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Five Thousand Years in 19 days - Pyramids, Tombs, Camels and a River

Five Thousand Years in 19 days - Pyramids, Tombs, Camels and a River

Old Mar 28th, 2015, 04:02 PM
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Only a few days till we leave for London so it's hard to keep my mind on Egypt. However, I've schedules a few blogposts for the next week or two which should cover the rest of our trip. and fill in a few of the gaps, food and Islamic Cairo etc.

I'm very glad we ended our trip in Aswan because it's a leisurely pleasant town. We stayed at the Old Cataract which I highly recommend. What a charming hotel, minus the ghastly Christmas decorations, I'm sure the interior decorator who designed the place would have a fit if they could see them! Anyway, all the rest is very well done, it's a sensitive renovation that still gives a sense for the historic bones of the hotel. The situation is superb and the views over the Nile magnificent. The public spaces are elegant and comfortablr.

We stayed in a lot of lovely properties on this trip but this was the place I thought I'd like to return to most. I could see why people come here for a week or two of winter sun, it's relaxing luxurious and elegant.

We'd opted for a regular room which was both large and luxurious, but I really wanted a Nile view. One of the things to know about the property is that the regular rooms in the historic wing are all garden views and you have to go up to a Cataract Suite to get the view I wanted. When we arrived we spoke to the front desk, viewed a couple of rooms, agreed on the price and we were installed in a beautiful ground floor suite with a small terrace overlooking the Nile. it was worth every penny.

The service at the hotel was very good and they were very accommodating. We even had the cheek to ask if we could bring a bottle of duty free champagne into their high end French restaurant and they said no problem along with a $25 corkage fee, which, given the cost of the champagnes on their list seemed a bargain.

There are lots of photos and lots more thoughts/opinion/details about the hotel on the blog. Check out the river views and the pool, it really is gorgeous.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...tel-aswan.html
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Old Mar 28th, 2015, 05:15 PM
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Those pictures are breathtaking. When I win the Lottery (any Lottery!) I will definitely go there!
I think we saw that hotel from our boat when we went to Elephantine Island.
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Old Mar 29th, 2015, 03:35 PM
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So glad you liked the photos, it's an amazing place. You are right the hotel is across from Elephantine Island.
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Old Mar 30th, 2015, 12:59 PM
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Well, I need to wrap this up and pack for my trip starting tomorrow!

I've set up some more blogposts to post over the next week or two while we settle into London. I will be covering a little more on Islamic Cairo, Philae, visiting various tombs and food in Egypt, including lots of photos on the blog. Hopefully I'll remember to post links here.

Aswan was a great place to end our trip and we enjoyed the sites. Philae is a very lovely later era temple with a wonderfully romantic settling, but we also loved Kalabsha which is on the other side of the High Dam in Lake Nasser. It's much less visited and very charming too, thanks to Mr Simman at Djed for recommending this.

The Nobles tombs in Aswan are highly recommended and not much visited. I was very glad I added these to our program. You climb up to the tombs which overlook the Nile. The situations is spectacular and there are some very old tombs here including several beautifully decorate toms from the Old Kingdom. It is very moving to walk into a tomb over 5,000 years old, incredible!


Aswan is quite different from much of the rest of Egypt and we enjoyed visiting this part of Nubia. I'd have loved to visit the arrow steep pyramids that can be found on the Sudanese side of the border but we will have to wait for another trip.

Taking a felucca on the Nile was a very memorable way to spend a day and it made a welcome break from all the sightseeing. Overall we found Aswan a relaxing low key place to end our trip.


So, In summary...
We had a fantastic trip to Egypt, I highly recommend Djed who did a great job organizing the whole thing and the dahabiya experience was fantastic in both pace, interest and comfort.
I'm not sure I would have enjoyed myself with all the crowds so for us it was a great time to visit Egypt. There is so much history but also a lot of variety, pharonic sites, islamic sites, interesting crafts, historic hotels, boats, walking etc. There is a lot of learn and see in Egypt and we had a great experience. This was a different Egypt than my childhood, but the sense of hospitality, welcome and charm remains.


You can see my Top Ten Tips for Visiting Egypt on my blog
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...ing-egypt.html
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Old Mar 30th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Thanks so much for the TR and blog, and have a great trip.
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Old Mar 30th, 2015, 03:07 PM
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Thank you. I really enjoyed tagging along.
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Old Mar 30th, 2015, 07:17 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it, I'll be over on the European board writing an ongoing London trip report!
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Old Apr 1st, 2015, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for this fabulous trip report! I'm just now catching up again. The cruise on the Dahabiya looks wonderful. I remember what I loved most about the river cruise so long ago was watching people living as they had for thousands of years right there along the Nile. When I was there, there was no option to stay at Abu Simbel, we just flew in and out (like Thursdays said).

Your report has moved a return to Egypt up my list!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2015, 02:06 PM
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Thank Kathie, glad you are enjoying it.

I'm slowly adding posts to the blog. Here's one on the different decorative textures we saw in Egypt. It gives you a sense for the decorative tradition in Islamic art, lots of abstract shapes in tile, wood and stone work.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...-textures.html
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Old Apr 7th, 2015, 03:04 AM
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Tombs are certainly a highlight of any Egyptian visit.

We loved the variety and beauty of so many of the tombs we visited. The Valley of the Kings has the most lavishly decorated, highly ornate and the largest tombs but it also has crowds of visitors. In contrast we loved the tombs of the Nobles and workers as well as the tombs we visited along the Nile and in Aswan. The tombs of the commoners have more of a focus on images of the everyday and they are fascinating. Who could resist a tomb 5,000 years old still showing bright colors and giving a sense of the deceased?

Lots of pictures and lots more discussion here, the view of the Nile from the Nobles tombs in Aswan was unforgettable.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...-of-kings.html
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 01:33 PM
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Just posted on the blog, a post all about the late Ptolemaic temple of Philae, surely one of the most romantic temples in the world. Lots of pictures and more talk!

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...ic-philae.html
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Old Apr 11th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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Your photos of Philae are gorgeous. Thanks for posting.
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Old Apr 12th, 2015, 08:41 AM
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Glad you liked them, it was easy to get lots of fabulous shots when everyone was leaving for lunch just as we arrived. It is an extraordinarily photogenic place.
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Old Apr 15th, 2015, 09:17 AM
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Here are some pictures from the old Islamic Quarter at night. This gives you an idea of how lovely it is to stroll around and see the buildings which are beautifully lit up.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com
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Old Apr 20th, 2015, 12:37 AM
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Here is the correct link for the pictures of historic Cairo at night.
http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...-at-night.html

Just a few more posts before I wrap up our Egypt trip report. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip, images of the wealth of beautiful mosques in Cairo. We were very taken by the breadth of the architectural heritage in the city. Lots of photos and even one of me in a hijab!


http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...onderland.html
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Old Apr 20th, 2015, 05:13 AM
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Simply gorgeous. Thanks again for sharing.
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Old Apr 20th, 2015, 02:54 PM
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Thanks tripplanner001 - now we're in London I'm finding it hard to concentrate on finishing up the Egypt blog posts but I don't want give Egypt short shrift. I have to say that next time we'll have more time in Cairo so we can see more of the city. There are several interesting museums we didn't see and lots more of the Islamic heritage we'd like to explore.
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Old Apr 20th, 2015, 03:04 PM
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You're welcome Brit. Hope you're enjoying London.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2015, 10:23 AM
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Thanks Tripplanner001, we are very much enjoying London particularly as it has been surprisingly sunny.
I haven't started blogging about London but there's an ongoing trip report over on the European Forum for anyone who is interested...

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 02:38 AM
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I've finally completed a blog post on all the lovely food we had and the hospitality it represented.
There are pics of the street fish sellers where we had such a special meal in Alexandria. The food in Egypt wasn't as good as the food in Syria but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

http://www.somuchmoretosee.com/2015/...ugh-egypt.html
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