Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio ( Felucca)

This week’s photo challenge is Trio.

To drift down the Nile at Luxor was one of my biggest life dreams.

This photo was taken while drifting down the Nile on a feluuca.

There were three feluccas behind us when I turned my back around and took this photo.

What an amazing view!

My beautiful picture

Here is a description of Felucca from Wikipedia:

A felucca  is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean including Malta, and particularly along the Nile in Egypt, Sudan, and also in Iraq. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.

They are usually able to board ten passengers and the crew consists of two or three people. Despite being made obsolete by motorboats and ferries, feluccas are still in active use as a means of transport in Nile-adjacent cities like Aswan or Luxor. They are especially popular among tourists who can enjoy a quieter and calmer mood than motorboats have to offer.

The Nile ( from my Hotel Balcony)

Have been longing to see the river Nile in Egypt.

The Nile has been the lifeline of civilization in Egypt since the Stone Age, with most of the population and all of the cities of Egypt resting along those parts of the Nile valley lying north of Aswan. Climate change at the end of the most recent ice age led to the formation of the Sahara desert, possibly as long ago as 3400 BC.My beautiful picture

While visiting Luxor, every morning, after waking up I would go out to the hotel balcony to have a good look at the river.My beautiful picture

The place  is just surreal – with cruise vessels plying up and down the river.

The scene of the feluccas in the blue waters are just amazing.

They are  like paintings – I was in a trance – made me feel like going several back thousands years !


Weekly photo Challenge: Carefree

The Challenge this week is Carefree.

Carefree means you are free of care – no troubles nor responsibilities.

To me carefree is  . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Floating down the timeless river Nile, Egypt in a felucca while enjoying  the scenery, without the responsibility of sailing.My beautiful picture

Or walking on the beach in Koh Samui, Thailand. Relaxing your eyes to infinity while watching at a distance – the birds on the rocks and very far out, tiny people walking on the edge of the sea.DSC_0552

Carefree is having nothing (about the past) on your mind – you don’t care for the present and don’t mind what tomorrow will bring 🙂

Egypt – Photographs and Memories

Never had the time to work on old photos and negatives until now. The photos taken in my trip to Egypt are faded. The images from scanning the negatives are not much better; the colors are basically gone and require some touching up.

Nevertheless, the faded photos bring back a lot of memories of my trip to Egypt in January 2000. . . . . an unforgettable journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World.

While flying to Egypt, I was sitting next to an Egyptian. We started chatting. Before unboarding, he left me with contact details just in case I needed them on the trip. He was  a nice man, in fact, he was the only nice Egyptian I came across  in the trip.

On the first day wandering around in the streets of Cairo, I was approached by a seemingly friendly young man who was eager to show me where I could get some Tourist Information. Then, he asked whether I wanted changing my money into local currency, when I politely declined. . . . . . he suddenly changed into another man, scolding me out loud on the street. . . . and in foul language.

We first travelled to Saqqara, 30 km south of Cairo. At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser’s step pyramid, built during the Third Dynasty. Some people said the step pyramid was a trial construction before the Egyptians  built the more robust pyramids at Giza.

Hiring a taxi was not always the best way to travel. . . .  the driver stopped his car in the middle of nowhere and refused to take us to our destination if we do not pay him  extra money. The same thing happened to riding  camels at Giza, they refused to let you down from the camel back if you do not pay them further money . In any case, it was awesome to see the pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. In fact, when first built, the pyramids had a special stone cladding all over the surface. Now, you can only see some remnants near to the apex.

The pleasures of travelling were marred by such incidents. Travelling to Luxor by car was also quite an experience too. We travelled in a convoy with armed soldiers guarding in front and behind a line of cars.

I can’t help being amazed at the many ruins, statues without heads, columns, ancient construction at Luxor . The photo I like best is this one with the head of the statue on the ground.

Visiting The Valley of the Kings had always been on my mind. It is an ancient place of burials for the kings. While there, I was keenly aware that only 3 years ago, 57 tourists were killed in a massacre raged by anti-government bodies.

Nile has always been a life-giver to Egypt. Unlike today when much of the land is barren, in olden days, the banks of the Nile were green and lush. When we reached Aswan, we were eager to sail on a Felucca. Sailing under deep blue skies past villages frozen in time, and visiting the magnificent temples of ancient Egypt and the Boubian Village were just some of the experiences that make sailing down the Nile a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

The Philae Temple was almost lost to the water when the Aswan Dam was built in 1960. The temple, which is now relocated to the Agikia Island,  was dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. It took us by awe when we realized that the temple was built in BC 380-362.

Abu Simbel is the most spectacular ancient Egyptian monument that I’ve visited so far.  Flying 174 mile south from Aswan, just before landing, the plane flew close to the artificial mountain and the colossal statues. The view was astounding – as almost everything  in Egypt seems to be. Again, to save the gigantic statues from the rising water in Lake Nasser, the statues and the temple which were cut into manageable pieces, were transported and painstakingly reassembled on higher ground.

Daily contacts with the Egyptian people in my trip did not suggest that they were a happy people. There must be reasons behind it. Hope that the recent uprising in Egypt is the beginning of a happier Egypt!