FOOTSTEPS IN…EGYPT…CRUISING THE RIVER NILE FROM ASWAN

We started the day with an…erm interesting breakfast at the Sheraton – rubbery omelettes and toast – (note to self, in future skip the eggs and stick to pita bread and hummus!) and checked out, for our flight to Aswan where we were going to board our cruise ship for our three day cruise down the Nile.

Landing in Aswan, we were whisked straight off to see the great Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, and then to the quarry of the unfinished Obelisk, named as such because it was discarded, however if it had been finished, it would have been the single heaviest piece of stone ever fashioned by the Egyptians!

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The Temple of Isis, our next stop was the perfect introduction to Egyptian Temples. Situated on the island of Philae, we had to take a short boat ride across the Southern Aswan Dam to the island where this legendary temple is built.

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We were fascinated by the hypostyle hall (even taking some time to play hide and seek between the gigantic poles) and admiring the carvings on the walls of the temple and viewing the hieroglyphs. It is hard to believe that an ancient civilisation once walked the same halls that we now walked!

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Finally, templed out, we headed to our “cruise ship”, berthed in Aswan, MS Tamr Henna. Wasn’t our first choice (the first being fully booked) but was a decent ship nonetheless, and our ‘jacuzzi suite’ with a hot tub on a balcony and the friendliness of the staff more than made up for us not getting our first choice of ship.

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Perhaps it was the time of year, but the ship was more than empty, which was probably a good thing because we had stellar service and could play musical sun beds by the “pool”!! The fact that I was wearing my red bridal bangles caught the attention of the staff, and the chef made us whatever I wanted to eat for dinner for the next 3 nights! To say I was spoiled rotten would be an understatement.

We had some lunch, and then sat and sunbathed for a while. We had an overnight stay in Aswan, so at about 4.00 pm we boarded a felucca (a traditional boat with a gigantic canvas that seems to reach the sky) and sailed to Elephantine Island, which has one of the earliest known Nilometers, a step like contraption used by the ancient Egyptians to measure the height of the Nile floods in order to forecast the level of inundation and so gauge taxes for the coming harvest. We didn’t get off the felucca, but sailed round the island and then back to the Tamr Henna, in time to watch the sun go down on the Nile from the top deck with a glass of (quite awful) Egyptian Wine!

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Dinner was a quiet affair, but after dinner we made friends with the bar staff who made us some pretty generous cocktails (being newly married really helped get us uber VIP treatment!!) and we sat in the lounge for a couple of hours, watching a belly dancer shake her hips and do her thing!

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