Original Nile Cruise Downstream - View from the Inside

". . . but our focus remained on ancient times and we visited the only remaining Wonder of the Old World, the Great Pyramid of Giza."

October 2018

The Original Nile Cruise - Downstream - View from the Inside

Egypt is a country that can trace its history back to approximately 6000BC, so we knew we were in for a cultural and historical adventure and our first destination, Luxor did not disappoint! We visited the Valley of the Kings, the Luxor and Karnak temples where history is literally set in stone and to Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple. There was also a visit to the house of Howard Carter, the man who discovered the tomb of the boy-king, Tutankhamun. During our short time in Luxor, we had a comprehensive overview of a time long ago.  

We set out along the majestic river downstream towards Cairo and were given a very pleasant view of rural Egypt. The genuine friendliness of the people was self-evident and there was much waving and good-natured calls from the banks as we sailed past the numerous small villages and towns.

Locals along the Nile, Egypt

Our journey included stops at the temples of Dendara and Abydos where we saw artefacts and learnt of stories of ancient gods, laid down on walls in the form of carvings and hieroglyphics.

Abydos Temple

In the city of Naga Hamedi, we saw a more modern side of Egypt when we passed through a swing road/rail bridge. The following morning we passed the Abu Omar locks, one of which required our vessel to enter it in reverse and for the crew to hand-crank open a bridge to allow us to pass through.

We sailed on toward the town of Amarna, passing Prince Tawadros’ Monastery which is built into the rocks overlooking the banks of the river. We visited the Royal City of Akhenaten, home of a very important Pharaoh who lived around 3300 years ago and whose wife was the famous Nefertiti. We then walked in the desert to see the tombs at Tuna el-Gebel and Beni Hassan, which at Tuna el-Gebel included the somewhat alarming sight of Queen Isadora’s 3000+ year old mummified corpse!

Beni Hassan steps

The sailing element of our journey ended in Africa’s second largest city Cairo. Like some many large conurbations, it is a sprawling noisy, dirty metropolis which is choked with traffic, but somehow manages to maintain a certain charm. It is very modern compared to the rustic towns we had seen on the way, but our focus remained on ancient times and we visited the only remaining Wonder of the Old World, the Great Pyramid of Giza. We were able to look inside and climb up to the King’s Chamber (not for the faint-hearted!) and from the outside simply marvel at this remarkable feat of engineering and its two companions.

Sphinx & Pyramids, Giza, Cairo

Our next stop was the Egypt Museum and this was the highlight of the tour for me personally. It is crammed full of history including the 11kg golden headdress of Tutankhamun and numerous sarcophagi and other well-preserved artefacts. For anyone with even a passing interest in Egyptology, a visit here is a must.

Egyptian Museum, Cairo

This is a very pleasant tour; a well-constructed mix of history and relaxation along the beautiful Nile. A warm welcome from the locals is guaranteed and you will come away with a good overview of the time of the Pharaohs.

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