Yesterday afternoon we had a ride on a traditional Nubian felucca (sailboat) which was fun - we had a picnic on board with some good bread (finally - so far it's been nothing but white sweet bread) and lots of dips and cheese. Yum! The felucca had a huge mattress on it so I spent most of the time laying down and relaxing after our early morning. We had a break at a Nubian coffee shop where I had a ginger coffee - espresso with ginger. Delish! The rest climbed a sand hill while there but I gave my knees a rest. I did hold a baby (3 years old) crocodile though - long enough to get my picture taken. Cold, soft and wet - shudder. Well he was kind of cute in a repulsive slimey way.
We had gotten up at 2:45 am to head out for Abu Simbel - it was a three hour journey each way and we had to go in a convey of vehicles for safety reasons. It is close to the Sudan border so they don't want any Sudanese rebals to get any kidnapping ideas so this is "safety in numbers" reasoning. Anyway the temple was absolutely amazing with gigantic statues of Ramses II (or III?) on the outside and all sorts of carvings (called reliefs) inside. I think it was my favourite yet. And the most special bit was that it was due to be flooded back in the early 60's due to the building of the Aswan High Dam. So the world got together and donated money for the temple to be taken apart bit by bit and put back together again at a safer location on the newly created (from the dam) Lake Nasser. Really something. It was a three hour bus trip each way so we were pretty tired last night - and then we had to get on the shakey noisy train. We miss our beloved Melodie boat already!
This afternoon we are going to downtown Cairo with someone in our group who is studying Arabic here. She will show us a "Fair trade" area for shops and then we will have lunch - Egyptian fast food. (probably falalfel) Then tonight we are all going out for an Egyptian meal. Our meals have been sort of half aEgyptian/half western so far. Our train was late this morning but we passed through villThe ages that we were able to see which was so interesting. People here are friendly. Getting used to hearing the Call to Prayer.
I am tending to hang out with people as still not comfortable walking around Cairo on my own. Me a gal who loves the big city - but not Cairo - it is not on my top ten favourite cities that is for sure!
Well that's all for now.