Monday, December 30, 2019

Back Home Again, With Photos

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!


  1. Welcome home! Glad you enjoyed "the Egyptian experience." Thanks for all your photos and your hard work in making the pictures come alive with your descriptions. You brought back many memories for me!

  2. You and Dave should invest in a similar boat and sell London souvenirs to cruise passengers on The Thames. A good way of supplementing your pensions.

    Glad to hear you are back home safe after such a memorable trip.

  3. Great photos. Each one capturing big and little aspects of life there.

  4. Love the photos. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  5. Every photo looks National Geographic perfect to me. And those souvenir venders! Talk about resourceful! And people think the Mexican venders are persistent. Whoa.
    Glad you're home and yes, cleaning out a suitcase is extremely satisfying. I'm sure that Olga is delighted to have her humans back.
    I'm so glad you got to go and I'm so glad you shared so many beautiful pictures.

  6. Oh my gosh, all of these photos are so wonderful. I love every one of them but, I especially like the first one with that gorgeous sky in the background. And, those sailboats...wonderful. What a wonderful experience you had. That video was great too. I can't even imagine buying items like that. Actually, I can't imagine standing on that boat that way while it was rushing down the river.

  7. Truly beautiful and awesome photos. I love that you and Dave traveled to Egypt so I could see it through your eyes. It is so beautiful, colorful, vibrant, and full of human history. Wow in every way wow.

  8. Oh wow, what a way to shop!! I love love all the photos. The panorama is quite interesting. I wonder, did your guide manage to get some of those shots he was trying for? I'm glad your trip home went well. I'm sure Olga is going to be super happy to see you home. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  9. wonderful trip but always good to get back home. thanks for sharing so many wonderful pictures.

  10. It's a much different life from what we know.

  11. I was amazed to see that vendor's boat tied to yours somehow. And your sunset pictures are positively gorgeous. Thanks for taking us all to Egypt with you.

  12. What a treat to watch. Great stuff Steve.

  13. A good trip .. interesting pictures and learning about places..and warmth in the winter!!

  14. Gorgeous photos! I love that first one best - so striking! I'm glad you made it home safely.

  15. Your photos have been gorgeous! It looks like it was a terrific trip. Your camel looks like he had something to say to you about wandering away.

  16. Glad you made it home safe and sound from your grand adventure. I am enjoying seeing the photos and videos. I bet Olga is thrilled to have you home. Did Simone get a souvenir gift?

  17. wonderful photos! I love the colors on the buildings, and the saddle blankets on the camels -- dazzling. Great to see that video as well- those guys are working hard for their money.

  18. WoW - I Really Enjoyed This Trip - Sure Appreciated All Of The Photos And Looking Forward To More - Welcome Home And Bring On The Photos That I Wanna See - Olga Girl

    P.S. Post The First Set From The Dudes Egypt Photos

  19. What a fantastic trip and photos! Sarah (whom you met in London when I was there) is weirdly just back from there, too!

  20. David: Glad you enjoyed this little travelogue!

    YP: I could never throw as well as those guys. I don't have the arm.

    Mary: Thank you!

    Lilycedar: Yes, we did! We could not have asked for more, really.

    Ms Moon: I knew you would identify with the cleaning out the suitcase! Glad you enjoyed the pics.

    Sharon: I couldn't believe those guys! It seems so dangerous, in addition to difficult.

    Robin: So glad you are wowed!

    Edna: Yes, the guide got several funny pictures of us, but I'd rather not post them. They're just too goofy. LOL

    Ellen: We're so happy to be back. By the way, you asked several days ago about how well the Egyptians treat their animals. I found while living in Morocco that the Muslim perspective on animals is quite practical and utilitarian. They see them as a resource to be used. (Not so different from American agriculture, I suppose.) They get fed what they need but they also live with conditions that I think most of us would find a little harsh. Dogs are treated particularly badly because they're considered unclean in Islam. The only dogs we saw were street dogs surviving on their own.

    Red: It is!

    Catalyst: Those guys on the boats blew my mind.

    Sabine: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

    GZ: Yes! Warmth and sunshine! Woo hoo!

    Bug: Thanks! We had a great time and it's a very photogenic place.

    Pipistrello: Ha! Yeah, that camel does seem to be calling me back! (That was actually Dave's camel -- mine is in front.)

    Penelope: I am embarrassed to say I didn't even think to get Simone anything. I just figured paying her would be enough. Maybe I should have, though. :/

    Tara: They really do work!

    Padre: Glad you've enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to the dude's pictures!

    Elizabeth: She was there at the same time?! That's so funny! I guess tourism really IS picking up again. Egypt went through a dry spell after the revolution and some terrorist incidents but I think things are getting better, from what I heard. I would not hesitate to go back again.

  21. Amazing photos! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Excellent photos! Thank you for sharing them. I think I'm all caught up here, now, after my own trip away.