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Latest Africa travel stories

Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple at Deir el-Bahari

Wednesday 9 January 2008 - still morning We're at Deir el-Bahari, at the death temple of female pharaoh Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut’s temple is magnificent. The architect Senmut built it, perfectly harmonising with the surrounding nature. The temple has three terraces carved out of the cliff and connected by ramps. Not much else is left from Hatshepsut’s reign. Her stepson, it is [...]

Valley of the Kings (6am and 9am)

Wednesday 9 January 2008 Another morning up bright and early at 0500. Very much worth it, to see the Valley of the Kings in solitude. Except for the guards at each grave, we have the place to ourselves. Valley of the Kings at dawn Valley of the Kings in the early morning.  The girls and I are all alone in [...]

Smoking sheesha in Edfu and waterborne shops at Esna

Tuesday 8 January 2008 At Aswan, we were joined by new passengers. They would naturally stop ad have a look at the Horus Temple at Edfu. But we've seen it, been there, done that. Instead, we're invited to a cafe in Edfu to smoke some sheesha. Well, some of us, anyway. Alex has a go. Apparently, watching is [...]

Boating the Nile – in the 1800s and today

It’s early January on the Nile. Early morning as well. The girls are still asleep. I’m alone on deck. Going down river (north) is windier. The pages of my note pad is blowing fiercly, at times lightly whipping my face. It’s bitterly cold.

Sounds and lights at Philae Island

Still Monday 7 January 2008 As a goodbye to Aswan, we see the sound and light show at the beautiful temples at Philae island. Presently located on the island of Agilkia, they were transferred here by UNESCO when the Aswan dam was built. Before that, these temples flooded for much of the year. Seems incredible now! Egyptians, Greeks and Romans [...]

Afternoon Tea at the Old Cataract in Aswan

Still Monday 7 January 2008 In the felucca, we sailed past the Old Cataract Hotel. From the Nile, this old world hotel looks grand, perched on the granite bluff above. If you’ve seen Death on the Nile, it will also look familiar. Alex, my oldest daughter, enjoys sipping tea in old world hotels, preferably while wearing a big hat, looking [...]

Child-friendly pursuits in Aswan – and felucca sailing

Monday 7 January 2008 This morning we awaken to the sound of donkeys’ hoofs clicking along the early morning streets of Aswan. Cat and I are off to see if there are any child-friendly spots, (i.e. playgrounds) in this Southern Egyptian city, and later to felucca sailing. Alex is long gone. I decided to forfeit Abu Simbel this morning; it’s [...]

Elephantine and Nubians

By Aswan in the River Nile is Elephantine Island. It houses temple ruins (including the ruins of a step pyramid), two nilometers (structures measuring the water level during flooding season) and a luxury Mövenpick hotel. Most interestingly, though, Elephantine has a considerable Nubian population, living in three villages on the island.

Aswan highlights

Still Sunday 6 January 2008 What a long day, wonderful and fascinating day! And there's even a lot left of it. We've had a look at a few Aswan highlights, and there's more to come. Aswan High Dam Lake Nasser After lunch, we have a look at the Aswan High Dam. The Nile used to flood each summer, leaving behind [...]

Idle musings along the Nile

Sunday 6 January 2008 - still relatively early. It’s 0930, we’ve come back from the crocodile temple, had breakfast and the girls are resting in the cabin. I am on the sun deck, watching life along the Nile, and scribbling notes as we drift slowly up river. We'll be in Aswan by lunchtime where there's lots to see and do: [...]

Kom Ombo, the Crocodile Temple

Very early Sunday 6 January 2008 Another bright and early morning - up at 0530 - for an early visit to the temple at Kom Ombo before the crowds. Increasingly, I mind less and less having to get up before the sun. Today, it feels almost natural. I mean, of course we’re up at 0530. Now, if I could only [...]

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