A week on a boat, chugging up the Nile and visiting lots of ancient history.
First of all, a trip to Luxor.
Then the Temple of Khnum at Esna.
Then the Temple of Horus at Edfu
And then we parked up in Aswan for a couple of nights.
And finally we sailed all the way back down to Luxor to visit the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hapsheptut.
We chose to spend our honeymoon visiting various bits of Egypt. It promised to be hot, dry, and busy.
On the plan was a week or so on a boat travelling from Luxor to Aswan and back, followed by a midweek in Cairo and then a week of chilling at Sharm El Sheikh.
We started with a flight on EgyptAir from Heathrow to Luxor Airport. EgyptAir proved to be quite good. They upgraded us to business class as we checked in, and a part of their special honeymoon service was also that they suplied cakes for us. We were feeling a bit special just then.
The flight was about 4 hours and when we landed at Luxor we had a fairly quick turnaround and met the driver who was transferring us to our boat.
The boat itself was really luxurious and it proved to be a very welcome resting place after what proved to be some pretty hot and tiring days. The food was really good and so was the bar. The cleaners did have a bit of a habit of making strange characters out of bits of bedding and clothes in the room though, which was a bit weird.
We had a dedicated tour guide with us on the boat (from our tour company Kuoni). Only a dozen or so people on the boat were on the same tour as us. The others had their own itineraries and guides, albeit obviously that we all stopped in the same places at the same time.
For the first day or so we sailed precisely nowhere because our first day was spent in Luxor visiting the local sites, and especially the Luxor Temple and the complex at Karnak. The temple was quite impressive for a first sightseeing trip. It was also though our first introduction to the heat. Oh, the heat. It was hot.
In between visiting temples we were spending a fair amount of time on the boat, generally drinking, relaxing, and attempting to get a suntan.
On the next couple of days we were “templing” early in the mornings and cruising the rest of the time. First up was the Temple of Khnum at Esna – a fairly small temple nestling in a big hole. Presumably, it was excavated out while the town around it was being built upwards. Next on the list was a trip to the Temple of Horus at Edfu. We parked up here early in the morning again and were taken over to the temple through the town in some horse-drawn carriages. I remember on this day also that one of the older couples in our party had a bit of an incident with the heat. Well, it was really hot that day.
Aswan is one of the major settlements in southern Egypt and we spent a couple of days there seeing the sights. We went to a quarry where they’d found a half-carved obelisk. We also went on a trip on a tiny boat into the river to the island where they’d moved the rather excellent Philae Temple. And finally we took another small boat onto the river near the centre of town to have a walk around the gardens on one of the islands there.
From Aswan, we sailed all the way back down the river again in a single go so that we were in Luxor again. When we got there we had probably the hottest day we’ve ever had, up at the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hapshepsut. It was about 45 degrees in the shade when we started, despite being only 9 in the morning. It got hotter as the day progressed.
And having done all that, we were thoroughly templed out, so we hopped on a plane and went to Cairo instead. OK, so the quantity of ancient buildings is similar there, but they are more pointy.