Between the hustle of Cairo and history in Luxor, we were lucky spend 5 nights sailing down the Nile, where we felt totally disconnected from the stresses of our lives back home. We chose the Nour El Nil Assouan, an authentic dahabiya riverboat. Each day aboard the Assouan, we would enjoy a breakfast of crepes, eggs, fruit, local goat cheese and homemade jams on the top deck as we sailed down the river to a new destination. We'd explore temples and small towns along the banks of the Nile in the peak of the day, return to the boat greeted with cold drinks and a local lunch, and swim in the river and lounge in the afternoon en route to our next destination. Each night, we returned to the top deck for sunsets and local wine, followed by dinners with our 12 or so fellow shipmates who, by the end of the trip, felt like family.
After two action-packed days in Cairo, we took the first flight of the morning to Luxor to explore the city sprawled across the east and west banks of the Nile River. Luxor, known as Thebes in ancient times, is also reachable by train, but the hour-long flight is a time-saver. Unlike Cairo, Luxor felt airy, open and, along the Nile, almost tropical, fading out to vast deserts.
We started our 11-day Egyptian adventure with two whirlwind days in Cairo - the first we spent exploring the city of Cairo, and the second we immersed ourselves in ancient Egypt, on the outskirts of Giza and inside the Great Pyramid itself. We hired a private guide both days to understand the important historical contexts and also to maximize our short time amongst the mind-boggling sites and locations.
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