Most of this day was spent on board the Viking Princess as it headed back along the Nile to Luxor. It was a time for discussing the trip amongst other subjects with our new friends we had met on board and a time to simply relax and take in the beautiful country that is Egypt.
I think its fair to point out at this point that our cabin staff, who changed towels sometimes twice a day for us, were responsible for what can only be described as towel and linen origami. Which most definitely brightened the return visit to the cabin on every occasion and became a great meal time discussion point.
At just before twelve we reached the Lock at Esna, which is pretty amazing as locks go. Not to mention an excellent piece of engineering it’s also a wonder how they keep the constant flow of traffic under control. After all there apparently nearly three hundred and fifty odd boats like ours running up and down the Nile constantly. We moved through swiftly of course and most people took a look from up on deck.
Following lunch we headed to the lounge for our departure meeting, where our guides outlined the plan for our last day in Egypt before we caught our flight home.
Then at four in the afternoon we met in reception for what would be our last trip out to Luxor Temple. We boarded a coach from outside our boat and headed quite literally around the corner, you could walk there to be honest!
Largely built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II the temples two pylon’s tower into the sky not far from the Nile. In it’s day the temple would have been the centre of many festivals in Thebes (now Luxor). A little way in front of the impressive temple entrance is the avenue of the Sphinx’s, which in the past would have lead all the way to Karnak Temple. During our visit there was a great deal of building work and excavation under way to restore the path all the way to Karnak Temple. This would allow tourists to walk between and visit both temples.
However, this process involves an immense amount of redevelopment through the centre of Luxor and the moving of residents that are in the path. I wonder if this plan will still continue since the change of government in Egypt? A part of me hopes it does, as I do think it would make for quite an impressive tourist spot, but during my visit it did cross my mind that perhaps as this was a government driven idea, then the individuals may suffer because of it. Of course I have no way of knowing either way, just hope that all benefit from the redevelopment of the area and not just us tourists.
Towards the centre of the temple is the Mosque of Abu el Hagging (forgive my spelling if it incorrect) which is one of the oldest Mosques in Luxor. Oddly the Mosque was built before the temple was excavated, which meant moving its entrance. This was because following excavation the door was left high above ground level, where sand used to be. It’s a little like a tree house suspended in the air and a little odd as you walk through the temple looking up at the Mosque.
My Dad and I wandered around the temple snapping a few photos here and there of this ancient building, slowly realising that this was our last temple and piece of ancient Egypt before we headed home the next day.
We spent our final evening aboard the Viking Princess with our friends from the restaurant, Helen and Colin, Kat and Alan, having a final drink in the lounge. Sort of a farewell drink. It’s always good to meet new people whilst away, even better when those people are nice and the decent people. I am glad we sat at the table we did on that first night, think we had a good table. Thank you to you guys.
Following a walk on deck we headed tot he cabin for our last night aboard the Viking Princess, which had been a pleasure to stay on. I can’t really fault it in fact. Thoroughly enjoyable and comfortable cruise. Thank to Syed and Ali too, the guys that were responsible for our cabin origami which made us laugh on several occasions and was the topic of discussion during a few meal times.
The next morning we squared up our bar bill and left a tip for the staff, then vacated our rooms. We transferred to another boat then whilst we waited for the coach to the airport later that day. During the afternoon we flew out of Luxor airport leaving Egypt and our adventure behind, but not forgotten. The journey home had began!
My brief adventure in Egypt was something I will never forget. I have experienced some truly ancient history, something that is so much more impressive in real life and something I urge anyone with an interest to experience. I have had a glimpse at a way of life immensely different from my own and I think maybe have a greater respect for my own now. And to top it all off had some quality time with my Dad. Thank you Dad for inviting me on the trip I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Egypt is a great country with some amazing ancient history which should not be missed. I know recent events in Egypt may deter many to visit, but as things stabilise again and the tourist doors reopen, please take the opportunity to visit. However, look deeper than the ancient history, amazing weather, hot sun and trips down the Nile. Take a look at the culture and the people, take a little time to really experience the place.
Thank you for following this little series of posts, my apologies I took so long, but now its back to more of the usual!