Hello peoples, It's Krystal typing. Just got back from our two nights of sailing up the Nile in a Felucca (tough life but someone has to do it)!
Sunday 21st October
Welllll stretching the memory a little here. What did we do this day...
We were up reasonbly early to try and beat the heat as we were heading out to the vallies of the kings and queens. Made it to the valley of the kings first, which was pretty impressive. Entry allowed us to go down into 3 tombs, two of which the tour guide took us down into, and then one we got to choose the 3rd. So we got to see one of the biggest tombs, which was pretty far under ground, took us about 5 minutes to reach the tomb. And also got to see 2 average sized ones. There wasn't anything inside the tombs, just the writings on the walls as everything was now in the Cairo museum or had been stolen by tomb robbers. There were heaps and heaps of tombs, we could have spent a few days there I reckon, well if you were keen! But 4 was enough for us, as we got the chance to go down into Tutanhkamoun’s tomb. We were pretty wrapped that we got the chance to do this, as our tour manager said this was the first time she had ever seen the tomb opened as it is nearly always closed because of humidity levels. (Not to say that it didn't feel humid down there!) We had to pay extra to go into this one, but although it was the smallest out of the lot we both thought it was the best. It still had all the colours on the walls and was the only one that had not been found by tomb robbers. Tutanhkamoun's sarcophagus was still in there, laying on his tomb bed made of gold. We got mixed stories about whether his body is still in that sarcouphagus, but we will find out for sure when we get to Cairo Museum I guess.
We then headed over to the valley of the queens, which is where the young princes and princesses also have tombs. Went into two prince tombs, and one queen tomb. They were no where near as good or as big as the king tombs. One had a baby fetus inside a glass box which was pretty cool to look at.
By this stage it was later afternoon and we headed back to our 5 star hotel in Luxour (we thought we were on a budget trip too???) This time we headed out to an english pub to watch the champions league. So happened that mine and Matts new adopted soccer teams were playing each other. Unfortunately Matt's team (west ham) won 3 to 1, but was only because Sunderland accidently kicked a goal for them. So guess you could say we drew since we both kicked 2 goals each???? Well that's my arguement!
Monday 22nd October
We were up early again today to catch a train from Luxor to Aswan. We had a little bit of free time to wonder and then had the choice of doing a tour. Matt decided it was too hot and hung around by the pool at our 4 star hotel over looking the Nile (loving the fact that we are doing a budget tour and staying in really nice hotels) with another guy. The rest of us made it out to see the Aswan dam and the wall which had been built to control the levels of the Nile to prevent flooding. We then took a boat ride out to Phile Temple. The temple was like an oridinary egyption temple, but what got me was the fact they had moved the site of the temple when they had created the dam so that it wasn't under water. They cut the temple up into a few thousand pieces and then moved them back into place like a huge puzzle. There were no signs of the fact that it had been moved. That was pretty cool.
After looking at the temple, wasn't that much else to do, plus the fact it was like 40 degrees, so headed to the cafe with a few others. Our local tour guide Mohammed joined us and told us how he just got engaged, was a pretty interesting story. His best mate had a sister that Mohammed hadn't met before. Anyway the mate was around at his house one day and said he had to go coz he had to let his sister into their house coz she was back from uni and had no keys. Mohammed rang a few of his friends to find out about this sister and then decided that night he wanted to marry her, without even meeting her! He rang his mate to ask her to see what she would say. She agreed, and then he had to ask her family. The family thought about it for a week and then agreed and set up a meeting. So yeh now they are engaged! They are only allowed to meet up if one of her family members is present, until the actual day of their wedding. He said he calls her on his mobile but said it's really awkward but is getting better. We were all saying how strange their engagement was and he said that this kind of engagement is very common.
We asked him what he thought about our culture, and he said he didn't like it at all. As he had watched some kind of ricki lake show on tv where all single girls get up on stage who have had kids to one night stands and try and find the father of their child. He thought this was pretty common among white people! But we set him straight. I seriously think that the majority (a very high majority) of the arabs in egypt just think we are sexed crazied animals or something.
Anyway headed back to the hotel to find matt a little churpie in the pool. We all got up on the deck above the pool to watch the sunset over the Nile. Was quite lovely, then headed into town for some din dins :P
(that's how a feclucca looks)
Tuesday 23rd October
Today we were up at 3am for a 3:30am departure to head out to Abu Simbel as it was a 3 hour drive out there and we had to get another convoy. Was either get that one and beat the heat and have the rest of the day free or the opposite. So yes... 3am get up. Nice.
The convoy was meant to leave at 4, but we are in egypt and we left at 5, who knows why! We arrived around 8am and had an hour and a half to wander around, which was more than enough time anyway.
Abu Simbel... wow, was really really impressive. It's a temple for king Ramsi II who was the most popular and successful egyption pharaoh. The temple was carved into the face of a sandstone hill, and showed Ramsi II during 4 different periods of his life. It was absoultely huge. And the even more amazing thing was that this temple and hill had also been sored up into thousands of pieces and put back together at this site because of the construction of the dam. Again there was no hint that the structure had been moved. You would have liked it dad.
After we got back from Abu Simbel it was early afternoon. We wander around Aswan for a little and got some lunch. Also got an Egyption sim card as Optus pre paid sucks overseas, but didn't have much luck with it.
That night we got a boat across the Nile to the otherside and went into a little Nubian village that was off the beaten track. The Nubian people are from inland Africa, maybe Sudan? anyway they are the darker skinned population that live in southern Egypt along with the Arabs. We were invited into a family home that was pretty much open to the sky and had some dinner there where we sat on rugs and ate off tiny tables. Afterwards they played some african drums and got us all up for a booggie african stype. That was pretty cool and it is making us want to go to Africa one day, yes add that to the list!
After being up for about 20 hours we decided to call it a night.