Hot news from Egypt
This is the first time since I got here that I have internet access, so this post is going to be a summary of what has the trip been so far.
After getting lost with the taxi driver on the way from Cairo International Airport to the hotel and thinking that this last one was shut down… we enjoyed a day visiting the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and Tahrir Square, where all the demonstrations have been taking place. This spot was full of police, army, tanks and armed special forces. We were told by locals to don’t go there, but to be honest it didn’t seem dangerous at all. The square is very close to the Egyptian Museum and because this is a popular touristic place, security was all around the building.
The Museum is immense, we spent a whole morning in it and didn’t get to see all. In the evening, after meeting the group and the tour chief officer, we enjoyed a local meal (sokhari) at El Tahrir.
The following day we visited the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. I entered inside the third pyramid, as it was cheaper than entering to the biggest one and they look pretty much the same inside.
That day we learnt how to create papyrus, from the plant to the process. We visited as well the biggest bazaar in Cairo, Khal il-Khalili. We were accompanied by special security forces during the visit to make sure nothing happened to the tourists. I entered in Il Hussain mosque, the most important one in Egypt, where the head of a prophet is kept.
That night we took an overnight train to go to South Egypt. The trip took 14 hours but it was pretty comfy and the food they served was delicious!
In Aswan we took a boat to visit Kitchener and Elephantine Islands. We also visited a Nubian village and went to have dinner to Mohammed’s family house, one of the habitants.
The day after we had bad and good news: bad, we had to get up at 2:45am; and good, we went to see the amazing Abu Simbel Temple. A police and special forces convoy was arranged to escort us during the trip, as we were heading South, direction to Sudan, in the middle of the desert, and security was an issue. Some cars, vans and armed people did with us the 4 hours drive to the Temples and waited to secure us on our way back to Aswan. Abu Simbel are two temples, the main one for Ramses II and a smaller one for his wife, Nefertati. Both of them are amazing. I will be uploading pictures soon.
We paid a visit to a place where we were taught how to create essences and perfumes. I discovered there that papyrus smells incredibly good!
Yesterday we spent all day and night in a felucca, one ancient Egyptian boat. The boat was not big enough for all the group so we splitted in two boats. It doesn’t have a motor, so you depend on the wind to sale the Nile. It was very relaxing and we played fun games. We had dinner on a support boat (where we could use the bathrooms too) and we slept just over the boat, all together. After 1am it started to be pretty cold so we had to use some blankets to cover ourselves, and make sure to use mosquito repellent!
This morning, after leaving the felucca, we have travelled for almost 5 hours by bus from Aswan to Luxor. On the way here we have stopped in Kom Ombo to see the temple, and also in Edfu, so far my favourite one, which is 95% completed, so you can get a great idea of how the temples were looking like 4000 years ago.
I am going now to visit Luxor Temple and tomorrow we will visit the Valley of the Kings. As soon as I get connection again I will update. And sorry for the quality of the image… It is a picture I took with my phone to the screen of my camera……