If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Aswan, continued…

Oh dear, we’re falling woefully behind on our blog entries. Once again, I blame the suboptimal internet service in Egypt.

Our cruise down the Nile goes on at a leisurely pace. We stop in Luxor for the night.

The good ship ‘Nile Jewel’

As the sun goes down, we go to the mighty Karnak Temple.

Karnak, hypostyle hall

This is a scarab statue near Karnak’s Sacred Lake. Tourist lore says that if you circle it x-amount of times, you will be granted a wish.

The Kheper Scarab at Karnak Temple

Back in town, we stop at the centrally-located Temple of Luxor.

The early sunset makes for dramatic night-time visits to these places.

First thing next morning, we visit the temple of Queen Hatshepsut.

Temple of Hatshepsut

(We see the mummy of the woman herself in Cairo.)

Our guide, Ash, takes a group photo

There was a serious terrorist attack here in 1997. Of course, there is no mention of it during our visit.

Nearby is the Valley of the Kings.

Valley of the Kings

Considering the great number of tourists that visit here year-round, it’s still an amazing experience to visit these tombs. Collectively, they are man-made creations of near-perfect artistry at a time when most people on the planet were still primitive hunter-gatherers.

Needless to say, modern Egypt is slightly less rich in ‘creations of near-perfect artistry’.

We pay extra to visit the tomb of Tutankhamen. This happens to be the centenary year of its discovery.

This really created a splash at the time, as Tutmania swept the globe..

The tomb’s trove of stupendous artifacts now reside in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

In fact, the only object remaing in the tomb is the modestly-draped mummy of the Pharaoh himself.

Tut’s remains
Tut’s remains, close-up

We visit four tombs. I’d love to come back at a future date and explore more of them. I believe this is the tomb of Merneptah. It’s over 3,000 years old.

Several tombs have ceilings that represent the stars of the night sky. We’ve noticed this in other sites in Egypt.

Starry, starry night

Here’s the tomb of…dang, I forget. They’re all pretty cool.

The tomb of King What’s-his-name III

On the ceiling, looks like some god holding up the sky.

The search goes on for new finds, even after centuries of unearthed tombs. Local workers still dig in the old-fashioned ways.

Take your pick

Back on the tour. We stop for lunch at a restaurant on the other side of the Nile.

Nile ferry

We hear about the winter conditions back home. Difficult to imagine from our current surroundings.

The Canadian contingent

The next stage is a five-hour bus ride to the coastal town of Hurghada.

Typical Egyptian scenery

We spend two nights at this all-inclusive resort. My plan is to lounge by the pool sipping mojitos. Maria is more ambitious and goes off on a snorkeling expedition with some others.

The Red Sea
John, Maria, Graham, and Annie

We plan to do more snorkeling in Dahab – that’s my excuse for staying behind.

Swimsuit edition

Sight or Insight of the Day

We leave early the next morning for the long drive back to Cairo.

Eventually, the empty desert becomes more populated. Many buildings in Egypt seem to be the same tawny colour as the sandy surroundings.

Cairo outskirts

Cairo is a city of ten million people. It’s, um, interesting to spend time there. More in our next entry.