Hello, avid readers, long time, no talk! For the past few nights, we have been at sea aboard the HS Moondance, floating down the Nile! Since we last informed you of our journeys, we have explored the Valley of the Nobles, Hatshepsut's Temple, Valley of the Kings, the Temple at Edfu, Kom Ombo Temple, the Temple of Isis, and many more exciting sites. As you can see, we have been extremely busy!
We have had the opportunity for some down time on our cruise ship, soaking in some Egyptian sun. The boat's crew hosted an Egyptian night, with a themed dinner with authentic Egyptian cuisine, and a galabiya party (a special dress worn by many of the locals). We purchased many of these outfits at the vendors' shops at the Temple at Edfu. We danced to traditional Egyptian music, as well as the YMCA and the Macarena (which we taught to the Spanish passengers on the boat).
We also have spent some time at local craft shops, including the Papyrus Museum, a handmade alabaster carver's store, a jewelry store, and an oil and perfumery shop. We have experienced many of the traditional skills that the ancients have passed down.
To commemorate our last night on the boat, we took a Felucca out around Aswan's islands, such as Elephantine Island, for a nice sunset sail. Today, we took a motor boat out to Angelina Island, which is the home of the Temple of Isis, the Mother Goddess of ancient Egypt. The Temples of Horus and Isis are Hellenistic temples, dating from after the time of Alexander and the Greek influence. Because they are only 2000 years old, these temples are considered modern compared to the others we have visited!
For tonight, we are staying at the Basma Hotel in Aswan before flying back at 5:30 am to Cairo for some more sightseeing. The farther south we go, the hotter it seems to get, so some much needed rest and pool time are in order!
We will keep you posted when we reach our next internet accessible location!
Sarah and Nicole