A Travellerspoint blog

Dahab

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We ended up having a couple of extra days to spare at the end of our trip and Cat wanted to do her Advanced dive course so we headed to Dahab. I was thinking about doing the advanced as well but had run out of funds, so it was a no can do. So while Cat dived I relaxed and managed to work on my suntan a bit more. I also got to hang out with the guys from Penguin helped one of them with his English. Cat finished her dive course and then took an overnight trip out to Thistlegorm wreck for a few more dives so I stayed in Dahab and extra night while she did that and met her in Sharm el Sheik the next day when she got off the boat, actually she was already at the hotel by the time I arrived.

We didn’t do anything eventful in Sharm, just hung around by the pool until it was time to go to the airport.

Marsalama (goodbye) from the Middle East.

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Posted by krissy 10:06 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Luxor

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View Middle East - March 07 on krissy's travel map.

After Edfu we then headed to Luxor, settled into the hotel very quickly and headed straight out on a guided tour of the east bank of Luxor, which took us through the Karnak temples and the Luxor temple. Both of the temples were absolutely fantastic it was really nice to see that some of the statues were still in one piece. The tour finished around 6.30 so we headed out for dinner in the area of our hotel. We were pleasantly surprised to find a really nice English restaurant where we had a fantastic dinner.

Karnak Temples
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Luxor Temple
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The next day we had a private car and our own guide to show us around the west bank of Luxor. Our guide was really quiet good he had studied Egyptology at university and knew all the little details. We started by seeing the Colossi of Memnon, which were 2 large statues and then headed to the Valley of the Kings and while we were there we went into 4 tombs and all were very different. I cant remember the names of them all but we went into 2 of the Ramses tombs and Tutenkhamun’s tomb, which was really nice to see especially after having seen all of his treasures in the Cairo museum. His tomb is really small and consists of a room where his sarcophagus is complete with his mummy in its casket and a treasure room.
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After the Valley of the Kings we stopped at the Temple of Hatshepsut, we were told that it was worth paying for entry as the inside was totally reconstructed and not original so we just took photos from the outside. We both wished we were able to get closer to the outside the temple as we were told it was impressive by other travellers. It was then on to the valley of the Queens, which was also the burial grounds for princes and princess’s. We went into 2 tombs of princes and one of a queen but like the valley of the kings and actually most of the west bank we were unable to take photos inside the tombs.
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We then went to see some tombs of the nobles, stopped for a bite to eat then on to see Medinet Habu, which was very similar to Philae, Edfu and Kom Ombo. So that took most of the day, we headed back to the same restaurant for dinner, as it was so good the night before. Then packed for an early departure in the morning.
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Posted by krissy 08:12 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Felucca - Aswan to Luxor

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View Middle East - March 07 on krissy's travel map.

This started straight after our trip to the islands of Aswan. We dropped off a couple of people and picked up a few more, we turned out to be a very international group, 3 Aussies, 2 Slovenians, 2 Malaysian and of course the 3 Egyptians that were crewing our felucca for the journey. We started slowly tacking our way up the Nile, stopping only for toilet breaks. We stopped at a nice little sandy spot for the night which was out of the current so we didn’t get rocked away by the waves of the cruise boats continuously going past us. After dinner the Slovenian guys pulled out some schnapps and we played cheat (card game) by candlelight.
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Needless to say we were up with the sun the next day as the felucca is a wooden boat with boards over the hull to make a flat area covered with a thin mattress that you sleep on and a shade sail to protect you from the sun. Nothing flash but quiet enjoyable for a couple of days. We just relaxed again, stopping for lunch and a greatly welcomed swim to cool off. We then stopped near the local camel market and one of the Egyptian guys went and bought us some camel meat for dinner, which turned out to be really nice. They stewed it for 3 hours and it was really tasty. We also had chicken for those that didn’t want to have the Camel and that was also one of the best style chicken I have had in the Middle East. We ended up anchoring the felucca alongside what seemed to be a rice field with a few other feluccas and all ha a bit of a sing-a-long. We ended up having a bit of a problem with the mosquitos due tot eh rice field and all got eaten alive.

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We were up early the next morning to sail an hour to Kom Ombo temple. We got there before the crowds of people and took the opportunity to use the toilets available and met some rather disgusting tourist police that made both Cat and I feel really uncomfortable.
We wandered around Kom Ombo for about 30 mins and then had to waste 45 mins before the other people on the convoy were ready to leave for our next destination.
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On to Edfu temple next, we had about an hour to wander around here, Edfu is a temple for Horus and it had some lovely statues of him. Both Kom Ombo and Edfu are impressive Egyptian temples, which we were able to take photos of and very happy about. There is nothing like seeing an amazing historical site and not being able to take photos to remember it by.

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Posted by krissy 08:11 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Aswan

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View Middle East - March 07 on krissy's travel map.

Well a long 12 hour trip on the train brought us to Aswan, anyone doing this trip in the future, my advice would be to get the sleeper as we got no sleep at all on the first class train. Anyway we had a short rest at the hotel and then headed out to se the high dam and Philae temple. Philae is another amazing place. I couldn’t believe I was there standing in front of this absolutely beautiful structure. I have wanted to see Philae for years and it just had me breathless and quiet emotional. We had a guided tour through Philae, which took about an hour to explain the history of the temple, the statues and the hieroglyphs and then the guide gave us some free time to wander at our own pace. I managed to find a quiet spot to sit and reflect for a while.

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Next day saw us getting up extremely early, 3.30 am actually, to catch a bus up to Abu Simbel. We got of the bus to a big pile of sand, wandered around tot he water and found the amazing façade of the temple of Ramses 2. It is hard to imagine that they cut it up into pieces and moved it away from the rising waters of the high dam as you can hardly see the incisions made in the rock. We wandered around inside the temple and also in the smaller one along side it, which is the temple of Queen Nefertari. Once again there were some fantastic hieroglyphs but unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs of the inside.
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We got back to the hotel about 1 pm then decided to catch a felucca over to the tombs of the nobles with one of the Slovenian guys that we had met that morning. These were interesting but not as amazing as the others we had seen. We could also see Aga Khan’s mausoleum for the tombs of the nobles but it was too far away and apparently is now closed to the public. Our return journey on the Felucca ended up taking us 3 hours as we ran out of wind and had to paddle our way back.

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Next day another early start but this time not as bad and the day before. We headed out to the islands of the Nile in Aswan, Elephantine and Kitchener islands. We stopped at Kitchener first and saw the botanical gardens then over to Elephantine Island to wander through an ancient Nubian village, which is still being lived in today.

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Posted by krissy 07:21 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Cairo

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View Middle East - March 07 on krissy's travel map.

One of our Spanish friends we met on the ferry to Aqaba, Erica, met us at the train station and we stayed with her while we were in Cairo but we had also booked a hostel just in case, which came in handy for the rest of our trip as we had picked that hostel as they were recommended for the tours they can organise. We ended up heading to the hostel the first night to chat about trips and ended up booking a tour to the Pyramids. We also ended up booking the rest of our trip to Luxor with them as well.

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Next day was the trip to Dashur, Memphis, Sakara and the Pyramids, which turned out to be a really long day but totally fantastic. Dashur was impressive but I got a little claustrophobic so I stayed outside while Cat went in. Then we went on to see the museum at Memphis, Memphis is said to be the true home of the Pharaohs. The museum had some lovely carvings and sculptures.

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Then on to the Pyramids. WOW, they are totally amazing. I think it took me the whole 3 hours we were there to realize that I was really here. We were going to go into the great pyramid but were told it would be very claustrophobic so we opted just to go inside the second one instead, which was a little disappointing as they had taken all the stuff out of the temple and had taken it to the Cairo museum. After wandering around the great pyramid and inside the second pyramid we decided to take a horse ride up to the panoramic spot to get a shot of all 9 pyramids. The horseman tried to scam us but had no success. After we finally got to the panorama spot we took photos and headed down to the sphinx. We wandered around the Sphinx for a bit as they wee just about to lock it up when we went in, talk about timing.

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That night we headed to see Khan Al Khalli, which is a big market just like all the other markets we had been to but worth looking at.

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Next day was looking in the Egyptian museum of antiquities, which took a couple of hours. The Tutenkhamun exhibit was very impressive, it is had to imagine all the of the treasures in the museum were all found in his tomb. We also saw the royal mummies but King Tut’s was still in the valley of the King’s. We then headed off to see the Citadel and then a quick look through Coptic Cairo, where we went into the hanging church along with a few others. We also went into what is known as old Babylon but this turned out to be some really old buildings lived in by the locals with rubbish in the streets, really quiet filthy. We then met up with our friends for a quick coffee before heading to the train station.

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Posted by krissy 06:04 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

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