My first good sleep so far in the last 3 days has been this overnight train! Fell asleep around 11:30pm and were woken up by the train staff at 8:30am. They got us up in plenty of time for breakfast, re-freshing and then lots of time to sight-see out the window as we came into Aswan! The breakfast again was crappy so we didnt eat much of it. We actually took in the next 2 hours of scenery from the train! It was beautiful along the Nile! So green - lots of banana plants, sugar cane fields, etc. a lot like what I'm used to seeing in the caribbean islands. At 10:30 we got off the train and headed towards our Nile cruise boat where we would be staying the next 3 nights even though we weren't sailing today. After the sandy camel riding in the desert and the overnight train - the highlight of today Sherif said was showering:)
Our Nile cruise boat was called the MS Giselle which was gorgeous! Apparently we were upgraded due to Insight Vacations and Trafalgar Tours smaller tour passenger #'s so we shared the same boat as them which is like staying in a five star hotel! Sherif upgraded Mark & I to a larger cabin which had a huge double bed; first time we had a bed together and it was a beautiful room with huge windows! While everyone showered; we actually didn't:( Mark wanted to see the High Dam which was an optional excursion which nobody wanted to do except for Mark. If anyone else wanted to go with him, i would have stayed behind but since he was on his own, i stuck with him and we went in a taxi. It only took an hour but it was nice! Came back and loved that shower - first one in 24 hours and felt so good!
The buffet lunch on the boat was amazing! We had only 15 minutes of free time so i went up to the sun deck on top of the boat & it was beautiful with a pool and a bar and all! We then had our included "Felluca" sailboat ride which was a very relaxing was to see the Nile. Little boys were paddling up to our boat singing to us and floating along holding onto our boat. The weather was good and hot here in Aswan which made everyone happy! Sherif also said we didnt need to be covered up anymore so everyone was enjoying the sun! From the boat, we went to a perfumery which I didn't expect to enjoy but they explained a bunch of different aromatherapies and blends so I ended up getting a favorite of most of us which was a fruity flavoured perfume called Papyrus.
Next we went to the Aswan night market which was huge and a great place for souvenir shopping but you had to learn how to deal with the locals, get used to them harassing you and learn to haggle back with them. Mark learned very quickly. He bought a mans dress-type outfit for our theme party and I bought a jingly skirt from the same guy in order to get a deal! The bus eventually brought us back for a late dinner on the boat. Everyone was quite zonked at dinner. There was a belly-dancing show which we watched and then we all went up to the top deck to socialize and had a few drinks. Mark & I had about 3 drinks and got to know a few of the others. Went to bed around 11:30 or so.
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