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Thanks to the fact that my Dad was living and working in Egypt, I got to visit him recently and take an ancient Egypt tour and cruise down the Nile River. I had always been interested in Egyptian hieroglyphics and symbols like the Scarab beetle and the Ankh as well as being intrigued by the idea of King Tut's tomb and the mysteries of the pyramids so this Egyptian tour was something I had been longing for. We actually lived in Egypt for six months when I was three or four, but I had been too young to appreciate the antiquities that surrounded me. Even so, I never forgot the Egyptian tour we took to the Giza pyramids which probably led to my continued interest in ancient Egypt and my desire for more Egyptian travel.
Landing in Egypt, I felt I was landing on Mars or some unknown planet. Even though I have traveled to many places in Europe and Asia, Egypt looked the most foreign to me with the red sand and unusual topography. Our first stop was a return to the pyramids at Giza. As a child, I had been too scared to walk up the dark stairs and my dad had to put me on his shoulders; I had been terrified of falling into what I thought was a deep tomb in the middle. This visit I was awed by the strange architecture that reminded me of alien spaceships that I had seen in movies. It made me question who could have built these monuments of old and how did they build it them? I feel small group travel is ideal, as no one else was there besides our group and I felt as if I had the pyramids all to myself; even the ever watchful Sphinx seemed to have eyes only for me!
Next my Dad and I checked out different Nile tours trying to decide which sites we had to see on our ancient Egypt cruise! I had been reading up on the Valley of the Kings and Queens and didn't want to miss those giant statues. We choose a Nile cruising tour that included Edfu's Isis and Osiris temples, the temples at Karnak, and the Thebes valley where the mysterious kings and queens reside. I have to admit I was swayed in this direction from reading Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned which linked vampires to the ancient stories of Horus, Osiris, and Isis.
Sailing along the Nile River added to my ancient Egyptian travel allowing me to imagine myself far back in time without cars or anything modern to interfere, only the beautiful reflections of sky on water and oasis-like green spaces along the banks of the Nile Valley. The first seeds of civilization sprung up here, surrounded by this endless desert. Up ahead in the distance strange monuments appear beckoning: are there ancient secrets there I might find answers to? Two gigantic figures guard the entrance followed by many stone sphinxes. Further on are larger carved versions of mythical gods and goddesses like Horus or Isis in their animal forms of falcon and feline.; I love how much mystery still exists; even Egyptologists don't know all the answers to the many questions left behind by these ancients on walls, in tombs, and in giant temples like the one in Karnak.
When it was time to disembark, I regretted not choosing a longer ancient Egypt cruise. I wasn't ready to return to the modern hustle and bustle of Cairo. I wanted to stay longer with the ancients and see if they would reveal any of their secrets to me. Maybe next time!
Group travel is a great way to see parts of the world you never dreamed of! Our tour of Egypt showed us the antiquities of the pyramids and the Nile River cruise left us in awe of the wonders of Egypt!