-Egypt is a very poor place. 50% of the population is illiterate. Most houses are unfinished. Levels are built when they have the money. They do not even have roofs on most of their houses. Just sticks and plants.
-The people still use the Nile as their source of life. Everything is dependent on it, and life is built around it. Yet, they dump their trash in the same place they swim.
-The pyramids are located outside of Cairo, which we did not go to. Most of the monuments are located where we were. Maybe we will go to Cairo one day, who knows!
-I wore bermuda shorts for my own safety. Considering even showing your wrist or hand is borderline p0rn, I was not about to walk around in shorts and a tight tank top. Not only that, but it is disrespectful. I try to be a sensitive traveler. While I may not have worn a head scarf, I did want to be somewhat conservative. There were girls that weren't, and I truly believe the invited all the harassment the received. And yes, Jordan was offered camels for my purchase.
-Hatshepsut was one of six female pharaohs, not the only one. Cleopatra (although not Egyptian) was another famous female pharaoh.
-On the boat we ate all of our meals. They had pasta and other "normal" things along with a mix of Egyptian items like eggplant, flat bread, hummus, etc. We were still careful on the boat though, and even brushed our teeth with bottled water.
Okay, on with the show. I will write more info today. Sorry the post will be long!
Day 4 pm- (Kom Ombo Temple)
Kom Ombo temple was the only one we got to see at night. It was beautiful! The things that make this temple special are that it has two complete sides. Each one is for a different god. Also, this temple features the calendar of the ancient Egyptians and carvings of medical and mummification instruments of the time.
Day 5- (Granite Quarry, High Dam, Philae Temple, Nile Islands, Nubian Village)
Whew! This was a busy day! First, we visited the Granite quarry. Giant pieces of granite, very exciting. The purpose is to see an unfinished obelisk that was started, but left in place after a crack appeared.
Then the high dam, another fascinating stop. :) It was very significant to the Egyptian people though. No more flood season. However, it also took away the silt that fertilized the lands.
Philae temple was another temple. (You get templed out!) The intersting thing about this one is that it is on an island, and was moved to a nearby island when the dam was built because it was already flooding often. Also, this temple has a great deal of "graffiti" from the 1800s, including British soldiers who fought in Sudan.
The boat cruise through the Nile Islands to the Nubian village was beautiful! Very relaxing. It was nice to see such a clean part of the river.
Then, we made it to the Nubian village. The Nubian's are a darker skinned Egyptian people. They speak Arabic, but also have their own language. They have very colorful villages and a fairly primitive way of life, even today.
Oh yes, and did I mention they put crocodiles by my face? It did not go so well.
Day 6- (Abu Simbel, Felucca ride, Botanical Gardens)
We took a plane to Abu Simbel in the morning (3 hour bus ride, no thank you!). The temple is about 40km from the boarder with Sudan. It was built by Ramses II as a warning to enemies coming from the South. It was discovered again in the late 1800s and moved rock by rock to avoid flooding in the 1960s. One temple was Ramses II, and the other for his wife, Nefertari.
The felucca ride was relaxing and nice. We just sailed all around the river. Ahhh!
The botanical gardens were okay. Nothing like Moody Gardens at home!
Day 7 and 8- (On the boat and back to Germany)
Since I needed a tan before going back to Germany I spent most of these days laying out. With the wind from the moving boat, I didn't get hot. Therefore- I burned to a crisp. My sunburn hurts like a bruise. Ouch!
When we finally made it to our plane (delay due to striking Germans) we had a gummy bear plane. Sweet! And yes, they gave us gummi bears!
If you are still reading...All in all it was a really great trip. We are still amazed and feel totally blessed each time we get to see something new. I have been interested in Egypt since I was little, this trip was really the trip of a lifetime for me!
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