TAKING long service leave, Vicki and Durham Prewett of Congupna set off on a 10 week holiday with the aim of seeing as much as possible and also catch up with friends.
Their first stop was Stockholm where they boarded a cruise liner and sailed to St Petersburg in Russia. They then took some time to meet up with friends in Sweden before flying to England for three weeks touring the lakes district and then Scotland.
They met up with more friends in Suffolk before heading to Germany and then sailed the Danube to Vienna, but the main purpose of the trip was to visit Egypt.
Arriving in Cairo they found it fairly quiet. Tourism in Egypt has been in a slump following the Arab Spring events of 2011.
Vicki and Durham found it easy to get around. There were tourist police everywhere and they felt quite safe.
Heading to Luxor, they had their own tour guide and driver so they could take their time to explore the temples.
Vicki loved the Kanak Temple with its grand columns. How grand it would have been when first constructed. Durham also loved the main Luxor Temple with its amazing statues.
On the opposite bank to Luxor is The Valley of the Kings. Only a few selected tombs are open at any one time as part of conservation efforts and this day they were lucky as the tomb of Tutankhamun was open for viewing. It’s only small but the only one discovered with everything intact. Even Tutankhamun’s mummy has now been returned to the tomb and is on show.
Vicki and Durham then boarded a cruise boat to sail to Aswan. Because of the lack of tourists their boat had only 70 percent occupancy and as they set sail there were a further 36 boats sitting empty at the jetty.
Their four day cruise on the Nile took them to other temples and towns along the way. Along the Nile on either side farming was carried out and then like a line drawn in the sand where the water stopped so did the green and the rest was desert. Reaching Aswan they left the cruise boat and flew to Abu Simbel.
The massive temple of Abu Simbel had to be moved as the rising waters of the Aswan High Dam flooded the surrounding countryside.
It was an engineering marvel as experts from around the world joined forces to move the massive structure. A sight well worth seeing.
They also visited the Philae Temple sitting proudly above the dam’s high waterline. During the construction of the dam hundreds of Nubian family’s lost their homes to the rising waters and moved to higher ground. Vicki and Durham were taken to a Nubian village to see their new homes and their way of life.
They now travelled back to Cairo to see the Pyramids of Giza. They stand so tall they just dominate the skyline. That night they watched a sound and light show at the Pyramids that told the story of ancient Egypt.
A visit to the Step Pyramid shows how the early pyramids were constructed. They were also taken to the Red Pyramid, entering through an opening a third of the way up the face where they found a long shaft going down about 100 metres. At the bottom of the shaft were three rooms…the main burial chamber and two anti-chambers to hold the Pharaoh’s worldly goods.
Back in Cairo they went to the Egyptian Museum where many of the great finds of ancient history were on display, but soon they will be moved to the new museum.
For Vicki and Durham it was a great experience in Egypt. Their guides asked them to tell others to come and see. Vicki says they felt quite safe with so many tourist police looking after them.
They would like to thank Vivienne of Hello World Travel in Shepparton for arranging everything.
Until next time,