!!)
Nile sand scrub anyone??

Kom Ombo

Luxor Temple at night
After the felucca trip came to an end we went to Kom Ombo and the Temple of Horus at Edfu. That night we went to the Luxor temple.


Day 8 of the tour we went to The Valley of the Kings, and climbed down into 3 tombs. We weren't allowed to take photos here, so have none to show. King Tut's tomb was an optional extra that I did not  go see. After Valley of the Kings we went to the Valley of the Queens, again an optional extra that I did not go see. On the way back we stopped at the Collosi of Memnon. That night was the tour group's last night all together as half of us were finishing the tour and returning to Cairo the next day, and the other half were continuing on to Dahab and the Red Sea.

Most of us went out to an Irish pub, and some people drank more than others! Later that night (or very early the next morning, whatever way you want to look at it :P) Me and Vicki decided to go for a swim... in our underwear! I didn't drink that much I swear! If I had I would have probably been wearing less, and there was NO WAY I was going to be wearing less then I was already wearing!!

Karnak Temple
The group outside Karnak
On the final full day of the tour we took a horse and carriage to Karnak temple, and got some group photos. That afternoon, those continuing to Dahab left, and that night it was back to Cairo on the overnight train for our last day in Egypt.