The jewel in Egypt’s crown’ by Leanne Vergeer

Tomorrow is the last day for submissions in the Travel Writing and Travel Photography competition. We really liked this post from Leanne Vergeer and decided we had to share it. We’re all itching to get back to Egypt now! Thanks Leanne.

Aswan - Mustafas rooftop view by Leanne Vergeer

The wonders of Egypt are many, the Pyramids, the temples, the bustling streets of Cairo alive with the heady aroma of fruit tobacco, a thriving culture that is a mix of old and new.  These are but a few of Egypt’s treasures.  In my opinion the Jewel in Egypt’s Crown is, without doubt, the mighty river Nile.  She is a constant, the lifeblood of Egypt.  From the felucca captains in the south to the fisherman of Alexandria she brings life and unity to all who live beside her.

Our journey begins in Cairo, four of us following our own individual dreams.  Our first glimpse is within half an hour of arrival.  For a few moments there is complete silence as we catch sight of her, beautifully alive with the nightlights of Cairo. She has an immediate impact. “Don’t drink from the Nile” says the driver, “or you will not be able to leave!”.  I smile and know just looking at her I am already hooked!

The next day we stand in awe at the Great Pyramids of Giza and are amazed to find out that the Nile played in integral part of their construction, with limestone blocks being transported on water barges from the quarries in the deep South.

Aswan Window by Leanne Vergeer

Arriving in Aswan a few days later we take a ferry to Elephantine Island to stay with friends in a Nubian village.  The Nubian people seem part of the river itself, living as one with her. The Nile is at its most glorious here, cascading over rock formations, swirling and splashing in fast currents and backwater eddies.  Here she is crystal clear, unpolluted and simply enchanting.

Travelling North, we cruise for three days, this beauty carries us with grace and ease.  The travel is smooth, unspoiled and unhurried. We stop at temples along the way breathing in the ancient wonders and imagining days gone by and the lives that have been lived along the enormous expanse that is the river Nile .

We enjoy the liveliness of Luxor for a few days then head East to the Red Sea. Here I part ways with my friends, they head home and I have a few more days to enjoy. There is no question about where I will spend them!

My last afternoon in Egypt is on the rooftop of Mustafa’s house in the Nubian Village, with only the Nile for company.  She is laid out before me, magnificent and utterly intoxicating.  The view is one in a million.  As dusk falls and evening comes upon me, I take a moment to breathe in deeply, and as the night sky takes her from my view I feel her magic, it has infected me with an indescribable joy and sheer love for this country.  She knows I will return. Slowly I exhale…

Leanne Vergeer

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