Egypt is an incredibly beautiful country with an interesting history. Some of the amazing constructions I got to see were over 3,500 years old, which is unbelieveable.
The cruise took us exactly one week and started in Luxor. First we visited the Hatschepsut Temple on the west side of the river. It’s so special because of its patios. Hatschepsut was a pharaoh in the 18th dynasty who got rid of a child in order to ascend the throne.
Her original plan was that you ascend the different patios to get to a tunnel that digs through the mountain to reach her grave in the Valley Of The Kings. Unfortunately the rock was too hard to dig through it. The most interesting part about this temple were the paintings in the hall on the left that show us how trade worked back then and that these people already travelled long distances in order to deal with goods.
Of course we visited the famous Valley Of The Kings. The underground graves of Ramses 2,3 and 9 were amazing. Every centimeter of the walls is colourfully painted and tells different stories. They also represent holly books, spells and wishes for the afterlife. This day the grave of Tutankhamun was closed due to restoration. With temperatures over 45° this day was the hottest of the whole week. The graves themselves are stunning but also very hot and stifling. Everything that was inside of them now resides in the Egyptian Museum in Kairo, the capital of Egypt.
Our next stop was a Alabastar factory. A group of older men crafted beautiful figures, lamps and jars out of stone. They sell them everywhere in the country.
After that our guide took us to the Habu Temple, which was built under Ramses the third. Here the hieroglyphics were carved deeply into the stone, sometimes up to 10 centimeter deep to prevent from being scratched away. That’s what happened to Hatschepsut.
The next day we got to go to the east side of the river Nile to visit the Karnak Temple, which is huge. Many different pharaohs built and expanded the temple. In total there are 134 pillars and in the middle of the area is a small holy lake which was connected to the river Nile, which back then flowed right next to the bulilding. That’s not the case anymore mainly because of the dams. In the picture you can see the two remaining obelisks and the end of the huge area, where alot of recently found stones were stored.
Our next stop was the Luxor Temple. The entrance was guarded by six huge figures of Ramses the second. The one on the left was in restoration. Alot of the hieroglyphics were covered with christian paintings because 300 a.C. Christans persecuted the Egyptians and wanted them to change their religion. Some Egytians fled and were save within the temples. It’s fascinating that all these buildings already existed this long ago.
The view from the cruiseship was amazing. It’s really interesting to see the landscape going by and changing. Surprising were the little islands in the middle of the river with cows on them.
In the middle of the week a small motorboat drove us to an island where we could visit the Botanic Garden, which did not last long but was definitly worth it. Alot of different species of palm trees can be seen there. Generally Egypt does not have a wide range of vegetation because 90% of the country is deserted land but the few plants they do have were very cute.
The next day we got to see the quarry in Aswan. The main attraction is a unfinished obelisk. One half is still in the stone and the other is already formed by workers thousands of years ago. They used stone on stone to form the obelisk which weighs thousands of tons. It’s incredible that they even found a way to transport it without any machines. It’s still a mystery today.
Another spectacular sight was the Philae Temple which resides on an island. The island it was on originally was flooded because of the dam and therefore in 1972 scientists started the mission to save it. Within 8 years they moved the whole temple to an island not far away. There we got to know interesting stories about the culture of the ancient Egyptians and what gods they belived in.
After that we got to experience a boat excursion through a conservation area in a distributary of the river. The landscape was stunning and at one time the motor of the small boat stopped working. We collided with stones that sticked out of the water and got stuck for a few minutes. That was exciting because for a moment I thought we are going to capsize which fortunately did not happen.
Before we returned home from the conservation area we visited a nubic village in which we got to see a school, where we were taught the arabic alphabeth, a market and a real home. The man who lived there had loads of animals and we got to feed the camels.
Our last stop for this trip was the Dobbe Temple in Kom Ombo. After so many impressions I couldn’t soak in as much informaton as before. Nevertheless I enjoyed the beautiful architecture. Kom Ombo means „golden hill“ and the temple was built for the god Sobek. On its walls is important information that reveals alot about the medicine and devices they used for surgery back then. Interesting was that in the 18th century the temple was used as a sugar factory and that they cut the pillars in half to use the space for production.
All in all it can be said that Egypt is a wonderful travel destination and I can only recommend it. I had a great time there and whenever you visit the country, don’t just stay in an all-inclusive-club and spend all of your time at the beach but rather get to know the enriched culture of Egypt.
Thank you for reading.