Not a single piece of material culture – not a single object – has been found at Giza that can be interpreted to come from a lost civilization.

Dr Zahi Hawass


Luxor Temple

Valley of the Kings

Esna Temple

Edfu Temple

Philae Temple

Central Aswan

The Great Pyramids

The Great Pyramids

Cairo Museum

Cairo Museum

Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh

St Catherine's Monastery

St Catherine’s Monastery

Luxor to Aswan by Boat

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.

Nile_02 Nile River Boats.jpgWe 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 ahd 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.

Luxor_01 Luxor Temple.jpg Luxor_02 Luxor Temple.jpg Luxor_03 Karnak Temple Obelisk.jpg Luxor_04 Karnak Temple Pillar.jpg Luxor_05 Karnak Temple Statues.jpg Luxor_06 Karnak Temple Pillars.jpg Luxor_07 Karnak Temple Pillars.jpg Luxor_08 Karnak Temple.jpg Luxor_09 Karnak Temple Pillars.jpg Luxor_10 Luxor Temple Pillars.jpg Luxor_11 Luxor Temple Pillars.jpg Luxor_12 Luxor Temple Statues.jpg Luxor_13 Luxor Temple Statues.jpg Luxor_14 Luxor Temple Statues.jpg Luxor_15 Karnak Temple Columns.jpg Luxor_16 Karnak Temple Columns.jpg Luxor_17 Karnak Temple Statues.jpg Luxor_18 Karnak Temple Kas.jpg Luxor_19 Karnak Temple.jpg Luxor_20 Karnak Temple Columns.jpg Luxor_21 Karnak Temple Columns.jpg Luxor_22 Karnak Temple Statue.jpg Luxor_23 Karnak Temple Kas.jpg Luxor_24 Karnak Temple Statues.jpg Luxor_25 Karnak Hibiscus.jpg Luxor_26 Karnak Temple Kas.jpg Luxor_27 Karnak Temple Obelisk.jpg

I think on our first or second night we also had the slightly embarrassing situation of discovering that others within our party were also on honeymoon and had flown on the same EgyptAir flight as us, but had not been upgraded to business class. Ooops ! Well it’s not like we actually asked them to upgrade us.

Next up on the journey was Esna, the home of a small and slightly subterranean (by the standards of others) temple with some pretty impressive hieroglyphs. This was an early morning trip off the boat after sailing overnight from Luxor.

Nile_11 Edfu Temple.jpg Nile_12 Edfu Temple.jpg Nile_13 Edfu Temple Columns.jpg Nile_14 Edfu Temple Columns.jpg

In between visiting temples we were spending a fair amount of time on the boat, generally drinking, relaxing, and attempting to get a suntan.

Nile_09 Kas on a Nile Boat.jpg Aswan_02 Kas on a Nile Boat.jpg Nile_04 Nile River Boats.jpg

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.

Nile_05 Esna Temple.jpg Nile_06 Esna Temple.jpg Nile_07 Esna Temple Horus & Kas.jpg Nile_08 Esna Temple.jpg Nile_10 Edfu Mosque.jpg

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 we they’d found a half 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. We also took another small boat onto the river in the centre of town to have a walk around the gardens on one of the islands there.

Aswan_01 Aswan Obelisk.jpg Aswan_03 Nile Landscape.jpg Aswan_04 Nile Bird.jpg Aswan_05 Aswan Building on a Hill.jpg Aswan_06 Aswan Building on a Hill.jpg Aswan_07 Aswan River Gauge.jpg Aswan_08 Aswan River Gauge.jpg Aswan_09 Aswan Nile River.jpg Aswan_10 Aswan Hotel.jpg Aswan_12 Aswan Old Buildings & Kas.jpg Aswan_13 Aswan Oberoi Hotel.jpg Aswan_14 Aswan Nile River.jpg Aswan_15 Philae Temple.jpg Aswan_16 Philae Temple.jpg Aswan_17 Philae Temple.jpg Aswan_18 Aswan Nile River Rocks.jpg Aswan_19 Philae Temple.jpg Aswan_21 Aswan Gardens.jpg Aswan_22 Aswan Mausoleum.jpg Aswan_23 Aswan Gardens.jpg Aswan_24 Nile Birds.jpg

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.

Valley_of_the_Kings_01 Colossei of Memnon.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_02 Colossus of Memnon.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_03 Colossus of Memnon.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_04 Temple of Hasheptut.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_05 Temple of Hasheptut.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_06 Valley of the Kings.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_07 Valley of the Kings.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_08 Valley of the Kings.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_09 Valley of the Kings.jpg Valley_of_the_Kings_10 Valley of the Kings.jpg

And having done all that, we were thoroughly templed out, so we hopped on a plane and went to Cairo instead.

Egypt Next >>


Our second stop in Egypt was the capital city of Cairo, which we arrived at by plane from Luxor.

About two weeks before the holiday we’d been called by the tour company and told that our chosen hotel was in the middle of a refurbishment and whilst they assured us that we wouldn’t be bothered by the noise, they asked us if we’d rather change. One of the options they offered was the Mena House, a very historic old hotel right outside the pyramids at Giza. It was full of quite posh looking people, including Claudia Schiffer. It also had a fantastic view of the pyramids from the balcony.

Meanwhile, back at the plot, on our first evening there we went to a son et lumière show at the Sphinx just like Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. We didn’t see any big blokes with metal teeth or any female KGB agents though.

On our second morning there we decided it was time to heed advice and get up really early to go into the pyramids. We heard they sell a handful of tickets each morning to allow you to get into Khufu’s Pyramid, so we got up to the ticket office for about 7:30am and were lucky enough to get some. Sorted ! We grabbed some bottles of water and set off for a bit of pyramid action.

They really are quite impressive in scale.

The inside was a bit claustrophobic but I’m glad we went. We had to leave cameras at the entrance though, so no photos. While we were in there, we took the opportunity to walk down to the Sphinx again for a quick look around in daylight. By this time we were getting a bit hot and sweaty so we retired to the hotel and were just in time to get breakfast. Yes, we went out early, and got back for breakfast.

Cairo_01 Pyramid & Mena House Hotel.jpg Cairo_02 Sphinx.jpg Cairo_04 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_05 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_06 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_07 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_08 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_09 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_10 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_11 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_12 Pyramid.jpg Cairo_13 Kas on a Pyramid.jpg Cairo_14 Kas on a Pyramid.jpg Cairo_15 Mena House Hotel.jpg Cairo_16 Mena House Hotel.jpg Cairo_17 Mena House Hotel.jpg Cairo_18 Mena House Hotel.jpg Cairo_19 Mena House Hotel.jpg

The following day we had a trip over to the centre of Cairo to visit the Egyptian Museum. Strangely enough, it is packed with antiquities from ancient Egypt, including some impressive Tutankhamun stuff.

Cairo_20 Museum Statue.jpg Cairo_21 Museum Statues.jpg Cairo_22 Museum King Tut.jpg Cairo_23 Museum Statues.jpg

<< Prev Egypt Next >>

Sharm el Sheikh

After Cairo we flew over to Sharm el Sheikh for a bit of a break from all the temples and museums. Well, they’re hard work, aren’t they ? Especially in that heat.

Seriously though, we spent this week doing all sorts of not a lot. Our hotel was right by the beach and there were a few restaurants and cafes along the sea front so there was a bit of choice.

We went diving one day, but not before we’d had to go to a PADI approved doctor in town who gave me a certificate to say my use of prescription nasal spray wasn’t a problem. We scoobed in a pool. We tried some snorkelling in the sea too.

On one day we took a short cruise in a glass bottomed boat, which gave us more of a view of the excellent diving conditions that we didn’t quite get down to.

We also spent a day on buses taking a tour to the Sinai desert. It was hot that day.

Sharm_01 Mt Sinai Mountains.jpg Sharm_02 Mt Sinai Monastery.jpg Sharm_03 Mt Sinai Mountains.jpg Sharm_04 Mt Sinai Monastery.jpg Sharm_06 Mt Sinai Monastery.jpg Sharm_07 Mt Sinai Monastery.jpg Sharm_08 Sinai Road.jpg Sharm_09 Sinai Desert Scene.jpg Sharm_10 Sinai Desert Scene.jpg Sharm_11 Sinai Road.jpg Sharm_12 Sharm el Sheikh Mountains.jpg Sharm_13 Sharm el Sheikh Mountains.jpg

<< Prev Egypt