Sunday, October 16, 2005

Beyond the Nile Cruise

An article about visiting Egypt as a tourist: "It may be some sort of mummy's curse. Nearly all of us who visit Egypt will find ourselves on a Nile cruise. But it does make sense: The ancient blockbuster sights are situated along this ribbon of life that slashes the country north to south. Once on board, though, cruisers may find the sightseeing stops frustratingly brief, the crowds oppressive and the number of ships jockeying for position at the docks boggling. As many as 400 boats ply the Nile during high season. Most work the same 125-mile stretch of river, between Aswan and Luxor, and most visit the same attractions on a typical three- or four-day voyage. So even on a luxury cruise, you could end up traipsing across six other ships to reach the dock, only to be wedged into a sacred sanctuary with hordes of sweaty travelers. But spend a night or two on land at the end of a cruise and you'll see attractions that aren't overwhelmed by mobs of package tourists and sense the rhythm of Egypt's 5,000-plus years of history. If you want to get a deeper feel for the "splendors of Egypt" (every tour brochure's fave phrase), you really should jump ship". See the article for the full story.

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