We didn’t have to get up very early today as we are not embarking on the ship until noon. When we get to the dock, there are 4 ships parked side by side so we have to go through the lobbies of each ship to get to our ship. We are on the Princess Sarah which is a beautiful boat. The entrance lobby is very nice with marble stairs to the next level. We are in cabin 214 and every cabin has very large picture windows so you can watch the scenery while you cruise by. This is just a down day as the ship is not leaving until 1:00am tonight. Because there are not many tourists, it seems that we have all been put on the same boat. Some of the boats will not go out this week as tourism is very slow since the revolution. Even with putting everyone on one boat, the boat is still not full. We just relaxed on the ship by the pool. It is great to get a day to do nothing. It is great to watch the many diverse
Feluccas on the Nile
people of Aswan and to watch the many feluccas on the river.
We are up early today as we are docked in Kom Ombo and off the ship by 7:30am to see the temple. It is very close to the dock so we can walk to the temple. This temple is built in Egyptian style but built by the Romans. The temple is still in very good shape and you can still see the colors on some of the columns. Our guide Raymond is the best and knows a lot about Egypt and always answers all are questions. He is also very funny and it is great to have him as our guide.
Our next stop on the cruise is Edfu temples. When we arrive in Edfu, there are horse drawn carriages lining the streets and so we take a carriage to the temple. The temple at Edfu is very large and still in great shape. We are told that usually there are many people here, but we pretty well have the whole temple to ourselves except for other people from the ship. It is great for us but not
so great for Egypt. The people here are very friendly and we make our way back to the ship after our tour. Once we are all back on the boat, our continue our cruise passing through the Esna lock. Because we are travelling from Aswan to Luxor our boat is brought down to the lower lake. When we arrive, we have to wait our turn and that is when the fun starts. All of a sudden you will see small boats coming out to the ship and they start pulling things out of the boats to sell. They have many beautiful tablecloths and the long dresses that they wear in southern Egypt. Once we are stopped they start showing us there things for sale and the bartering begins. It was great fun to have them throw up the clothes and tablecloths for us to see and then we would take the bag and throw back the money to the vendors. This went on for about 1 hour and we did purchase a table cloth in the end but it was just more the fun of catching things and throwing them back. Many things were purchased this way. Tonight after supper, they are having a party so that everyone can wear the Egyptian clothes that they have purchased. Early to bed since we have an early start tomorrow.
When we got up this morning we were already docked in Luxor. Because it is supposed to be very hot today, we head right to the Temple of Hatshepsut. This is a massive temple and we take a small train out to have a look. The temperature continues to climb and by 8:30am it is probably already 40 degrees. All of these temples are in the desert so it gets hot very fast. From there we go to the Valley of the Kings one of the highlights of our trip. We arrive and get on donkeys to take us into the site. This is a lot of fun as our donkeys try to pass each other. With our ticket, we are allowed entry into 3 tombs. These tombs are in great shape and the colors are still so vivid you would think that it was painted just yesterday. The Valley of the Kings is pretty empty so we are sometimes alone in the tombs and can spend as much time as we like. On the way in we pass the house of Howard Carter who discovered the tomb of King Tut. We need to take a little break so we head over to an Alabaster shop where they explain the different types of alabaster and how it is made. After a quick purchase of green alabaster, we head back outside. The temperature is probably around 45 degrees at our last stop in the Valley of the Queens. When we arrive here, we are the only tourists there and we have pretty well the run of the tombs until we run into 2 groups heading in as we are leaving. Egypt seems empty of tourists. We head to our hotel the Steigenberger Nile Palace. This is a 5 star hotel with a beautiful courtyard and we all bolt down to the pool. This hotel pool is right beside the Nile River and you can sit by the pool and watch the Nile all at the same time. We have 2 hours before we meet in the lobby and are off the Karnak temple. Karnak temple is actually a gigantic temple complex that covers a lot of area and is one of the best sites that we are going to see. From the room with the massive columns to the largest obelisk in Egypt, this temple does not disappoint. It is hard to believe that this complex is over 3500 years old. From here we head over to the Luxor temple with its massive statues of Ramses the II. Now back to the hotel for some rest and some time out of the sun. I love the sun but even this is a little too much for me. We are heading over to the Red Sea tomorrow to spend some time relaxing before our flight home.
Today, we are driving from Luxor to Hurghada which is a resort city on the Red Sea. It took us 4 hours and we arrived at the Safir Hotel around 1:30pm.
Hurghada is a resort town so the dress here is much more what we are used to. Here you will find people from Russian, Poland, Hungary and France. We have not seen any Americans or Canadians. I would think the problems in Cairo are keeping the tourists away. Our hotel is just out of the main part of the city and has its own beach. We went out for supper to a restaurant just down the street for Italian. This restaurant is just across the street from the sea and has a great view. The food and drinks are cheaper here in Hurghada then the rest of Cairo.
We left this morning for a snorkelling tour on a large diving boat. The colors of the water here are a rich blue. We are going to snorkel in two different spots and then to an island for a swim. Both spots were great for snorkelling but there were probably 40 boats at both spots. This is low season so you can imagine what it would be like in high season. We even saw dolphins twice. It was a great trip and very popular here in Hurghada. We got back to the hotel at 4:30pm and spent some time at the pool. The weather here is not as hot as the rest of Egypt but it would still be about 35 degrees. Tonight we promised our son a trip to the Hard Rock Café.
Hard Rock Cafe Hurghada
The food was great as was the service. Tomorrow is our last day before we drive back to Cairo to catch our flight. It will be great to just do nothing for the day.