Egypt – A timeless Journey

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Egypt – A timeless Journey

Arriving in the modern day city of Luxor, once ancient Thebes, I was surrounded by monuments and temple complexes that would leave me with more questions than answers! My excitement mounted as I boarded the Dahabiya, a traditional sailing boat that was to be my home for the next five nights.

By Anne-Marie Zambelli


The Princess Grace

Aptly named “The Princess Grace”, this charming and stylish cruiser offered just eight air-conditioned cabins with large picture windows and private bathrooms. The first of many fabulous meals was enjoyed on the spacious sundeck before we set out to explore the famous temples of Karnak and Luxor. As I stood in awe of past civilisations, my timeless journey of ancient Egypt begun.

The Princess Grace Dahabiya docked along the Nile

The Princess Grace

The Valley of the Kings on the west bank has to be seen to be believed! This extraordinary burial ground houses many tombs of kings and noblemen, most notably that of Tutankhamun and Ramses the Great. Cut deep into the limestone the tombs have long corridors adorned with exquisite paintings and hieroglyphs leading down into a burial chamber.

Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun

The further you walked the better preserved the tomb, as distance protected them not only from being destroyed by raiders but by the harsh desert climate. This was a definite highlight for me as the experience of standing in the tomb of a pharaoh is difficult to describe.

Feluccas on the Nile

Onboard the Dahabiya the days were fun filled and magical as we sailed slowly past rural towns, farms and fishing villages. The friendly and attentive crew could not do enough for us and we were treated each day to tasty and traditional creations made by three very enthusiastic chefs.

Food cooked on board the Princess Grace Dahabiya

Food aboard the Princess Grace

Sunsets were made even more glorious as I sat on deck with a cocktail in hand, mesmerised by the passing scene. The clever cabin attendant surprised everybody on-board with his skill in folding towels into animals, the results of which greeted us each evening as we retired to our cabin for the night.

River Nile Sunset

The Nile River

Abu Simbel is a must see! Just over half an hour’s flight from Aswan, this impressive monument built by Ramses II in the 13th century BC was the dazzling culmination of our Egyptian journey. The four gigantic statues of the pharaoh himself guard the outside of his beautifully preserved temple built into rock and positioned in full view of Lake Nasser.

Standing in front of Abu Simbel in Egypt

Abu Simbel

It is said that Ramses II built the temple as a powerful reminder to the Nubian people of his greatness. Nearby he constructed a smaller temple in honour of his favourite and first Queen, Nefertari. In the 1960’s, the temples were threatened by flooding from the construction of the Aswan High Dam, so in a project that spanned almost four years they were carefully moved block by block 65 metres up and 200 metres back from the lake onto an artificial hill.

Hieroglyphs inside the Temple of Ramses

Hieroglyphs inside the Temple of Ramses

There is so much to love about Egypt, from its warm and friendly people to fantastic food and its glorious treasures. At no time did it feel unsafe travelling around this fascinating country so do yourself a favour and start planning your own journey now.

Luxor at night

Luxor Temple