Our study abroad trip has been nothing short of spectacular. As a young boy I would have hardly imagined myself spending an entire week in Egypt at the age of nineteen. To experience almost five-thousand years of history is simply indescribable by any words written in a blog. The Egyptian culture is something unlike what most of us see in our daily living in America, as we quickly learned by walking through the city markets outside every tourism attraction and driving down the streets of Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan. The markets or bazaars, as they are called, are filled with hungry shop owners wanting you to only buy their product and will do everything to get you in. Countless times a seller has approach us with nice conversation only quickly turning into being begged for money for a “gift” or a simple photo of you in front of a pyramid. Despite the street hagglers I love every minute of having the opportunity to experience another culture outside of my own. Today is day seven of our trip and so far we have visited the Pyramids at Giza, the Sphinx, a sun boat museum, numerous temples of ancient Egyptian gods and pharaohs, the famous King Tutankhamen tomb, cruised down one of the largest rivers in the world, the Nile river, flown over the Sahara Desert, and visited a Nubian Village where we rode camels and played with kindergarten children.
Coming on the trip we knew that a four day cruise down the Nile River was included in our itinerary. What we didn’t know was that we would be spending four days on a five-star liner called the Nile Jewel where every meal was buffet style and rooms were cleaned twice a day. It certainly was a nice surprise walking onto the boat Friday evening. The amount of cruise ships docked in Luxor was astonishing as we saw almost the entire way down the coast line boats docked two and three wide. Many times we walked through two other boats by makeshift walk ways just to get to our own.
Sleeping arrangements were a little close quarter as me, Barry, and Jonathan shared a two person room with simply three beds taking up the entire space, however, like always, we made the best of the situation. We started our cruise in Luxor, Egypt a great city with many bazaars and temples to be admired and took our journey to Aswan, Egypt a beautiful city packed with many treasures. From each of our rooms and the deck above the boat we could see the breathtaking Nile River coastline filled with palm trees, rocks, villages and the occasional group of kids playing football (soccer) after school. Needless to say many of us took advantage of our outside pool to soak up the hot African sun for a few hours in the afternoon.
Each morning we were provided a delicious breakfast usually made of a variety of breads, omelets, coffee, hot tea, and juice. Egyptian lunches and dinner are most often filled with fish; some sort of beef, rice, bread and a soup of the day prepared by the cruisers very own chef. I must say, I have very much enjoyed the Egyptian cuisine! About three or four every day we also had tea time.
Each night we had a unique event planned for out entertainment. Our first nights stay we were welcomed with complimentary cocktails and an introduction of the boat staff. The second night was a Egyptian dance party where we were exposed to the customs of an Egyptian wedding, music and dancing. The third night, last night, was a show put on by the local Nubian village dancers filled with costumes, singing and drums.
Unfortunately, we had to leave our luxurious Nile River cruise this afternoon and fly back to Cairo where we are unwinding our journey for the next few days. As I said, this study abroad trip has been the experience of a lifetime. Nothing can ever compare to seeing what we have the past week and the culture we have become acquainted with. Coming back to Canton will be bitter sweet but we cannot wait to share more with you all about our trip!
Posted at 2:24 PM by Corey Meyer