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Location - Middle East/North Africa; Capital - Cairo; Population - 99 million; Currency - Egypt Pound MORE EGYPT

We headed upstream from Luxor to Aswan, stopping off along the way and overnighting at Edfu - January 2020.


egyptnote2The Sphinx on the 100 Egyptian Pound note












egypt473This was the first time the boat was on the move, heading up the River Nile at a leisurely pace via the Esna locks to Edfu - Luxor to Edfu


egypt475Egyptian vendors are the ultimate salesmen, and they never miss a trick. These guys hook ropes on to our boat, steer close enough to gain our attention then display what's on offer, mainly traditional clothes. Fancy trying it on? No problem! A plastic bag is hurled to the sundeck, and money does likewise - Luxor to Edfu




egypt496We passed through the Esna locks after midnight and woke up docked at Edfu















egypt490Early morning activity was brusk, with horse & carriages racing to pick up passengers - Edfu

















egypt499The main attraction at Edfu is the Temple of Horus, but our boat headed off towards Kom Ombo during breakfast


egypt492..but some of the cruise ships paid a visit, and the horse-drawn carriages made the most of it - Edfu




egypt500From Edfu we continued upstream, passing rural Nile life - Edfu to Kom Ombo

















egypt502A freight train heads north to Luxor/Cairo - Edfu to Kom Ombo


















egypt504There's not a huge number of Nile bridges; here a cross-river ferry links east to west banks - Edfu to Kom Ombo


egypt510A serene picture of rural life. The River Nile and the Nile delta are Egypt's life support machine, and an absolute necessity for the country's rapidly increasing population - Edfu to Kom Ombo




egypt512More fishing, as seen through the blue-tinge of my cabin window - Edfu to Kom Ombo

















egypt514Our boat arrives in what I thought was the relatively small town of Kom Ombo, however it has a population of over 330,000


egypt525The Temple of Kom Ombo is the main draw, built around the 1st/2nd century BC - Kom Ombo




egypt531This section of the temple is known as a relief of surgical instruments, consisting of various implements which may have had medical uses - Kom Ombo
















egypt540With the same ticket take a look at the Crocodile Museum where mummified crocodiles are on display. These creatures were commonplace at the time, and apparently are trying to make a comeback - Kom Ombo
















egypt542A felucca at dusk, as we continue to Aswan - Kom Ombo




egypt546We arrived in Aswan around 21:00, passing a mosque as we dock in the north of town

















egypt549I like this mural, of famous Egyptians or local celebrities? - Aswan


















egypt614A distant view of the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. There's a sizeable Christian population in Egypt, indeed most of the staff I spoke to on board the MS Emilio were Christian - Aswan


egypt551After some years of instability following the Arab Spring you'll come across tanks and military across the country - Aswan




egypt567Sofitel's Old Cataract Hotel is another historic hotel, made famous by Agatha Christie, who (probably) wrote some of her Poirot novel Death on the Nile here - Aswan
















egypt553For non-residents it's a minimum of LE300 (in 2020) to have a drink at the hotel - Aswan

















egypt555You're rewarded with some great views of the Nile cataracts below - Aswan


egypt557It's a lovely place to have a drink, but it's mighty expensive for just one cocktail. With service charge, I think the bill was the equivalent of $21. Ouch! - Aswan




egypt558The domed tomb of Qubbet al Hawa stands above the River Nile - Aswan


















egypt565This section of the Old Cataract Hotel is Agatha Christie's library - Aswan

















egypt578If you don't fancy paying silly money for a drink at the Old Cataract Hotel then just head for the nearby Ferial Gardens, a public park with even better views - Aswan


egypt571And all for only LE10 admission! It's very popular with families and locals - Aswan




egypt585There's several islands around Aswan, and this one with the weird watchtower is Elephantine Island - Aswan

















egypt590Walking down to the Nile Corniche in search of a boat to Elephantine Island - Aswan

















egypt591That watchtower is a bar-restaurant belonging to the Movenpick Resort Aswan - Aswan


egypt594LE0.50 to cross the Nile to Elephantine Island, local style of course - Aswan




egypt600Crossing the Nile, and that looks like the same mosque we passed on our first evening - Aswan

















egypt605Elephantine Island feels far more local and rustic - Aswan


















egypt609..but there's plenty of colourful murals to brighten the place up, along with several backpacker hostels - Aswan


egypt608A sleepy cat stands guard (lies down asleep?) - Aswan




egypt610Street art on Elephantine Island - Aswan


















egypt612Goats take a wander - Aswan


















egypt615The view from Elephantine Island's jetty, with the cathedral in the background, middle-right - Aswan


egypt617I think this mural was in a government building or education centre - Aswan




egypt619The sun sets behind the West Bank's Tombs of the Nobles - Aswan


















egypt621The hillside is pockmarked with the Tombs of the Nobles, comprising the burial chambers of officials, governors, priests and workers - Aswan

















egypt626After my independent stuff, we had a group tour of sights around Aswan, including the Aswan High Dam, 13km south of Aswan. It opened in 1970, providing hydroelectricity for the country as well as a system of water storage, creating Lake Nasser on the left


egypt629On the other side of the dam flows the River Nile - Aswan




egypt630Heading past a parade of souvenir sellers to the jetty at Shellal, for the boat to Philae


















egypt632Our group head for Philae

















You'll find the cruise demographic rather elderly but it was a great bunch, whereas the all-inclusive Hurghada hotels also have many families. The MS Emilio cruise had two groups, one British the other German, and had their separate guides in their own language. Usual set excursions include visits to Luxor & Karnak temples, Hatshepsut & Valley of the Kings, Kom Ombo, Aswan High Dam, Philae, Nile felucca ride and Esna. Abu Simbel is extra.


egypt634I prefer doing things independently but the two-week package including flights was too good to pass by, and the excursions are pretty much a necessity if you want to see the sights and get back to the cruise boat on time - Philae


egypt637It's a quick 10-15min ride to the island of Philae




egypt638The island is famous for the Temple of Isis - Philae



















egypt640The temple was moved here during the 1970s as the High Dam flooded its original location - Philae

















egypt645The Temple of Isis was built in the 7th century BC, honouring the goddess Isis - Philae


egypt649Might not look it here but the tourist scrum at Philae is a bit silly, with groups competing for space




egypt654Our informative and helpful guide Ehab at the Inner Sanctuary of Isis - Philae

















egypt653Reliefs and hieroglyphics in the Inner Sanctuary of Isis - Philae

















egypt659I was told that Cleopatra left her mark somewhere but couldn't find her, not helped when there's been seven of them. What you can see here is a Christian cross, at a time when the temple was used as a church - Philae


egypt660Also carved into the temple walls is a memorial to what I believe to be British soldiers killed in Sudan in 1884-85 - Philae





egypt665Fantastic Nile scenery from the temple - Philae

















egypt667A demonstration of creating glass blown perfume bottles. Perfume and massage oils are a big thing in Egypt - Aswan


egypt669..which eventually end up looking like this - Aswan




egypt671The final stop on the morning tour was a felucca trip on the Nile - Aswan

















egypt673Entrepreneurial boys paddle out to 'serenade' boats with bad renditions of Frere Jacques and the like - Aswan

















egypt674Our captain guides us past the Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan


egypt675The river around Aswan is dotted with small islands which makes the area very picturesque




egypt678Next to these boats is a rock resembling an elephant, though it depends what angle you're looking from! - Aswan

















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