Nortina’s Egyptian Travel Diaries (#AtoZChallenge): “C” is for Cruisin’ the River Nile

(Click to enlarge) A map of Egypt showing various locations along the Nile, with Cairo in the north (or Lower Egypt) and Luxor in the south (or Upper Egypt)

The majority of our nine-day tour of Egypt was spent cruisin’ up the Nile.

By the way, did you know that the river Nile flows north? So going up the river actually means going south.

The itinerary began with an early morning domestic flight from Cairo to Luxor, and our cruise was from Luxor to Aswan.

To backtrack just a little bit, we arrived in Cairo at around 12AM Sunday morning. We checked into our hotel at 2AM, squeezed in a few hours of sleep, and got up again at 7AM to begin a long Day 1 of sightseeing in Giza, Saqqara, and Memphis (future posts). Day 1 ended with a trip to Mall of Arabia, where Mama bought an extra suitcase so we wouldn’t have an issue with overweight bags coming back home. When we returned to the hotel at the end of the day, it was again late, and our flight to Luxor was scheduled for 7AM Monday, which meant we had to be ready to leave the hotel by 5AM.

It was starting to look like we wouldn’t get any sleep this trip.

Mom picked an incredible travel agency when she booked this trip because at every drop-off point, we had a guide with us. One to meet us in the hotel lobby and take us to the airport. Another at the airport to get us checked in. He was actually the same guy who got us through Customs the morning before, which came in handy because sister-in-law had the wrong last name on her plane ticket. Even though he assured us it was okay, I could tell she was uneasy about it. I would be too! In a foreign country with a name on your ticket that doesn’t match your passport? Anything could happen.

I tried to lighten the mood with this hilarious story about how a girl from Pakistan traveled to Dubai and back on her sister’s passport (by mistake of course) and got away with it.

“Just tell them that’s your other last name,” I said to her. How would they know she and my brother weren’t married yet? What were they going to do? Ask for a marriage certificate?

Well, maybe…

BUT, similar to how he was able to speed us through Customs, our escort handed the man at the ticket counter all the passports and tickets together. The man gave us a nod and a thumbs up, and we were off to the gate. Crisis averted!

The flight was about an hour, and when we landed, there was another escort waiting for us at baggage claim, who handed us off to another guide, who took us to our ship, the Sonesta St. George I, where we would spend the next four days touring various locations along the great river, including the Temples of Karnak and Luxor, relics of the ancient capital city of Thebes.

But before I go into detail about those specific sites in later posts, here are a few scenes from the Nile.


“A” is for Arrival
“B” is for Buyer’s Remorse

This April for the A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing my experience of traveling to Egypt last month. These posts likely won’t be in chronological order, depending on what memory each letter strikes up, but if you’d like to follow me on this journey, subscribe below.

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