|The Nile lazily passing us by|
Our boat, the Princess Donia, was a Dahabyia that offers the comforts of the large cruise ships, private room and bath, air-con (though it was not needed in January), an on-board crew and chef, and a large sun deck perfect for lazing and watching the Nile pass you by, but carries fewer passengers, travels by sail (but has a tug in case there is no wind), and as the website states: “combine[s] the glamour, sophistication and elegance of yesteryear with every comfort of modern life.”
|The Princess Donia|
We began the Nile cruise portion of our trip in a van. Because the Egyptian government built a number of dams and locks to control the Nile’s annual flooding a Luxor to Aswan, cruises actually start in Esna, about an hour south of Luxor. We jumped into the van with our hands embarrassingly stuffed with delicious fried eggplant and zucchini from lunch at Beit Sabee. After shoving the last of them in our mouths we introduced ourselves to Hany, our on-board Egyptologist and the four other passengers: Ed & Ellen and Chaz & Stacey. The group seemed nice, despite two-thirds of us being lawyers, and everyone spoke English.
|Ellen & Ed, Jesse & Dave (galaybia'd), and Chaz & stacey|
Discover the newest animal-towel in our room
Tour Ancient Egyptian Sites [Not pictured, yet!]
And then return to Khalil waiting with a cool towel and fresh tea.
|Ahhhh, those teas always hit the spot.|
Morning Fisherman Photo Session:
They smack the water hoping the scared fish would jump into their boat, a la Sesame Street
Afternoon Photo Session
The afternoon session was enhanced with a Stella beer, mint tea, and golden sunsets
Each night we would enjoy dinner on the (freezing) boat, fight down some Egyptian wine, and wait to do the same thing the next day. It was a great trip.
We booked our trip through the super-helpful and accommodating Noha and Abeer at Oriental Tours Egypt. Doing the Nile on a small boat was a lot of fun and very relaxing. More photos can be found here, some good ones are below.
|When the wind died we were pulled by our trusty tug|
|Captain Hassan - in one of his many matching track suits.|
|Local fishermen's boats on the side of the Nile|
|The full sails of the Princess Donia|
|Fisherman at sunset|
|Another day, another sunset|