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Egypt Dispatch Part II – Upper Egypt Seen vs Seen Correctly

Date: December 7, 2023 | By: Ashish Sanghrajka | Category: Travel Blog

Never Just Another Temple


Upper Egypt holds a special place for me, and part II of our Egypt dispatch takes place in Aswan and Luxor, and of course, Abu Simbel. While the pyramids may be the calling card for Egypt, it is Upper Egypt, Luxor in particular, that holds the heartbeat of Egyptian history. Anyone traveling to Egypt already has a list of their must-sees,  however, Luxor, and especially Abu Simbel, should be included as these two locations represent what I believe to be the heartbeat of Egypt’s history.


Now, before you say what about Aswan, don’t worry, I am about to talk about that. The British military occupied Egypt in 1882 and retained control until 1956. Winston Churchill first entered Egypt in 1898 when he was traveling to my mother’s native Sudan and his first stay at the famous Old Cataract Hotel was in 1902, shortly after the hotel opened. Agatha Christie, the famous author, first visited Egypt in 1910 and also stayed at the famous hotel in 1933. This was the inspiration for her renowned book, “Death on the Nile,” released in 1937.  This is where I love to slow things down, allowing time to process what we’ve already seen.


Yet, I found myself perplexed on this particular visit. On our return from Abu Simbel, during the shuttle ride from the plane in Aswan to the terminal, I overheard an over-eager traveler, who seemed to assume her opinion was everyone’s, share that Abu Simbel was ‘just another temple.’ She then proceeded to tell whoever would listen that she was “templed out,” and we would be too after our visit to Luxor. Clearly this traveler wasn’t a Big Five client and didn’t see Egypt the right way (the value of a great travel advisor proven yet again!). I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and checked out her comments right after because I couldn’t fathom somebody even suggesting Egyptian landmarks were that common and low on the experience totem pole.

So, enjoy the video from Upper Egypt, and you tell me… if any of this looks like “just another temple.”


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