We arrived in Luxor late afternoon, boarded MS Le Scribe and set sail almost immediately. As the sun set over the Western Desert we ate then familiarised ourselves with the boat. Sailing overnight we passed through Esna lock and cleared the bridge there before continuing South.
We reached Edfu in the early hours. After breakfast we visited the Temple. We were back on board for lunch and headed upriver again for our next stop – Kom Ombo.
At dusk on our first full day we arrive at Kom Ombo. By the time we get ashore to visit the Temple it is spectacularly lit up. Good for viewing, not so good for my photographic skills – or lack of them. Back on board we sleep as Le Scribe travels upriver overnight, reaching Aswan in the early hours.
Day two and we are up early visiting the High Dam, Philae Temple and the Unfinished Obelisk in an Aswan quarry. In the afternoon we visit a Mosque and then head out to a vantage point overlooking the Cataracts to watch the sun set. Later we go back into Aswan town for a stroll throught the Spice Market and buy a Galabaya each.
Day three and a very early rise for a flight out to Abu Simbel. By 10.30am we were back in Aswan. In the afternoon we took a Feluca ride across the river to Kitchener Island. The end of our day started off with a ‘Galabaya Night’ … As our Galabaya Night progresses, we sail back to Kom Ombo reaching there about 11.00pm. A newly wed Egyptian couple come on board to join the fun before we all go ashore to sample the delights of a Sheesha and Turkish Coffee.
We spend most of the next day sailing back to Luxor, pausing at Esna first for the bridge to open and then to pass through the lock. We reach Luxor at 10.30pm and meet up with some friends in a nearby Hotel. Next day – Valley of The Kings.
After stopping at the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut we go on to the Valley of The Kings then the Valley of the Queens. On the way back its the Colossi of Memnon. Lunch on the boat before an afternoon horse riding.
The next day is a Temple fest, with visits to the Karnac complex then Luxor Temple. In the afternoon it’s back over to the West Bank for an hour or so aboard camels, exploring one of the villages and surrounding fields. After our camel ride we go back to Karnak for the Sound and Light Show. Neat day is another very early start as we attempt to beat the sun into the sky in a hot air balloon ride with the Valley of the Queens beneath us and the Nile flood plain stretching into the distance. In the afternoon we fly to Cairo for a three day spell staying in the Pyramids Park Hotel. Unfortunately an early morning rise is again required for our first tour of the day – the Great Pyramids of the Giza.
We go inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops and then head out into the desert a little way to look back at all three. After the Pyramids we stop at the Sphynx before heading South out of Cairo for Sakara and the stepped pyramid. It’s a short ride on to Memphis, Capital of Egypt for most of the Pharaonic period. Not as grand as previous sites we’ve visited, there is little but some huge carvings of Ramses II. In the evening we take in the delights of Giza Sound and Light.
Next morning, after a relative lay-in we go into Cairo to visit the Museum. Arriving early to beat the crowds only partially works as the area around the treasures of Tutankhamen is still packed and it’s difficult to get a clear ‘shot’. The craftsmanship and artistry are almost spell binding. It’s easy to forget how old this work is. After spending the rest of the morning in the Museum we go to a huge bazaar for lunch. Then, in the afternoon we tangle with the traffic again… to visit the Citadel and Mosque. On the way we pass the City of the Dead. The Mosque is huge, and perched above the city affords views of the sprawling mass that is Cairo. We manage a lay-in the following morning as we have an afternoon flight back to Luxor. Our Hotel for the next four nights is to be Le Meridien.
From now on pace slackens as the remaining time in Egypt is ours. Next day we go back to Luxor Temple for some drawing – then back to the Hotel to take it easy. The day after we take a Taxi to the Museum, followed by a Caléche ride around the shops and markets of Luxor, stopping now and then to stock up on souvenirs.
Our Caléche driver drops us at the Hotel and we spend the rest of the day chillin’! Our last full day and we go back to Karnak to do some drawing then its a Caléche back to the Hotel. The morning of our last day and we take a Feluca ride from the Hotel. As there’s virtually no wind we don’t go far, but it’s a nice gentle way to finish off the fortnight.