Legendary Nile River deserves a place for those who want a peaceful atmosphere to immerse in a legendary story. As usual, captain Sero picked us up at the pier on the East coast of central Aswan. The felucca (a sailboat) called the Nile Queen gently docked with white sails ready to welcome the wind. This is the rest rare wooden sail in Egypt. Artisans in Kom Ombo village in southern Aswan built this felucca from wood brought from Sudan. Moreover, Sero has been driving this sailboat for 35 years down the Nile from the upstream of the High Dam to the end of Luxor province. The sailboat with no noise and quietness is the ideal choice for a relatively long visit to Egypt (a more 4-day trip). Therefore, All Know-How will provide you the interesting stories about this river along with notes for visiting Egypt in this article.
The Legendary Nile River
The Nile means a big river, a river valley. This legendary Nile River originates from the border of Wadi Halfa, through the famous Abu Simbel. This river extends the Nasser Lake’s area, most brilliant from Aswan to Luxor. The Nile continues to flow through the territory of Egypt, branches at the Qanater, blooming like a lotus, which forms a rich delta. The beautiful bays form at the end of the river like the petals such as Alexandria, Port Said … The name “Nahal” later changed to Neilos and finally to Nile (Nin). This legendary Nile river is a historical witness in ancient Egypt. It witnessed the ancient Egyptian civilization and the flourishing and collapsing of so many dynasties. Along the banks of the river are centuries-old vestiges. They are like pieces of a huge Sahara desert painting with temples, crypts, pyramids, statues and reliefs pouring down the river.
The Historical Immigrations
The huge tens of ton stones building majestic pyramids used to be transported by the Egyptians with the legendary Nile River’s power. The combination of power of human and this river brought these stones from the upstream. However, the river affected cultivation area and residents on both sides due to its intense flow. Egyptian government built the huge High Dam in the Aswan’s south for hydropower and flow regulation. The 1971 “flow revolution” had drove the Nile river to lose its control, causing bad events. The Nile then engulfed many relics and disturbed the Pharaohs’ tranquillity. Even though UNESCO made efforts to salvage, relocate and restore, it saved not many. The famous Abu Simbel rock temple on Sudan’s border, dating from 1260 BC – the Rames II empire – went into the Egyptian history. They lowered, cut and transported the 20-meter Pharaoh statues to conservation area, then re-assembled them.
In the beautiful river section of Aswan, Agilika island is the sacred temple Philae built BC for the goddess Isis. After the dam came into operation, Philae nearly drowned. For nine years, UNESCO performed the miraculous transformation. It brought Isis’s relics on the shore to a height of more than 20 meters and retained much of its design. Approximately 300m from there, in the deep water, there was still a gate and a stone pillar. The gate led to the temple and the stone pillar marked the site of the temple. In 2009, they discovered a 9-ton red granite pillar, which dated from 2000 years ago, at the Mediterranean seafront. This was a part of the property belonging to the temple of Isis.
The Treasure of Aswan And Luxor
Temples, tombs along the banks, the gods at the temple door, all of them overlook the Nile. On the high stone walls are exquisite reliefs which closely mimic the lives of gods, kings and ancient folk. They engraved stories of Pharaohs and queens on walls leading to the crypts and huge pillars supporting the temple. Aswan is a city with many landscapes along the river. Elephantine is one of the beautiful islands in the midst of the Nile. Surrounding this island are many ancient stones. In addition, the island had been a busy place for boat trips through the ivory trade. The most beautiful view of the river is the Khnum temple dating back 3000 BC. One of the temples worships Sobek crocodile god and the lucky Haroeris Aswan hawk is at Kom Ombo.
Luxor’s ancient city in Middle East Egypt is famous for its many ancient relics, as the outdoor museum center. Important places are the Karnak shrine, the Medinet Habu Temple, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Deir el-Bahri, the Tombs of the Nobles, Luxor Temple and Museum.
The Beauty of Nubian
Captain Nubian Sero grew up in a turbulent land, witnessing the massive Dam High Dam engulfing many of their villages. This was why Sero and thousands of descendants must settle on Elephantine Island and neighboring islands. The Nubian (or Kush) have an African skin color different from the white Egyptian. They are descendants of the prosperous dynasty once in the capital Thebes on the Nile’s banks. Though tangible and intangible heritages have lost gradually, their cultural strengths in belief, architecture, painting, music, cuisine, and craft are still rich in the riverside villages. Dome roofs, patterns, and eye-catching colors make Nubian village very attractive. UNESCO has recognized the Nubian relics, from Abu Simbel to Philae as the World Cultural Heritage in 1979. Staying here, getting familiar with the local people, music, cuisine, and pets is a great time for our journey.
The Gods Of The Legendary Nile River
The ancient Egyptian worshiped many kings, but most of them were gods of nature. They were half-human and had a head in the shape of crocodile, serpent, snake and many other animals. The reliefs, ancient letters engrave the relationship between humans and animals in ancient times. Time can make the survival of exotic species endangered but on stone, their beauty remains eternal. Traveling on felucca across Lake Nasser, the High Dam, Luxor, Aswan, Luxor also means we are taking part in a birding trip along the river.
Every year, thanks to the alluvial sediment layer, trees, seasons, grass grows well. People raise animals and livestock such as camels, horses, donkeys, and goats freely. Besides, abundant fish in this river attract birds everywhere. Crocodiles in the legendary Nile river lie in the sunshine scattering in the shores of Nasser Lake. Furthermore, white pelicans, seagulls, and mallards are together along the river as they just come out of ancient stone beads. It seems that an abundant flora and fauna on the bank make the legendary Nile River more beautiful and more alive.
The Nile River has created a brilliant civilization, leading to a legendary land spreading throughout the world. It can be said that civilization is forever the pride of mankind.
Some Notes For Visiting Egypt
The most beautiful season of the Nile is from November to April. This is because the weather is cool, and the vegetables are rich. Nevertheless, from June to August is the hot season, the temperature is from 40 to 45 degrees Celsius.
From Cairo to Aswan by flight takes 1 hour, by train 12 hours, and by bus for about 10 hours. Railroads have private trips for foreign tourists with safeguarding bed cabins. However, most of the sights require tickets for foreign visitors, ranging from 70 to 100 EGP.
Captain Sero speaks English fluently, has an assistant, and especially has 3 full meals a day with coffee tea at any time. Additionally, guests sleeping overnight on the boat will have cushions, blankets, and crates around the boat.
Essential equipment: camera and more memory capacity, more battery backup, and torch.
Private items: jacket, lightweight coat, scarf, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. We should wear simple, and discreet clothing, especially for women.
One thing we should pay attention is that at all sights, there are middle-aged men in Galabeya gown standing at the door. Because they will follow us to talk, instruct where to take pictures, they will ask for a tip. Ii would be better if we can avoid them. Hence, we should politely refuse “La, shukran” (No, thanks) from the beginning and avoid laughing say reply.
Shopping in the Aswan center or in the Nubian village is very cheap, but we should pay a half price. Interesting souvenirs might be woolen cap and Nubian costume, Belly dance jewelry, carpet, stone pottery. Moreover, we also should know common Arabic words such as Salaam alaykum (hello), Ma’is salaama Shukran (thanks), Ahamdolela (Holy Spirit), Insha Alla, Low samaHt, Bikam (how much money).
These are about the legendary Nile river in beautiful Egypt. This river is an ideal choice for those who want a peaceful trip and to turn back legendary moments.