Saturday, February 17, 2018

TV Review, Globe Trekker's Tough Boats: The Nile, Egypt

Holly Morris from Globe Trekker

I am home with a cold this Presidents' Day weekend.  Flipping through the channels, I found Globe Trekker featuring Tough Boats: The Nile, Egpyt on WETA UK.  From the Globe Trekkers website (link):

Holly Morris travels back in time to explore some of the most spectacular ancient Egyptian tombs and temples along the banks of the river Nile in Egypt.

Back in 2004, I had the good fortune to travel from Luxor to Aswan on a modern "cruise" ship (not as grand as those floating around the Caribbean).  Holly's tourney is the reserve from Aswan to Luxor.  The program had already started, so I caught her in Kom Ombo.  I borrow a map from to  illustrate the Nile River cruises:

Holly mentioned taking a felluca (wooden sailing boat) from Aswan to Kom Ombo.  Again from Globe Trekkers,

Holly’s next stop is the magnificent temple at Kom Ombo, dedicated to the ancient Egyptian crocodile god, Sobek. Sacred crocodiles were once worshipped in the temple, and the temple’s museum contains over 20 mummified crocodiles that were found buried nearby.

When I visited the Kom Ombo, the temple kept live crocodiles in a pen to honor its history.

File:Flickr - archer10 (Dennis) - Egypt-5B-040 - Komombo Temple.jpg
Kom Ombo Temple
Image by  Dennis Jarvis (link)

Upon leaving Kom Ombo, Holly noted that most tourists travel the Nile by "cruise liners", but she hopped about a 1920s steam ship The Sudan (link). Her cabin included a king size poster bed.  My cabin on the "cruise liner" was the size of a king size poser bed.  Indeed, The Sudan represents the golden age of glamorous travel ala Agatha Christie's DEATH ON THE NILE.

The Sudan docked in Edfu, where Holly took a horse carriage to the Temple of Edfu.  Dedicated to Horus, the falcon headed god, it stands out as the best preserved temple in Egypt. Construction began on August 23, 237 (how do they know the exact date?) only to be discovered from its sand burial by Auguste Mariette in 1860.  Holly noted the lack of tourists did not detract the Egyptian government from posting armed guards at its historical sights.  Indeed, we spotted numerous armed guards in 2004.

When my tour group rode the horse carriage from the dock to the temple, we noticed that almost every modern home had a copier machine on the front porch - perhaps Edfu was the Xerox Capital of Egypt.  I no idea why. Most of the Egyptians walking the street also had cell phones; we chalked this up to the lack of infrastructure for landlines.  

Edfu Temple
Image by Ad Meskens (link)

For Holly, The Sudan pulled into its final port - Luxor.  She shared her visit to the Temple of Luxor along the Nile and the Tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings.  

Remember that my group started our cruise in Luxor, giving us time to see all the sights in the ancient city of Thebes:

- Colossi of Memnon, the memorial temple of Amenophis III
- Karnak Temple, reminding me of James Bond in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
- Hatshepsut Temple, the resting place of the Queen who would be King

Our guide suggested we say "Hot-Chicken-Soup" fast if we could not pronounce her name.

File:Tempel der Hatschepsut (Deir el-Bahari).jpg
Hatshepsut's Temple
Image by Nowic (link)

Also remember that my group ended in Aswan, where we took a three hour bus trip (one way through the desert) to see the Abu Simbel Temples. Although they stood proud on the Nubian border since 1264 BC, the temples would have been flooded with the construction of the Aswan High Dam in modern time. In 1964, an international group of archaeologists dismantled and moved the temples 65 meters higher and 200 meters father from the Nile River.  Four countries who participated in this effort received smaller temples that would have been flooded. The Temple of Dendur now sits proudly in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

Drawing of the Temple of Dendur
Public Domain (link)

Let me tell you - the three hour drive (one way) was worth the trip. Tourists visit Abu Simbel in a caravan of buses which leave Aswan at 6 am with armed guards. We arrived just after 9 am and had only 3 hours to tour the site. We loaded back onto the buses for our caravan back to Aswan. Our bus broke down, requiring us to crowd onto another bus - who wants to be stuck in the desert? 

Putting Ramses together again at Abu Simbel
Public Domain (link)

Holly's adventure ended in Luxor ... but my tour took the overnight train to Cairo. We sat in "first class" car with Western style seats. The restroom was a hole in the floor. Our guide warned us there was no "food car" so we raided the snack shack at the train station before our departure. Sometime during the night, I awoke to see a Bedouin walk through our car with his weapons strapped to his back. 

The Sphinx in 1878 during the the Big Dig
Library of Congress (link

Once we arrived in Cairo, we toured the Pyramids at Giza, the Sphinx, and the Cairo Museum with King Tut's stuff. We ended the day at the Hard Rock Cafe ... we just wanted an American meal!

As Holly shared on Globe Trekkers, Egypt was magical. I would return to the land of the Pharaohs.

Have you visited someplace exotic ... in your neck of the woods or overseas?  One randomly selected commenter wins book swag from my romance conventions.  Comments are open through Wednesday, February 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Thursday, March 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

The Pyramids at Giza
Public Domain (link


  1. Would love to visit the Valley of the Kings, too, but Petra is at the top of my list.

  2. Egypt does fascinate. The history alone is amazing.

    Nowhere exotic for me.

  3. For me it was Pompeii......feel better soon Kim.

  4. No where exotic. But it must be amazing to see The Valley of the Kings in person.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  5. I think the most exotic would be Macchu Pichu

  6. Egypt has always been on my bucket list. The most exotic for me was Haiti when we went up a mountain on horseback to the Citadel.

  7. Nothing that exotic. I have seen Egyptian items in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

    I've been to Hawai'i once, and I've been to Spain. That's my extent of travels outside of the contiguous 48.


  8. Wow, amazing pictures and stories! I have been to Israel twice and have many stories to go along with that exotic country.

  9. The content on your website never confuses me Aloha Construction

  10. Hey
    last a month ago I visited Egypt with my friends and I had a lot of fun with those places. From my experience, the Nile cruise was the best adventure I ever had in my life. Egypt just made me fall in love with its nature, environment, circumstances, many different places. I surely will visit Egypt again. Well, traveling to Egypt won't be an easy way if I would have not taken help from the Egyptian tour company like Imperial Egypt. They advised me from my budget tip to the traveling tip.