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Journey to Egypt's Enchanting Past and Present: Your 2023 Tambor Cruise Traveler's Guide

Embark on a captivating journey through the heart of Egypt's rich history and vibrant culture as we delve into some of the most awe-inspiring destinations that this magnificent country has to offer. From the serene beauty of the Movenpick Hotel in Aswan to the mesmerizing allure of the Unfinished Obelisk, the grandeur of the Philae Temple Complex, the intriguing Crocodile Museum at Kom Ombo, the monumental Edfu Temple, the enigmatic Colossi of Memnon, and the timeless mysteries of the Valley of the Kings – each stop along this incredible adventure promises an unforgettable experience that transcends time and captivates the soul. Join me as we explore the wonders that Egypt holds, a tapestry woven with ancient marvels and modern enchantment.


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Movenpick Hotel in Aswan, Egypt

Experience the Enchantment of Movenpick Aswan

Discover a world of delight at the Movenpick Hotel in Aswan, where every moment is crafted to enchant you. From the instant you step foot on the island that spans eight acres, you'll be entranced by the hotel's unique setting. This oasis of tranquility amidst Aswan's beauty feels like a dream come true. As night falls, the city lights create a mesmerizing spectacle, enveloping you in a magical ambiance that's hard to resist.


Your room offers a window into paradise. On one side, feast your eyes on the grandeur of Aswan City, while on the other, the mountain adorned with nobles' tombs paints a scene of history meeting modernity. Imagine waking up to these breathtaking vistas, with the Nile as your neighbor, blessing each day with stunning views and sunsets that feel straight out of a postcard.


The hotel itself is a work of art, harmonizing old-world charm with modern luxury. The expansiveness of my room left me in awe, especially as it overlooked the majestic mountain. Dining at Movenpick is a journey in itself, with a variety of options to satisfy your palate. I had the privilege of savoring meals at two distinct restaurants. One offered hearty breakfasts, satisfying lunches, and delectable dinners, while the other focused on providing an exquisite dining experience. The cuisine was unparalleled, and each restaurant had its own allure, making every meal a delightful adventure.


Stan Zeff on the patio of a luxurious Egyptian Resort

 


An outdoor view of Steigenberger Resort Achtı

The Elegance of Steigenberger Resort Achtı

Enter a realm of beauty and elegance at the exquisite Steigenberger Resort Achtı, where captivating views are just the beginning. Perched gracefully along the legendary Nile River, this stunning haven offers more than just a place to rest – it's an experience that will leave you entranced. The resort boasts an array of dining options, catering to every palate. From a taste of traditional Egyptian cuisine to casual bites and even a pizza paradise, every meal is a journey through flavors.


As you wander through the spacious rooms, you'll be greeted by the ample patios that beckon relaxation. The views from the resort are breathtaking, encapsulating the charm of the Nile and the allure of ancient Egypt. Every moment here is infused with magic, as the luxurious accommodations blend seamlessly with the exceptional dining experiences.


Whether you're a history enthusiast or simply seeking modern indulgence, the Steigenberger Hotel seamlessly merges the best of both worlds. A stay here is guaranteed to leave an indelible mark on your heart, as cherished memories intertwined with the ambiance of this exceptional destination. Allow yourself to be spellbound – a highly recommended experience that promises enchantment beyond measure.


A view of Steigenberger Resort Achtı from the Nile River

 


The unfinished obelisk of Egypt

Ignore the Naysayers and Unearth the Marvels of the Unfinished Obelisk

Embark on a captivating journey through time and craftsmanship as you step into the world of the Unfinished Obelisk. Nestled just a 30-minute drive from the bustling port of Aswan, this hidden gem beckons with tales of ancient grandeur. The path to the obelisk is an adventure in itself – a stroll that's worth every moment. As you draw nearer, the towering obelisk, spanning around 40 feet in length, commands your attention and leaves you in awe.


The intricate carvings and the remarkable form of the obelisk reveal the dedication of ancient artisans who toiled to shape this masterpiece. Every detail showcases their meticulous workmanship and dedication. A word of advice – comfortable walking shoes are a must, as the path may be a bit rocky. Yet, the anticipation of the destination at the end adds to the thrill.


A serene tranquility envelops the site, with only a few explorers willing to embrace the journey to witness this architectural marvel. The journey from the entrance to the obelisk is a voyage in itself. Please note, there's some uphill walking involved, making it a challenge for those with mobility difficulties. While wheelchair access isn't available, the extraordinary reward at the journey's end is worth the effort. You'll find many reviews that say the experience isn't worth it- but if you take a moment to truly connect with, and appreciate the history, culture and passion infused into this experience, it will leave an undeniable impact on your soul, and deepen your connection to the magical, ancient land of Egypt.


The Unfinished Obelisk is more than just a glimpse into ancient architecture; it's a tangible connection to the past, a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of its era. Standing before this monumental fragment of history, the dedication and skill of the ancient artisans are palpable. It's a chance to marvel at their legacy and expertise, and an experience that beckons to those curious about the civilizations of old.

Immerse yourself in the pages of history, a humbling and awe-inspiring journey that allows you to follow in the footsteps of those who came before. The Unfinished Obelisk stands as a treasure, a testament to human ingenuity, and a place where you can't help but wonder at the legacy they left behind.


The unfinished obelisk of Egypt
 


A stunning sunset view of Philae Temple, Egypt

Embrace the Splendor of the Philae Temple Complex

Step into a world of wonder and be captivated by the majesty of ancient Egyptian architecture as you venture to the Philae Temple Complex.


The moment you set foot within the temple grounds, you're whisked away to a bygone era – a time when every detail was meticulously crafted to honor the gods. The temple's sheer size is awe-inspiring, adorned with intricate hieroglyphics and depictions of Egyptian deities. The statues and columns seem to come alive, evoking the presence of the ancient spirits.


Reaching the Philae Temple is an adventure in itself, an enchanting boat ride that adds an extra touch of magic to the journey. The tranquil 50-minute boat trip to and from the temple immerses you in the natural beauty of the surroundings and the allure of historic sites. On your way to the temple, you'll pass the Old Nubian guest house, an intriguing sight that sparks curiosity, its presence adding to the mystique of the journey.


For those fortunate enough to visit the temple during sunset, there's a chance to be treated to a breathtaking sight that'll leave you in awe. The desert sun illuminates the temple's architecture, creating a glow of mesmerizing warm hues, creating an enchanting atmosphere perfect for capturing photographs. It's a paradise for photographers, with fellow visitors seizing the moment against the stunning backdrop.


As you walk through the temple grounds, wide pathways lead you through captivating hieroglyphics and depictions of the Egyptian gods. Each step reveals a new chapter of ancient history and spirituality, as if the past is unfurling before your eyes.


The Philae Temple stands as a testament to the brilliance and dedication of the ancient Egyptians. Standing within its walls, a profound connection to the past envelops you. Here, history, art, and spirituality intertwine, leaving you with a sense of awe and reverence.


For those seeking an unforgettable journey through Egypt's rich history, the Philae Temple is an absolute must-visit. Brace yourself to be transported through time, enveloped by the artistry and devotion that have endured for millennia.


A young woman walking through Philae Temple

 


Mummified Crocodiles at the Temple of Kom Ombo

Venture to the Crocodile Museum at the Kom Ombo Temple

The Crocodile Museum of Kom Ombo is a truly unique experience that offers an immersive exploration into the ancient art of mummifying these magnificent creatures.


As you step into the museum, you're immediately greeted by a captivating array of mummified crocodiles. These preserved creatures, standing the test of thousands of years, exude a charm that's difficult to put into words. You'll witness the varying sizes of these creatures and learn the reasons behind their mummification, truly mesmerizing you.


The museum is a treasure trove of education, offering insights into the significance of crocodiles in ancient Egyptian culture and rituals. While guides aren't present within the museum, the thoughtful layout ensures a smooth and engaging flow for you as a visitor. Despite its compact size, the museum's well-curated information and displays captivate your attention, allowing you to be immersed in this captivating world for about 20 minutes.


The freedom to take photos and explore at your own pace invites you to absorb the details and transport yourself to the rituals of the past. As you walk along a circular path, the history of these mummified creatures comes alive, fostering a deep appreciation for the ancient beliefs and practices that shaped their existence.


Transitioning from this distinctive museum, your journey leads you to the awe-inspiring Kom Ombo Temple. Its convenient proximity to the Edfu port allows for an effortless and delightful journey. A brief 15 to 20-minute horse and cart ride to the temple is an experience in itself, granting glimpses of the picturesque surroundings.


Upon arriving at the Kom Ombo Temple, its grandeur and intricate architecture immediately capture your attention. The temple stands as a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship of ancient times. As you explore its chambers, you'll feel a profound connection to the past, envisioning the rituals and ceremonies that once unfolded within its walls.


The combination of the Crocodile Museum and the Kom Ombo Temple provides an unparalleled fusion of awe-inspiring history and a glimpse into past practices and beliefs. Both experiences leave you with an overwhelming sense of wonder and gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of Egypt's rich heritage.

For those who yearn for authentic historical encounters, these sites are an absolute must-visit as they have the power to transport you through time to experience the magic of Egypt's ancient wonders


Stan Zeff in front of the Temple of Kom Ombo

 
A stunning exterior view of Edfu Temple, Egypt

Experience the Marvels of Edfu Temple

Arriving early to Edfu is highly recommended to fully immerse yourself in this historical gem.

Even at 7am during peak tourist season you'll no doubt fine aline of eager adventurers was forming. So, the suggestion is to start your day bright and early to ensure the most exceptional experience. The anticipation adds an extra layer of excitement, and trust us, every moment is worth it.


As you embark on the horse and cart ride to the temple, you catch a glimpse of charming Edfu City, setting the stage for the grandeur that awaits you. The ride serves as a delightful prelude, enveloping you in the local atmosphere and providing a sense of the city's daily life.


Upon your arrival at the temple, the sheer scale of the structures and the intricate carvings portraying Egyptian gods will leave you breathless. The initial view is nothing short of awe-inspiring, with towering statues and captivating artwork that resonate with the devotion and artistry of ancient times.


Once inside the temple, you'll feel the palpable presence of history and spirituality. As you encounter massive statues of Horus, Osiris, and other revered deities, you can't help but forge a deep connection to Egypt's rich past. These colossal statues, standing over 100 feet tall, stand as a testament to the grandeur and significance of ancient Egyptian beliefs.


The temple itself is a masterpiece of architecture, with a labyrinth of narrow passageways leading to intimate rooms and sanctuaries. It's akin to walking through a living history book, where each corner harbors a new discovery and every carving narrates a story. Edfu Temple is more than just a monument; it's a journey into the heart of ancient Egypt. The atmosphere is further enriched by the delicate interplay of light and shadow, creating an immersive encounter that lingers in your memory.


You'll be left in awe of the artistry, devotion, and remarkable engineering that went into creating such a masterpiece. Visiting Edfu Temple is an honor, and the experience truly transports you to another era, leaving you with a profound appreciation for Egypt's rich cultural heritage. Prioritize visiting Edfu on your journey to Egypt and you'll emerge with a newfound grasp of history and an unparalleled sense of wonder.


Edfu Temple with a warm glow from the Egyptian Sun
 
The Colossi of Menmon with people in front for scale

Appreciate the Isolated Grandeur of Colossi of Memnon

The Colossi of Memnon offers a truly unique encounter that will leave you in awe of the mysteries and grandeur of ancient Egypt. A brief 30-minute is all you'll need to witness these incredible 100-foot stone statues, standing amidst an almost surreal desert landscape. The sheer size of the Colossi of Memnon is enough to leave you breathless. These monumental statues, isolated in the midst of nowhere, create an atmosphere of wonder and intrigue.


The experience presents a sense of timelessness as you stand before these ancient guardians, observing the contrast between the colossal stone figures and the vast desert that envelops them. The opportunity to capture pictures against this breathtaking backdrop is a gift that captures the essence of the moment.

The solitude of the location enhances the enigmatic charm. As you wander around these remarkable statues, you'll feel a connection to the past, envisioning the countless travelers who stood here before, marveling at the same awe-inspiring sight.

Local vendors offering souvenirs add an authentic touch to your visit. It's a chance to engage with local culture and carry a piece of the experience back with you. While the stop may be brief, it's an opportunity to stretch your legs, rejuvenate your senses, and pay homage to these ancient sentinels.


The Colossi of Memnon may be nestled in the heart of nowhere, yet their presence speaks volumes. They stand as a testament to the enduring power of human creativity and engineering, bridging the gap between the past and the present. This destination may be fleeting, but its impact is lasting, leaving you with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the mysteries that Egypt holds.

The Colossi of Menmon
 

An expansive view of the interior of The Valley of the Kings

Celebrate the Enduring Power of History at The Valley of the Kings

As you stand at the entrance of the Valley of the Kings, you can feel the excitement in the air. This renowned site holds profound significance as the final resting place of many kings, each with their own stories and legacies. Your experience begins with a model-sized depiction of the tombs, revealing the intricate depths into which they descend. Your anticipation grows as you step through the entrance, ready to embark on an incredible journey.


The entrance fee grants you access to four tombs, a mere glimpse into the treasure trove of history that lies beneath the surface. The Valley of the Kings boasts an astonishing number of tombs – around 58 in total – each with its own tale to tell. During your visit, you'll have the privilege of exploring four of these remarkable tombs, each holding a unique allure. For those seeking an even deeper connection to history, the option to pay an additional fee grants you access to more exclusive tombs, including the iconic Tutankhamen's tomb and the shared resting place of Ramesses the Fifth and Sixth. These additional tombs, with their own majestic beauty, are worth every extra penny.


Entering the tombs is a revelation. Unlike the temples you may have seen earlier, the color and vibrancy of the carvings and hieroglyphics are still intact, preserved by the absence of water damage. The walls come alive with a kaleidoscope of hues, telling the stories of the kings in vivid detail. From floor to ceiling, every inch is adorned with intricate art that has stood the test of time.


The sheer size of the tombs might take you by surprise. Far from simple caves, these tombs extend deep into the earth, some reaching depths of up to 70 or 80 feet. The ceilings soar to heights of 40 feet, creating an immersive experience that's hard to put into words.


Walking through the Valley of the Kings, you'll feel a profound connection to the rulers of the past and the stories they left behind. The carvings and hieroglyphics serve as a timeless testament to their lives, reigns, and beliefs. The Valley of the Kings isn't just a destination; it's a journey through time, an exploration of human achievements, and a celebration of the enduring power of art and history. To stand in the presence of these remarkable tombs is to stand in the presence of greatness. You'll leave with a deep appreciation for the preservation efforts and a sense of reverence for the past that still lives on.


beautiful ancient art displayed at The Valley of the Kings

 

As we conclude this remarkable journey through Egypt's most iconic destinations, we're reminded of the profound magic that lies within these ancient wonders. The stories etched into every stone, the grandeur of monumental structures, and the palpable connection to the past offer an experience that is both humbling and exhilarating. Egypt's legacy, shaped by the hands of time and the genius of its people, beckons to the adventurer within us all.


Whether you're drawn to the serene allure of Aswan's hotels, the enigmatic tombs of the Valley of the Kings, or the majesty of temples and statues that have stood for millennia, Egypt promises a voyage that transcends travel – it's a journey into the heart of human creativity, passion, and ingenuity. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the splendors of this remarkable land.


Let Egypt's treasures inspire your own adventure, for within its embrace, the echoes of ancient history and the allure of modern marvels converge into an experience that's nothing short of extraordinary.

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