Abu Simbel...little stop on a my wishlist...


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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel
July 31st 2008
Published: August 1st 2008
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My last and first visit to Egypt was a little more than 6 years ago. I was fortunate to do most of the main sites
of the Great Egypt. I was even more fortunate to be able to visit the Tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens
in Luxor. Today, this visit is simply close to impossible. But 6 years ago, I didn't made it to Abu Simbel.

So Abu Simbel has since been on my wish-list. And yesterday, I went to Abu Simbel...This place is tremendously
impressive and should be on everybody wishlist!

It all started 2 days ago in Marsa Alam at 3 am in the morning...to be more precise, at Port Ghalib, 70km from
Marsa Alam. I had my driver and guide waiting for me to take me on the tourist police convoy off Marsa Alam. We
first made it to Edfu and than finally to Aswan around 11am. This is slow due to the regular stops. But the
road is so beautiful, specially between Marsa Alam and Edfu...once the sunrise had come!Full sand and stone desert!
Only two cars in the convoy to Edfu...wait there for nearly one hour waiting for the next convoy to Aswan.

It may have been quite slow...but this is part of the journey...it's fun to see that in 12 hours I can cross
continents...and few days later...just few hundred kilometers...in this case, the journey was as important as
the destination.

Made it to Aswan. Would have dream to stay again at the Old Catarat hotel...but sadly, it is close for renovation.
Once it re-opens, if you come to Aswan, stay in the iconic hotel....full of history.

So I set up for another base...with great comfort and a beautiful view of the Nile from my balcony...and an
afternoon of work, swimming pool and skype. I did visit already all the major temples and castle around, so I was
getting ready for Abu Simbel.

6 years ago I took two domestic flights on Egypt Air...the first had 5 hours delay, the second, 8 hours...this time
we manage both flights with only 30 minutes delay. Egypt Air has joined Star Alliance since the 11th of July this
year. But they are still seriously behind in security issues...had to remind the crew that a young child is not
supposed to sit at an emergency exit for example. Better...or way worst, as they don't check passports, they don't
even care if you have or not the correct name on your boarding pass...had a "fun" type of "negocation" bewteen the
airline, my dodgy travel agent and me...glad I know the backwaters of the airline industry to get things sorted!
But after September 11...how can an airline issue a ticket without even the family name of the passanger on a boarding
pass...this is ridiculous!

So made it to Abu Simbel. Flight from Aswan is just 30 minutes. Than you have 90 minutes on the site...follow
directly by the flight to Cairo through Aswan...and even my luggage made it.

Abu Simbel at lunch time in July...I thought in the plane this was mad...well not so mad, or not so hot I would
say...or maybe I'm simply used to the scrotching heat by 12 years living in Asia.

Abu Simbel, Ramses and Nefertari temples...WOW....this is simply amazing place....not too many words to use, enjoy
the pictures...yesterday was a great day for me, I enjoy on of the most magnificient site on earth.

Writting this from my Cairo hotel room on 1st August...it's Christmas soon...smile...
Will fly in a little more than 2 hours for another short stop in another amazing place...but for this, read me in
two days...if you think this trip can get higher and better...this is only the start!

Enjoy, I do!


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2nd August 2008

Very cool!
Love it Peter, good to see you inspiring us again! Safe travels.

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