Nile Cruise

Egypt: Nile Cruise - Page 3

This is the last page depicting our Egypt odyssey, focusing on the last days of our cruise. Pictures show our camel ride to a Nubian village, as well as the Botanical Garden of Aswan.

We both had a great time during the 8 day journey, but missed having Christmas and New Years with our families. Our Christmas day was mostly spent on a plane getting to Luxor. New Years Day, which occurs on the same time as a feast day in Islam, was celebrated by everyone on the boat. Many of the guests stayed up to ring in the New Years, 9 hours ahead of Denver. Before hand we had a 7-course dinner, which was the best food we had during the whole trip.

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Motor Boat Ride

Still docked in Aswan Friday afternoon, we took a motor boat ride. There are hundreds of ships like these, which Robin has a penchant for calling dodgy. Dodgy is a very fun, very British word. For some reason, the flag on our ship had Bob Marley on it.

This is our ship, the M/S Sinai. A good picture. Ours was just below the top deck. The windows closest to the water shine into our dining hall.

This type of ship is called a Felucca, and there are also hundreds of them ferrying passengers near Aswan. We did not go on it, but it would have been fun. Since you are a captive audience, they try to sell you stuff while on the ship.

This is the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, which stands on the top of hill across the river from Aswan. It is closed to visitors ever since a rude Italian tourist refused to cover her shoulders to enter, thus disrespecting the occupant. It sits near some Tombs of the Nobles, which are brightly lit up at night.

High-tide mark. Perhaps from before the construction of Aswan dam?

Pristine sand along the river, seen from our motor boat.

Camel Ride

Robin really really wanted to ride camels, so we finally did. These were actually the only camels we say in Egypt at all! Robin rode on of the camels pictured here.

I'm riding a camel too! They are taller than horses, so you sit much higher. The camel walks differently than any other animal: they move both legs on one side and then both legs on the other side. So it creates a rolling motion, like a boat. I had a great time. The other person in the photo is Max, part of our tour group.

Here we are arriving at the Nubian village. The camel is about to sit down, to let me off. The camel kneels down on both front legs first, so you will get catapulted if you don't lean back like I'm doing.

Nubian Village

This is a colorfully decorated Nubian house, which our tour group visited. Most of the Nubian population was displaced when Lake Nassar was created in 1950s, and most moved to Aswan. In addition, many ancient temples had to be relocated (including Philae).

So this Nubian house raises baby crocodiles. I don't know why. But we got to hold them. Ayman said not to put your fingers near its mouth, though. Afterwards, we returned to our cruise ship to relax.

Relaxing at Aswan

This is what most of Aswan (and Luxor) looks like. The ship you can see is not part of our boat, but an adjacent one.

More Aswan.

Robin relaxing.

The ship staff created towel creatures in our cabin as part of the cleaning service. We really looked forward to coming back from our excursions and find a new one everyday. Crocodile, person, swan, scorpion, Gregory-creature.

Aswan Botanical Garden on Kitchner Island

Saturday afternoon, as our last excursion, we visited Aswan's Botanical Garden. It is located on an island in the middle of the Nile. We took the Bob Marley motor boat to it.

Nice picture. The gardens had lots of wild cats on it. We even saw a dog!

Greg being silly.

Tombs of the Nobles over there.

Two kinds of palms. The right-hand side is a Royal palm-you can tell by the concentric circles which allegedly tell its age.

Lots of greenery; including Vinca vines, an Arabic coffee plant, my favorite: verbena, and some sort of bird. Possibly a heron, although I don't have enough interest to find out.

A triangle tree in a neat-o picture.

Fancy palms.

Return to Luxor

Saturday night we got underway and headed down the Nile River towards Luxor for our inevitable return to reality.

These are the ticket stubs of all the places that we went on our trip. I count ten things (that require a ticket).

It just wouldn't be right without a little excitement at the end.

So the plan was to sail back up to Luxor. Instead, we got to the Esna Lock. A long queue of boats made it there before us, and we had to wait our turn. About midday on Monday, when it was getting close to our turn, the lock seems to have broke! Since everybody had flights to make that day, drastic action had to occur!

The company rented three (dodgy) taxis to carry us through Esna to a bus. We all crammed in, (8 of us in the 70-ish Peugeot). We waited half an hour in the taxi for the armed police escort and we headed off where tourists don't usually go. We met up with the bus, eventually. They actually closed the road for our bus! Anyway, we finally got up to Luxor and made our flight (after going through 3 lines of security).

We arrived in England very late on Monday, January 01. We were very lucky to get the last Circle line underground train back home, bringing us back home very early on January 02.

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