Even if there wouldn’t any sights on its banks, and I wouldn’t see Pyramids and Temples, the cruise over the Nile would have a great sense for me. It is difficult to express the feeling covering you when, being on an upper deck, you understand, that the Great and Powerful Nile stretches in front of you.
This feeling was one of the strongest among set of feelings which I have felt during my travel over Egypt. For the second time it has happened when our ship left the mooring in Isna. I was on the upper deck and felt the happiness which captured me with a morning breeze. It was fine!
The next three days I stayed on the upper deck many times before sunrises or during sunsets and admired the beauty of the Nile. I was admiring its wonder-working force, power and trying to understand reasons of appearing of the civilization on its banks.
Another way of showing pics for this tip by means of SLIDE SHOW Sunrise over the Nile on my personal WebShot page.
You may see my 5 min VIDEO clip Dawn over the Nile near Isna with Xenia Akeynikova "Dawn Over Moscow" music
from my YouTube channel. Please press the right bottom button on the screen for expansion of the image in the whole screen.
Early awakening at 5.00 (though Moscow time was already 7.00) has helped me to watch Isna from the main deck of our boat even still before the sunrise. The city and the Nile were in pre-dawn twilight. It was wonderful! However I could examine a dam, a sluice, a quay and a Mosque towering above the city.
Unfortunately, I have not seen the Khnum Temple - the most notable sights of the city. Though the Temple is located at the distance of 200 meters from the river, it is not visible from the boat because it is situated on 8 meters below the level of streets.
You may see my VIDEO passing by Isna with Rachmaninov music.
As an excursion to Isna is not stipulated by the program of the cruise I have tried to study this city by means of Internet, having been already at home.
Isna is known for the Ptolemic temple of Khnum, the god with the Ram's head. The town's Greek name was Latopolis. Its second sight is the Isna Dam and Lock.
But today, Isna is a somewhat sleepy if busy merchant and farming town, with a weaving industry, on the west bank of the Nile.
You may learn more about Isna here.
You may learn more about the Temple of Khnum at Esna here and here.
The best pics I meet in INet are by Brian McMorrow. You may see them here.
Favorite thing: I enjoyed just taking a walk through the town of Esna (Isna). This little town was a nice break from the crowded bigger cities. Of course the carriage drivers still try to get you to take a ride, but it was pretty easy to walk around town with little hassle and just be able to see what life was like in the city. As you can see in the photo, there is typical Egyptian housing that mostly looks unfinished and not too beautiful. However we did see some pretty apartment buildings farther down the street and some pretty churches. Plus, I usually just find beauty in life, not necessarily a well constructed building.
Getting through the Esna Lock seemed to be quite a process, and our cruise ship was even first in line! We were heading north from Aswan to Luxor. I went to the top deck of our cruise ship to watch the process. First we had to wait for them to open the gate to enter the lock. Then we went to the side where we had to wait in a holding area that could hold two ships (shown in the picture). In this area, they had to equalize the water on the two sides of the lock. Then they opened the little doors and let us through! I assume they go through this process only once a day for all the ships.
Fondest memory: It was windy on the top deck! Don't let your hat blow away in to the Nile! =)
Whilst you're on your boat waiting for the lock to open these sellers will row up to you and throw their goods onto the boat for you to look at and maybe buy. It is really good entertainment although I didn't see anyone buy anything - I would have liked to have seen the guys in the boats catch the money!
If you've seen Round the World in 80 days with Michael Palin then there is a good clip of the same thing happening to him.