Nile Cruise Diary – Day 4

The last full day of our Nile cruise was spent in and around the city of Aswan, in the deep south of Egypt.

Our first visit was to the Aswan High Dam. This was an interesting contrast to all of the ancient monuments we’ve seen the last few days and just as impressive. The first dam was built at Aswan at the turn of the 20th century. Prior to that, for millennia, Egypt’s economy was at the mercy of the Nile’s annual flood. When there was too much rain up river, Egyptian crops were drowned; when there was too little rain, crops died of thirst. With the dams, the amount of water released into the Nile Valley and Nile Delta can be controlled. Continue reading

Nile Cruise Diary – Day 3

Today, day 3 of our Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan, I got up early and sat on deck for a while before breakfast. I wrote a little, but mainly just looked at the river. There were a few small boats out and lots of birds, all seeking breakfast, I imagine. For the first time since we started this cruise, I had some time to ponder the magnificence of the river and its immeasurable impact. It’s a difficult thing to get one’s mind around. I finally gave up trying to visualize and quantify the millennia of history known here and, instead, cleared my mind and meditated on the Nile. When I stopped grasping at the significance of the place, that significance snuck up on me through some forgotten back door. I resolved to stay passively open for the rest of my tour. Continue reading

Foto Friday – Coptic Churches

In honor of Coptic Christmas tomorrow, January 7, 2017, a few images from Coptic churches ~

Monastery of Paul the Anchorite in Egypt's Eastern Desert

Monastery of Paul the Anchorite in Egypt’s Eastern Desert

The Archangel Michael's Coptic Church, Aswan, Egypt

The Archangel Michael’s Coptic Church, Aswan, Egypt

Basilica of the Virgin Mary, Cairo, Egypt

Basilica of the Virgin Mary, Cairo, Egypt

Coptic Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

Coptic Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

St. Samaan Church, Mokattam Mountain, Cairo

St. Samaan Church, Mokattam Mountain, Cairo



A great way to see our mystery country is to cruise its legendary river. Weekly 3 and 4 night cruises travel between Luxor and Aswan in the south of the country. Cruises spend the better part of each day in port to allow passengers to see the sites. These cruises are not destinations in and of themselves but floating hotels moving passengers between the centers of touring along the river. Daily group tours are included in the cruise fare. Tour highlights include some of the most awesome cultural/historical remains anywhere. Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings top that list. Traditional life, little changed through the millennia, continues on the river banks, and is as impressed on my memory as any of the country’s grand monuments.

Can you name that county? 
See below for answers.

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All the clues in this post refer to one Ya’lla Tours destination: Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, or United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

We’ll show you images of popular tourist sites in our mystery country, along with descriptions of those sites. Continue reading