Hey there, hi there and hello there from aboard the Sonesta Star Goddess on the Nile River. Jenny and I are here waiting for our transfer back to Cairo for the Sphinx, Step and Great Pyramids after our wondermous Nile cruise.
We departed Cairo a few days ago on our way to Abu Simbel, probably the most majestic temple we've seen yet on this trip in tribute to Ramses II and his wife Nefertari ... I told Jenny maybe someday I would build her a house, but didn't know if we'd have enough sandstone for an entire temple! The pillars were fantastic, but what was even better was that since the revolution last March tourism has been way down, so there are no lines for anything.
Our next stop was the High Dam that created Lake Nasser, and as you can see by Jenny's hair, it was electrifying ... or it was windy:) The Philae Temple was our next excursion aboard a small boat to an island once roamed by the crocodiles and now enshrined to the ancient Egyptian gods. That was our last stop before we heard about our upgrade from the small cabin aboard the Sonesta Sea Goddess to our deluxe suite aboard the Sonesta Star Goddess, another perk of low tourism, they needed to combine cruises and we got upgraded to a two room sweet, magnifico. O yes, we did participate in the folkloric and belly dancing aboard the ship, although we realized we probably won't quit our day job.
Our first night we also visited the bazzar where Jenny tried on her haggling skillz and won, or did we:)? It was a fun walkabout in the streets of Aswan before a great night's sleep. The staff aboard the cruise was amazing and the food was absolutely wonderful, they were all so kind (even kind enough to let me use the internet now for free:) Saturday and Sunday were filled with tours to ancient temples across Aswan to Kom Ombo and then on to Luxor where we had a full day of tours to the East/West banks.
Although many of the temples seem similar, you take a step back and realize that what you are seeing, much of which is still in amazing shape, is over 3,000 years old!!! To still see color and the construction absolutely takes your breath away to know that you're standing the same place that Kings and Pharohs did 3,000 years before you.
We continued on our travels to Luxor's Valley of the Kings, home of King Tutenkhamen as well as the Valley of the Queens, home of Queen Nefertari. The tunnels the Egyptians built were still in miraculous shape with so many amazing colors on the walls and ceilings to depict the battles, the sacrifices and the celebrations of the ancient times.
The great Karnac and Luxor Temples ended our Sunday in Luxor as the various obelisks and shrines to Ramses II and other kings took over the skyline. We bid farewell to our new South African friends and tour guide after an amazing last dinner. Today was spent at the local bazzar looking for gifts and relaxing before our day tomorrow that will include the Sphinx, Step and Great Pyramids which will be one of the best days of our honeymoon indeed. It's on to Petra, Jordan after that and then Victoria Falls before our safari.
Hope all continues well for everyone and we'll continue to try and stay in touch throughout our excursion.
Nate & Jenny