Seeing as the weather is bad now and there are a few other non-hiking trip reports being posted, I thought it would be okay if I posted one (there is some hiking). This is primarily a photo trip report of a 6 week journey I took with my father in May and June. We didn't know it at the time but we were lucky to miss the worst pacific northwest weather of 2010.
Growing up I always heard my father tell stories about his travels. After high-school I followed in his footsteps exploring parts of Europe and North Africa. But after two decades of raising us kids, I wanted to see him travel again, and be a part of it if I could. I brought up the idea to him and he liked it. We started in Cairo with the pyramids and worked our way south, up the Nile, stopped at various temples as we went. I wanted to climb the great pyramid of Giza but "no climbing" signs were posted all over the place and armed guards yelled at me whenever I stepped out of bounds. By far the most spectacular thing I saw on this third trip to Africa was the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Walking down long passage ways, every surface from floor to ceiling was covered in the most amazing artwork I've ever seen. These paintings depict dream images and are still vividly bright with original color. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed. Near the border of Sudan we visited the temple of Abu Simbel which was cut out of solid rock.
Leaving Egypt we next set foot on the island of Crete and I was able to hike down through the longest gorge in Europe which is called Samaria. We then took a ferry to the island of Santorini which was the best island of the trip. We rented little scooters to get around cheaply and I found at least one trail to explore along the top of the old volcanic rim which created the island. After Santorini it was off to the island of Naxos where I climbed Mount Zeus, the highest peak in the Cyclades Islands. I also poked around in the Cave of Zeus which is one the mythological birthplaces for the god. On the island of Paros I did a bit of snorkeling although the water in this part of the Mediterranean is fairly cold. Moving on we spent some time in the city of Ermoupoli on the island of Syros and then we went to the island of Tinos but didn't stay long there.
For the final leg of the trip we went back to the mainland where I climbed Mount Olympus, the highpoint of Greece and mythological dwelling place of the gods. I posted that trip report on NWH earlier this year. Back in Athens, tensions were high and the political situation was crumbling. Police in riot gear were posted in several parts of the city. At this point I was struck with a case of swine flu and I spent several days in a hotel room watching mind-numbing Greek television while my father alternatingly doted on me and took the time to visit the new archeological museum. Against his advice, I insisted on visiting the Parthenon before our flight home.
Wow, what a fantastic trip! I was in Egypt & Ethiopia the summer before last and visited Cairo, Giza & Luxor. My favorite part of Egypt was the Valley of The Kings. If you went there you must have passed these guys on the way:
I thought they were really cool because they are just sitting there without much fanfare. I regret not going down into the Nubian lands like you did.
-------------- My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
The Nile River is so modern for some reason I've always pictured it looking ancient
Thanks for sharing, great pics!
-------------- ♫ You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. And you're the one who will decide where you'll go. Oh the places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss
If you went there you must have passed these guys on the way:
We did pass those guys and the Valley Of The Kings was the most impressive thing we saw while we were there. I wish we could have explored more than three tombs. If I was ever to go back I would buy 2 or three tickets so that I could go in 6 or 9 tombs.
As far as the Nile goes, it is very developed around Cairo but if you look off to the side there are many pyramids stretching off to the south. I was always under the impression that there were just the main three but we could see many other large ones down south.
Crete That is high on my list of places to go. Great wildflowers in the spring. Egypt looks great. I'm also curious if it was independent or group travel. Sounds like a great trip and thanks for the posting.
Good question. Our research revealed that seeing the temples would be difficult and time consuming by land. The alternative is a highly organized system of cruise boats that go up the Nile River stopping at the temples along the way. We booked a 4 day cruise to see the best temples and ended with the extra package of flying down to see Abu Simbel. Actually the Nile is teaming with these boats and you can see them moving in line up and down the river.
These four days on the Nile were guided with historic details and explanations. The rest of the trip was "free form" and on our own. I would recommend doing the cruise because the alternative is with buses and many hassles. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions but make sure it's before Christmas because I'm going traveling again for a month and won't be able to respond.
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