The land of the Pharaohs
Think Egypt, think pyramids. Think more and you'll get images of the beautiful Cleopatra, young king Tutankhamun (King Tut) and the svelte river Nile. I have always been interested in history and architecture and spurred by friend Sunil (Bunny), I decided to discover this fascinating country. So Swarup and I, as well as five others including Bunny packed our bags and flew off for a 10-day visit.
While the capital Cairo is a busy and crowded, it's clean and despite heavy traffic, the roads and fly-overs keep the flow smooth most of the times. The smaller places like Aswan, Edfu and Luxor are famous for scenic and interesting temples/tombs. Hurgadha, the sea resort on the Red Sea (where the water was blue!) was beautiful and very relaxing. The cruise down the Nile was luxurious and relaxing.
And despite all the photographs and movies you've seen of the Pyramids, watching this wonder of the world in person is no doubt an awe-inspiring experience. What stands out strikingly about Egypt is the sheer larger-than-life size of the sights... the magnificent Pyramids, the majestic River Nile (longest in the world) and even the gigantic statues at the temple Abu Simbel.
On the first leg of our journey we stayed in Giza (Cairo), at Mena House, Oberoi Hotels opposite the pyramids. After exploring Cairo for two days we took the over night train to Aswan, the southern most part of Egypt.
At Aswan we boarded Oberoi Shehrazaad for our cruise down the Nile. Before sailing the next day we visited the High Dam, Lake Nasser, Abu Simble and Temple of Philae.
The four nights cruise took us to Luxor, via Edfu & Esna, visiting the temples at Kom-Ombo and Edfu and passing thru the lock at Esna.
At Luxor we saw the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Karnak temple, Luxor temple and then left by road, in a convoy; to Hurghadha.
We had a restful two days but also explored an upcoming township El Gouna and undertook a submarine ride. For our last leg of journey we flew back to Cairo and stayed at the Marriot hotel in downtown. The last day was spent by taking a walk along the river bank and old Cairo and doing last minute shopping! The trip ended with a lovely dinner on a boat on the Nile.
I really wish Jay and Vinati were with us on the trip; I missed them both immensely. Jay especially would've had a great time taking photographs with me.
I am in the process of selecting photographs from the various places we visited and accordingly categorise them. Rather than wait till the whole exercise is over, I will put up the pages as and when they get ready.
Come, rediscover Egypt with me...
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Abu Simbel Cairo Felluca ride
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