More observations on our Royal Viking Cruise.

After overnighting just on the South side of Esna Lock, we weighed anchor in the early morn. I don't often get to see the sunrise but it's worth getting out of bed for when you're on the Nile!

We're loving our cruise, so far. I hope that nothing will happen to spoil it for us.

Today, we're due to cruise to Edfu and Kom Ombo, where the tourists will disembark for their excursions. We'll see what we come across on the way, shall we?

5:05am and there goes the early train, thundering along the Nile's bank. You can just get a glimpse of it through the palms on the right of the picture. (Click on any of the pictures to get a better look.) It just shows how near the river Egypt lives; the main road is just out there as well.

A little further on, and we come across something which I've never noticed before, although it looks like it's been there for quite some time:

Sadly, the lackadaisical attitude which Egypt seems to have regarding maintenance invariably gives tourists the wrong impression. "HAPPY TRA". Indeed!

As always, the working man has to make his living. Fishermen are ubiquitous on the Nile. "Early to bed and early to rise", and all that:

Not very much further on, we were suddenly faced with (what looked like) a North Sea "haar", as the river ahead and in the distance were enshrouded in mist. It was really rather atmospheric:

I almost sensed the Marie Celeste looming out of the mist!

Back to the daily reality of work, and here are the reed gatherers, filling a Nile barge with their harvest.

Above are the reed beds which they work. It seems a strange occupation to a land-lubber like me.

Heading back to our cabin, for a snooze before breakfast, I took a few snaps around the reception area. (I hope you'll forgive the UFO's, which are actually bits of muck which have managed to worm their way into the lens. The camera is, at this very moment, in the camera shop getting sorted.)

The table really is as stunning as it looks, pity about the jar of sweets amidships.
And how about these for a surprise on a Nile cruise boat?

They have to belong to the boat, as there were no passengers travelling at the same time as us who might have needed them. A good idea, and a sign of the company's commitment to the needs of their clients.

Like just about all Nile cruise boats, the central staircase is an impressive feature:

Although we have no industry near Luxor (for fear of the resulting pollution damaging the antiquities) there are several factories elsewhere along the Nile. We came upon a steelworks and a sugar factory. Fool that I am, I cannot remember which one these the following pictures are of!

Judging from the number of what look like grain elevators, I would think that this is the sugar factory, but I've been wrong plenty of times before!

These are obviously conveyors for loading river barges. 

See the artic's in the foreground? And this also shows some of the pollution which the government is trying to save Luxor from!

There are some pretty remote hamlets along the Nile; like this one:

The road has swept away, behind the mountains, leaving this well-worn footpath below as seemingly the only access to the dwellings.

After a "turn around the deck" to settle our ample breakfasts, we returned to our cabin to find our first towel sculpture of the trip:

The cleaners must have waked in on some unsuspecting white man like me, to find the ideal model for this one! It's actually the first time I'd seen this particular one, quite impressed.

First stop for the eager tourists was Edfu, where caleches ferry them to the temple. It can be a terrifying trip, as the drivers here don't seem to have much sympathy for their animals, and sometimes gallop them through the streets much to the tourist's chagrin.

I was much more interested in the town's other main form of transport:

Yes, shipmates, it's the humble Tuk-tuk! And I want one! Want one!

I don't know about you, Dear Reader, but I'm in 7th Heaven here! A lovely cruiseboat, beautifully warm weather, a happy spouse, Tuk-tuks galore and scenery like this below. What more could any man ask?

Some things are barely worth commenting on, like the huge size of the electricity pylons supporting the cables where they cross the Nile:

But then........such structures become rather sinister when you realise that in this quiet, hidden, backwater they are actually breeding! I almost missed this "child" pylon, soaking up its much needed nourishment from the world's longest river!!!

Image result for free images of electricity windmills

I'm convinced that there's some sort of correlation here to the aliens which are spreading over England and just biding their time until they make their move and take control of our once proud country!!!!

Perhaps the following couple of pictures might convince you too, Dear Reader, that there is definitely something "going on" here in this cradle of civilisation?

Just some small distance away from the pylon nursery, even your colour blind reporter couldn't have failed to notice these highly coloured patterns on the Nile bank.

It's obvious that they're some sort of signalling thingy! They're multi-coloured plastic parcels!!!!!

See how they are arranged in meaningful sequences? Sinister, I say!

It would seem, from the following picture, that these peculiar goings-on have effected the minds of the local population, wouldn't you agree?

We were about an hour or so North of our next stopping point of Kom Ombo, when we approached the row of piers of a new Nile Bridge:

There's certainly a great deal of concrete reinforcing going into those pillars!

Who needs a floating crane when you have a  barge and a truck mounted one?

Such concerns were pushed to the far reaches of my mind as I contemplated the simple (and primitive) pastoral scene which next glided into view:

My fevered brain was further quieted as we approached the beautiful temple to two gods; Kom Ombo!

Perhaps I had let my imagination run wild, after all?

By the time the tourists had marvelled at the carvings of familiar surgical instruments and seen the mummified crocodiles; and run the gauntlet of the avaricious traders at Kom Ombo, the light was failing. We set sail once again just as the temple lights were switched on.

If only we could have delayed our departure for 15 minutes or so, I could have got you a much more impressive photo'. (That's the same Sonesta cruiseboat in the foreground.)

We sailed away as the Nile was slowly engulfed in the deep black which is the Egyptian night. We knew when we were approaching Aswan, as the contrasting, modern, beauty of the illuminated Aswan Bridge hove into view:

As we docked, right in the middle of Aswan's river frontage, we were presented with this fabulous view of the Nobles Tombs on the West Bank. 

OK, it's brash and gaudy, but it makes the lighting of the King's Valley Mountains at Luxor look decidedly amateurish. Perhaps the moon rising over the opposite Nile Bank was meant to show us a more natural type of beauty?

As we entered our cabin, after a sumptuous dinner and more than ready for sleep, we were confronted by a towelling elephant:

Another first, as far as I was concerned, but maybe a reminder that we were now as far South as the Royal Viking would be taking us, and we wouldn't be seeing the real thing on this trip?

What about tomorrow, I wonder?

1 comment:

  1. Would love this cruise Sandra mick