The truth is that we sneaked in another 4 night Nile cruise on the lovely Royal Viking cruiseboat, the other week. It's ridiculous that I should feel anything other than joy at having a great time, at my time of life, with the woman I love, in the land where we've chosen to spend our time together. But, there you are; there is a pang of "should we really be doing this?" I can conjure up a good many reasons as to why we shouldn't be here at all, never mind cruising up and down the Nile like Lord and Lady Bountiful!
Well, now that I've got that off my chest, I can tell you a little about it, just to whet your appetite, you know?
It wasn't like our last cruise, in that we actually planned to stay for 4 nights this time, whereas the last time we originally planned to do only 2 nights, and then decided to extend our stay. We also spent a great deal more of our time on this trip with the other guests who were lucky enough to also be on such a splendid cruise.
On this adventure, we were on the third deck (fourth last time) and the cabin was of the same design and with the same levels of comfort. We asked for a second chair again, and again it was provided immediately.
Our fellow guests (26 of them) were mainly British with a handful of Spaniards, quite a mix, with several young people. A couple of hipsters (I think that's the right term for trendy young British men with full beards) with their wives (?), one or two other couples, some single people, and a charming lady with her daughter who was studying archaeology at Durham University, not far from us at home. There was also a Kiwi bloke who was blowing his redundancy money by travelling around the world, good on him, and a retired Scotch lady who was travelling with one of her computer-wizard sons!
All in all, we had some good company, so much so that we missed our planned outing on the first day in Aswan, through being engrossed in different conversations almost all day! But we made up for it on our second day there.
The tours from the boat include an optional felucca (sail boat) ride to enjoy a "sunset tea" on the lower terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel. Since the hotel was closed for about three years for refurbishment, it is now even more fabulous than it was before! We had intended to take tea at the Old Cataract while we were in Aswan, but didn't feel inclined to go with the party. (Only because we couldn't afford it, mind, not because of the company!) We left before them, and sauntered along the Corniche, it took us 35 minutes at our usual easy pace.
On the way, we passed the Aswan Coptic Christian Cathedral, it's a pretty impressive building, don't you think?
We sat for some time, just soaking it all in, then we ordered tea and Freda's usual decaf. They didn't have any decaffeinated coffee, but the ever resourceful "Madame" always carries a sachet with her, just in case. We were delighted, when we got the bill, to find that they had only charged for my tea, providing Freda's hot water etc etc free of charge. Now that's class! We were even serenaded by a Nubian musician, to whom I dropped a couple of quid for taking his picture.