Dave and I are home from our adventures in Egypt. Our flights yesterday -- again through Istanbul -- went smoothly, and we're both glad to be back. I, for one, am looking forward to doing laundry. Somehow cleaning up a suitcase full of dirty clothes is immensely satisfying and restores a sense of order after the chaos of traveling.
Olga should be back with us later this morning. I haven't heard from Simone yet but I'm assuming she'll be dropped off after her morning walk.
Now that I finally have reliable WiFi and my photo editing software, let me share with you some favorite Egypt shots that I wasn't able to post while we were on the trip. (I have about 700 photos to sort and edit! I'll only keep a fraction of them, but still...I'll be busy for the next few days.)
First, above, the Nile waterfront in Luxor at sunset.
These are the Colossi of Memnon, located at the site of a long-demolished temple on the west bank of the Nile near Luxor. They were badly damaged by ancient earthquakes, but now there's some work going on to excavate the remains of the nearby temple (background).
A street scene in Edfu. I didn't have a chance to get out and wander around as much as I'd have liked, because our timetables were pretty tight and we had so much to see. But I could still get a sense of street life from the windows of our buses and cars and, in this case, from our horse-drawn carriage.
I loved watching life in the villages we passed on our Nile cruise boat. The buildings were often very vibrant, and draped in colorful laundry to boot, with interesting details everywhere. I have lots of photos like this!
A fisherman on the Nile at sunset.
Sailboats on the river in Aswan.
A brightly colored building in a Nubian village near Aswan. I think it was a hostel or maybe a tea-house. I loved that doorway -- I saw the top of it from the roof of a neighboring house where we were having tea, and I told my guide, "I have to go find that door!"
Here's our camel boy at the pyramids in Giza, taking pictures of Dave with my iPhone. (He had us both do all sorts of silly poses, making it look like we were lifting the pyramids or leaning on them.) This gives you a sense of the barren plateau, which makes the pyramids look so isolated in some photos. But if you look over the edge of the hill behind the camel boy, you can see lots of buildings. That's Cairo, and it comes right to the base of the hill.
Here's a panorama of Cairo, taken from the old citadel. (Probably best viewed large, if you have that capability -- just click the photo.) This gives you a sense of its immensity. More than 20 million people live in the Cairo metropolitan area.
And finally, one more video. While on our Nile cruise between Luxor and Edfu, we were shocked when guys pulled up next to the cruise vessels in little rowboats, tied on to the bow, and proceeded to hawk souvenirs to tourists. They'd yell and barter, and if someone was interested in an item they'd stuff it into a plastic bag and throw it up to the top deck, where we were all sitting. The buyer would then put money in the bag and toss it down. It all seemed very precarious and not a little dangerous, and a few souvenirs did float away downstream, but I'm sure someone retrieved them. The Egyptians can be very determined salesmen!