Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Luxor & Aswan

I decided to try to catch up. This is old, but pretty good. 

One thing I truly wasn’t excited about this time around was the night train experience along the Nile from Cairo down to Luxor… about 9 hours maybe? I don’t quite recall. It was a good thing my hopes for this night on the train were so low, because it ended up being one of the most fantastic and relaxing nights I had experienced in Egypt. 

(This is a picture I took on my phone as the train sped passed us, on it's way to slowing down. I think it's such a cool picture. My camera is getting increasingly jealous of my phone.)

We were all assigned to our sleeper cars, which opened to the neighboring car, if you unlocked the door and allowed that to happen. Our neighbors were Sean and Adam. (Sean and I served in the same mission in LA and go way back. Adam and I were about to become great friends – partly because he threw a dinner roll at me… more on that in a bit). 

(This is me, well my feet, as I lay relaxing on my top bunk watching Egypt pass by)

About an hour into the journey our light conversation was interrupted with a knock at the door. It was dinner. I must say, in the year and a half since I was here last, things seem to have improved slightly. I ate most everything. Except for the dinner roll. It was pretty stale, and I stated thus over dinner. Breakfast wasn't quite as satisfying.



I noted how the dinner rolls didn’t seem to be edible, but that they would be perfect for throwing at someone. When I awoke the next morning on my top bunk, there was a knock at the door. Hannah, on the lower bunk, opened it up, and there was Adam. He threw his roll from dinner at me and ran away. I’d like to say that that was the beginning of our friendship... 

Anyway, we proceeded on to Luxor where we explored the incredible Karnak and Luxor temples. I took some pics, but not a ton, since I took something like five hundred pictures last time I was in Luxor... I know, a little over the top. Luxor was amazing though all over again.

Half of our group of about 60 went home to Cairo after a few days in Luxor, but the other half of us that opted for the “long trip” stayed behind. I’m so glad I did. We went all the way down to Aswan. 

The "short-trippers" all left on Sunday afternoon, at which point exhaustion took over and I decided to take a nap. It had been a long day already, as we’d had to wake up at something like 5 am to see everything before it got to hot outside (I’m just trying to justify what happened next). So, I took a 9-hour “nap” waking up at midnight. I changed into jammies, checked my emails and went back to bed till it was time to wake up again at 5 am, board the bus and sleep for two more hours. I don't think I'd ever been so well-rested. I felt great!

We saw more temples which weren’t as old, but were really neat to see cause the art styles had developed and was a little more realistic… rounder bellies, fancier faces and things. We stayed at a fancy resort there right on the Nile (which I actually saw advertized in the airplane magazine on my way out of Egypt... see the middle picture in the ad below...)

My friends Will and Adam and I had koushiry at this one little restaurant, complete with the classic metal dishes, for the three meals we were to have there. It was quite possibly my favorite part. 

Me, Adam and Will. We were practicing crying on command.

I can see already that this post is getting much too detailed. I have so much catching up to do that I really must do.

Well, the next day down in Aswan we were up at 2 am and on a bus headed for Abu Simbel. This was incredible. 

It’s right on Lake Nasser, and there’s a lot of history to all of this that should be understood, but I’m unapologetically leaving the explaining to Wikipedia.

So all in all, these are the temples we saw: 

Philae is on an island. We had to take a boat to get out there.


And then on top of that we also saw the following:

(Pictures were not allowed... well, they weren't allowed at Valley of the Kings either, but I snuck the one above. Maybe one day I'll write about the crazy story that followed...)

I wish I had time to write about each one individually, but then what would be left for you when you go and see them for yourselves? 


Next up: Elephantine Island and the Nubians...



  1. When you get home, will you come over and show us all of your pictures? We desperately want to go to Egypt.

  2. Bethany, this is making me homesick for Egypt. I never thought I'd feel that, haha. And the train food looks SO much better than ours was. Jealous.

  3. Now that you have left me I am reading this post.
    How amazing to see so many incredible things in one fell swoop!

  4. um. you are coming home this weekend. woot woot.