The sun was sinking behind the mountains which had taken on a lovely pink tinge. I stood outside savouring the peace and quiet and gazing at my surroundings. The call to prayer started in the distance, echoing around the mountains.
A hundred or more stone rams line the approach to the temple. As we walked through the entrance I tried to imagine Karnak in its heyday, the columns and pillars painted, filled with people, and the Pharaoh presiding over his subjects.
A Nile cruise surely has to be part of any Egyptian itinerary. The huge cruise ships were not for us though. After our homestay at Elephantine Island, we spent the following two days aboard a felucca, lazily zig-zagging our way up the Nile towards Luxor.
Rookie traveller mistake no.1: Not bringing a cardi on an air conditioned overnight train. We were travelling from Cairo to Aswan, a long journey. I wrapped myself in a thin scarf and shivered through the night. I would also advise a fold out seat – as it was we were in a non-reclinable chair the whole way. It was not the comfiest of journeys.
Cairo was a hot, smelly slap to the face. It was the first place outside of Europe that I travelled to. When I chose Egypt, I was thinking of all the ancient sights that I wanted to see and didn’t give much thought to the modern-day country.