Day's Five & Six - August 17th & 18th

Well, aren't you a lucky bunch! A second dose of holiday fever!

Today was a seriously early start 3.45am!! We were off to Abu Simbel, you won't know the name but would probably recognise the place, it's those 5 huge dudes sitting outside the entrance to a tomb! But why the early start? Well, it gets so hot at Abu Simbel during the day that you want to get there as early as possible, and its a 3 hour journey, by bus, accross the Sahara. We had to go in a convoy aswell, and have an armed guard on board the bus with us.
When we got there however, it was well worth the trip! The place was huge, and I mean huge!! What was equally impressive was the fact that the whole thing had been moved up and accross to rescue it from the rising water after the building of the High Dam.
It was incredibly hot there and we were definately glad we had come in the morning!! Our encounter with the vendors at this particular site was the only time on the trip where I felt apprehensive about them. They were very pushy and would not take no for an answer.
The rest of the day was spent travelling back to the cruise ship, and the cruising back to Esna. In the evening we had a scavenger hunt which ended with us being dressed ridiculously, me as a belly-dancer and Dave as a woman! Don't ask!


Another action packed today when we finally made it back through the Esna lock and got back to Luxor. We saw Karnak Temple as soon as we docked at Luxor. It is the biggest man-made monument in the world and is very derelict. Because of problems getting through the lock we didn't have much time at the temple before it was time to move on. We then saw Luxor Temple itself and it was a lot smaller but very beautiful. Our final stop was to a Papyrus Museum where we were taught how papyrus was made and used. We also bought some papyrus to take home as souveniers.
The evening saw a performance by a belly dancer and another by some nubian dancers.

Days Three & Four - August 15th and 16th

Okay, so as I have taken ages to write anything on here about our holiday I will give you a two for one special.

A 6am start on the third day but the beginning of our trips into Egypt and to see exactly what was going down. Two trips planned for today, the first to Edfu Temple. A mass of vendors all desperately trying to convince us that 'yes, it is handmade and worth £80' even though every other stall has exactly the same thing and they actually cost £2. We'd been woarned that sometimes they can get aggressive so just to ignore them and press on.

The temple itself was very busy, but what a great way to start the holiday. Our guide was great, she new it all and then some, the perfect person to introduce us to Egypt.

The afternoon saw another temple, called Kom Ombo, and also the opportunity to learn a few heiroglyphics, we are 'fully' versed in them now! Cough! This stop also gave us our first encounter with trying to buy stuff from the sellers as we had been told to dress up Egyptian style for an Egyptian evening on the ship.

Everyone got into the swing of it, and after a traditional Egyptian meal we were entertained by some dancers and then played a few ridiculous games. I may have looked ridiculous during my participation but I won a camel by golly!


A busy day today, we started with a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk which was really quite facinating. A short trip on a motor boat to an island to visit The Temple of Isis, where we learnt a few more hieroglyphics. We also saw the HIgh Dam and visited a Perfumery to learn about how perfume is made.

After lunch we headed to a Nubian village to visit a traditional Nubian house and also to Kitcheners island to visit a Botanical garden, where we saw all the native plants and trees and some of the birdlife.

Day Two - August 14th

After a great night's sleep, awoken only 2 or 3 times as the engines came on and we left port, around 5am, we awoke and headed to the resturant for our breakfast, little did we know at that time that the people we sat with on that morning would become tour buddies and treasure hunt helpers over the course of the next 7 days. We were at our table with a honeymoon couple Jeff and Emily and another couple who were returning once again to Egypt for another cruise, Ron and Deliah.

After breakfast we headed upstairs to see what the commotion above was all about. It seemed that we had come to a stop, we found it was because we were currently queuing to pass through the Esna dam. The noise was from the hundreds of vendors in boats who had rowed out from the shore as we arrived and were trying to sell things. Bear in mind that where we stood, on the sun deck, was three floors up and these guys were in minute rowing boats. They were hurling the stuff up on the deck and we were supposed to throw the money back down. It was incredible how 'in harm's way' these guys put themselves! Almost being crushed by the cruisers as they tried to get their sales in before the two huge ships came together.

We waited a good hour before we were able to go up through the dam and then it was just a short trip to Esna where we docked breifly to get supplies, apparently. We were then off again sailing up stream to Edfu where we docked for the night. We enjoyed a ridiculously huge dinner and went up on deck in the evening. Next to the ship was a stall, the owner of which was desperate to sell, to the point that he was trying to get us to come down by shouting up at us. We didn't venture out but some did and before they even made it off the gang-plank they were set upon by about 4 vendors who had 'nice stuff'!