It's Egypt Eve! I'm as excited as a kid at Christmas and as terrified as an adult about to fly across the world in a tin can.
|It really happened this time|
Woke up, checked Twitter, 1/2 expected news that'd cancel today's Egypt trip. RIP Tony Curtis, loved you, but thx for not being a volcano.
[A reference to the fact that our original trip was cancelled
by the Icelandic volcano, news I read first on Twitter.]
Heading to the airport for Egypt! Well, Edmonton for now, but as Teresa & I proved last time - same thing
|Outside the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton when our first attempt to go to Egypt was cancelled.|
Napping at the Edmonton airport, hair askew, bags piled around. Only thing distinguishing me from a hobo is Twitter.
[No picture. Duh.]
Teresa's here! We're through security & at the gate! Reunion Trip 2: Actually Getting On The Plane is underway.
|Plus, it's rare to see Diane in glasses in the wild.|
In Cairo, exhausted but exhilarated. Egypt doesn't seem very similar to Edmonton after all, though. Huh.
|View from our first Cairo hotel. Not like Edmonton.|
|Take my word for the "exhilarated" part|
Day 1: wandered Cairo streets (got lost), survived 42C weather (turned into puddle), made friends (fended off strange men). Loving it.
|Checking the map during one of the many, many times we were lost.|
Pics will be: here's us sweaty & gross at pyramids. Here's us sweaty & gross by Nile. Here's us sweaty & gross at Abu Simbel.
|True. Also us with dorky headwear. And yet there's no way I'm posting the worst examples. |
This is our closeup in front of the great pyramid.
Pyramids, sphinx, King Tut's treasures - so surreal to see in person. Flying to Aswan now to make friends with a camel.
|Pyramid of Khafre (not the big one)|
|Sphinx and Pyramid of Khafre|
|Sphinx and Great Pyramid of Khufu/Cheops|
|Pyramids from a distance.|
Amazing, incredible day in desert near Aswan. Boat on Nile, camel to monastery, gardens, lunch in Nubian village.
|In Aswan. Scenery unlike any I'd seen before.|
|Krestina the Camel and I in front of St. Simeon Monastery.|
|Banks of Aswan near the Kitchener gardens.|
|Getting a henna tattoo in a Nubian village.|
|The Nubian village.|
Up at 2:45am taking police convoy through desert to Abu Simbel. Teresa's dream destination but too sick to come. Other girl puking on bus.
|The "lesser" temple of Hathor and Nefertari|
|Ramses II on great temple|
Just hangin' out at Abu Simbel. Which is ... wow.
|Posing awkwardly, or collapsing from the heat?|
|The greater temple. The scale of this complex is enormous. And they moved it all when the Aswan Dam was built.|
|Visited an essence factory/shop on the way back from Abu Simbel. |
Bought essense of papyrus. It's pretty.
Perfect midpoint to trip, sailing down Nile in cooling breeze, doing nothing but watch camels, donkeys, cows, trees, sand, reeds as we pass.
|Obligatory vacation foot shot|
|One of our feluccas|
|Hanging by the Nile|
Also? No one is puking or dropping from heat exhaustion. We're saving that for Luxor tomorrow. Sleeping on the felucca deck tonight.
|Relaxing on the felucca|
Docked for night, Teresa seasick so sat on Nile bank. Lovely man gave me Nubian name of Unati (moon) and promised to build house for me next ... [tweet cut off]
Last tweet was supposed to say lovely Nubian man was going to build me a house next to his other wife's. It killed the romance a little.
|Teresa on the banks of the Nile, watching our felucca bob up and down.|
3 temples today, all spectacular. Karnak built over period of 2000 yrs. I can't commit to what to do next weekend.
|At Kom Ombo Temple|
|Horus at Edfu Temple|
|Sanctuary inside Edfu Temple|
|Statue at Karnak|
|Peeking behind columns at Karnak|
|Queen Hatshepsut obelisk at Karnak|
|Ram-headed sphinx at Karnak|
Shoutout to Sem Sem, our Egyptologist guide. By the time I'm home I'll have forgotten astonishing amount about ancient Egypt.
|The amazing Sem Sem, Egyptologist, storyteller, and tour leader extraordinaire|
Day began at 4am w/balloon over Luxor, then donkeys to Hatshepsut Temple, then Valley of the Kings. Last day in Egypt tomorrow. Sniff.
|Sunrise over Luxor|
|Valley of the Kings below|
|Post-landing: another balloon landing in Luxor, Valley of the Kings in the background|
|Only a little freaked out|
|Avenue of sphinxes - excavation ongoing in Luxor|
|Me and my donkey, who tried to knock me off by brushing against everything in sight.|
"Yallah habibi!" ("Let's go, darling!" That's what the guides yelled to the donkeys.)
|Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, only female Egyptian pharoah|
|Statue of Queen Hatshepsut|
Last day in Egypt. Said goodbye to tour leader. Now must make all decisions on our own. So Twitter, where should we go for lunch in Cairo?
|Our historic hotel for the last night in Cairo|
|Not sweaty and gross for the first time in a week, enjoying a |
drink with ice at Shepheard's Hotel
|Teresa on the balcony over the Nile|
One of us got a bit of a tan. One of us got a lot more freckles. (Hint: I'm not the first one of us.)
|But if my freckles would spread and join together, we'd be the same colour.|
Such an incredible couple of weeks I've had in Egypt and LA. Now back to reality. Sigh. Gotta plan my next adventure to anticipate.
[A hint? Next summer I'm going to the country that
ruined the first attempt at an Egyptian vacation.]
ruined the first attempt at an Egyptian vacation.]