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Amazing Experience in Jordan and Egypt By Gloria Bramucci - Part 3

Luxor Temple
Citadel of Qaitbay
Temple of edfu

Arrival to Alexandria

We started with a very early morning in order to get a head start to Alexandria which is 220 K from Cairo. Wake-up call, 5:00 a.m. the Hotel Restaurant is open at the hour due to many tours starting up in the early morning in order to beat the heat!

Our first stop in Alexandria were the catacombs, followed by the Roman Amphitheatre. Both were very interesting sites but when we arrived at the Qaitbay Citadel and viewed the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, well, it was magic.

The stones from the huge lighthouse after it’s collapse were used to build the present-day citadel. The location of this beautiful castle is exceptional. The sea was in its glory so everything I’ve dreamt about Alexandria came to be. We were treated to a lovely seafood lunch at this restaurant known for having guests such visiting heads of states and celebrities. Lovely view great lunch.

flying from Cairo to Luxor

We arrived back in Cairo and rested up for dinner. Also, we knew that tomorrow is another early morning as we are flying from Cairo to Luxor at 8:00 a.m. The following day, we arrived in Luxor and went directly to visit the temple of Karnac. The temperature soared to 44 celsius and we were melting! This temple is obviously over-whelming! The majestic pharaoh statues and murals are beyond description.

We then checked in to the Nile Goddess Cruise Ship where my friend Ahmed from GAT had advised me a month prior to departure that all 8 of us would be upgraded to the presidential suites because they had to dry dock the ship we were booked on and this ship had no balconies hence the upgrade. 

There are only 4 such suites on this ship so this worked out in our favor. What we didn’t expect upon our arrival is that other than 2 nice Australian ladies we were the only passengers on board. 

The crew has been fantastic and we are being spoiled with such great meals at the dining room. Total number of guests, 10 plus our 2 guides that’s is! What a hoot we’re having! Especially Kelly, Vanessa, Caitlin, and Shannon! The pool to themselves, the bar service, Snacks etc.. 

The crew has been fantastic and we are being spoiled with such great meals at the dining room. Total number of guests, 10 plus our 2 guides that’s is! What a hoot we’re having! Especially Kelly, Vanessa, Caitlin, and Shannon! The pool to themselves, the bar service, Snacks etc.. 

straight after visiting several sites in luxor we ended the evening with the sound and light show at Karnak temples! We walked in all these grandiose pillars and were stopped to listen to the voice of the greatest queen of Egypt, Hatshepsut and her father Thutmose I – we were leas as a pilgrimage through the site listening to them explaining the history events (we’re thinking the voice of Hatshepsut is done by Dame Judy Dench) the lighting was amazing! 

Hot Air Balloon in Luxor

we finally returned to the ship for a 9:30 dinner! We also are scheduled to get up at 2:30 for the Hot Air Balloon ride the next day!! We got up at 2:30 and our private tour bus took us to a little marina where the felucca boats would take us across the Nile to the lift-off area. We were offered coffee and pastry while filling out forms which pretty well would sign our lives away … then the captain arrived, gave us a safety briefing and off we went.

 

Hot Air balloon

The field was filled with balloons being inflated and we were told in which sequence we’d be taking off. We were number two out of about 20 balloons. Normally it is much busier for both cruise ships and hot air balloon rides but we think Ramadan may have had something to do with this dip in tourism. For us, it’s working to our advantage. 

Once our balloon was inflated, we were briefed on how to mount into the basket and about weight distribution in the basket. Before you know it, it was lift-off! Kelly said she felt a quick pang anxiety when she realized that the balloon had no control over the wind. 

It passed as quickly as it came. My fleeting thought was, ‘will we be on the front page of the Vancouver Sun tomorrow?’ The hour passed by smoothly, we had beautiful vistas of monuments in the Valley of the Kings, we saw locals riding their horses and donkeys in the desert and we saw a magnificent sunrise. We landed in the middle of a gravel road which blocked some traffic and other than that, our bus met up with us and we were given a breakfast box from the cruise ship and ice water.

Check out: Amazing Experience in Jordan and Egypt By Gloria Bramucci – Part 1

Check out: Amazing Experience in Jordan and Egypt By Gloria Bramucci – Part 2

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