The oldest megalithic civilization in the world, has 5,000 years of habitation along the Nile River, including portions of Nubia and Sudan. The Nile corridor extends from Tanzania to the Mediterranean was and has remained the trail for peoples from Africa to travel north into Eurasia. The pharaonic kingdom (the land ruled by the Pharaoh’s) is situated generally along the Nile surrounded by sandy desert.
We began our Egyptian adventure in Cairo walking neighborhoods, visiting museums and places of worship, and of course, the great pyramids of Giza.
We flew to Aswan staying at the “Old Cataract” hotel along the riverbank of the Nile River. This historic hotel is where Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill spent warm winters away from England. We visited Philae, an Egyptian structure on an island within the lake created by the lower Aswan dam. We rode on camels to St. Simon monastery, and then drove through the Sahara Desert to Abu Simbel, to visit the massive colossi of Ramses II. Abu Simbel was inundated by the construction of the “high” Aswan dam (Lake Nassar) flooding most of the history of the Nubian culture.
Upon our return to Aswan, we boarded a dehabeya (a double masted sailboat generally pulled by a tug due to lack of wind) to spend 6 nights on the Nile River meeting the local farmers and visiting other Egyptian pharaonic temples such as Kom Ombo, Gembel Silsila, Edfu, and Khnum.
Departing the boat in Luxor we walked through the ruins of Luxor, Karnak (Thebes), and experienced the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. This only describes a very small portion of what we saw and experienced.
We then travelled north, and took a side trip to St. Bishoy, a Coptic Cristian monastery in Wadi Natron. Christians and tourists remain under attack to this day by a radical Islamic faction. We concluded our Egyptian discovery in the ancient city of Alexandria, along the shore of the Mediterranean. While there we took a side trip to Rosetta where the “Rosetta” stone was found in the Nile delta. We then took a railroad ride back to Cairo for our flight home.