Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Diary of Day 6 of the India by the Nile festival 2016, Egypt

Diary of Day 6 #IndiaByTheNile 2016 #Egypt
By Faridoon Shahryar

It was one of the most perfect days of my life. #Nile has a tremendously calming influence. The water is delicately somber and there's something mysteriously intoxicating about the whole experience of watching #OberoiZahra moving ahead taking graceful strides through the heart of Nile.

I woke up early in the morning but then I slept again. I don't know when we started cruising early in the morning. You don't feel any impact as the boat moves forward or when it takes a start. Our first excursion was the #TempleOfKomombo. Built over a span of 400 years (200 BC to 200 AD), there's a lot of history imbued in these ancient structures. The salesmen in local market outside the temple desperately tried to sell us their wares. It is sad how things have dramatically changed in #Egypt in the last few years. In 2010, before the first revolution, Egypt was earning 20 billion dollars per year through tourism, but now that has been reduced to half a billion. The shabby condition of security systems outside the ancient sites in #Aswan and elsewhere tells a sad story in itself. One of the prized tourist destinations till a few years back, Egypt needs the tourists to flock again. I was here last year. I can say it with all honesty that things are far more relaxed than what they were an year back.

The most unforgettable moments of the day were the ones spent on the top deck, observing the magnificence of Nile. The dining room is in the basement level. As we had our lunch, it seemed as if the waves wafted past us. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In the evening we went to the #TempleOfEdfu. We enjoyed a horse ride for reaching our destination. This is one of the most well preserved monuments in Egypt. It was built over a span of 180 years (237 BC to 57 BC). The tale of Horus and Seth was inscribed in totality in an enclosure. The symmetrical design, the perfection, it was surreal.

I swam twice during the day. It was very windy in the evening as we collected our wits and had tea at the top deck. It was so windy that it wasn't too audible when we spoke amongst each other. The meals have been excellent and I must say that the Chef and the entire team is simply brilliant in putting together fantastic courses. The evening meal was a rage.

One of the best parts of the day was the conversations that I had with fellow journalists that are part of the Indian contingent. Journalists from #IndianExpress #TheHindu #Telegraph and a couple of travel journalists are extremely well informed about current affairs and have a sound opinion as well as information about anything and everything. We discussed Bollywood, politics, Kashmir crisis, environment, gender inequality and much more. The meeting of minds and a quest for intellectual growth motivates me a lot in indulging in meaningful conversations. So when I say a perfect day, then the intellectual stimulation had a big role to play in that. We went and sat at the top deck post the meal. It was time to grab as much fresh air and to let the wind cast its spell. This moment will never come back. Let's make the most of it. We are stopping over at #Essna for the night. Good night :-)

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