Words & Photography by Richard James Taylor

There are certain destinations where just the name itself conjures thoughts of adventure and excitement. Lhasa, Tibet; Petra, Jordan; Bagan, Myanmar – there’s something mystical about these places that instantly transports me back to my youth and fantasies of Indiana Jones-style adventure. Egypt is another destination that gets my heart racing, and I was excited when Virtuoso Life sent me on assignment to follow the Nile River from Cairo to the town of Abu Simbel, visiting ancient pyramids and famous temples along the way.

I was predictably awestruck by the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings, and the majestic temples of Luxor – not to mention the experience of being on the Nile itself. The slow pace of travel, watching life unfold along the riverbanks, and the glorious orange sunsets were as much a part of the Egyptian experience as the ancient architecture was.

In Aswan, I spent some time on a felucca, a simple traditional wooden sailing boat perfectly suited to the cool breezes of the Nile. The captain, a Nubian named Adnan, had sailed this stretch of the river for over 40 years. He was fascinating, and we talked for hours about Nubian culture and history, his family, and his long life on the river. He even let me take control of the felucca on a quieter stretch of the river. When I think back on the trip, it’s this time on the Nile in Aswan that instantly comes to mind. The next time I’m back that way, I’ll without a doubt be looking up Adnan for another adventure.

Here, a few of my favorite photos from the trip:

The old quarter in Cairo, Egypt
Sunset over the old quarter of Cairo and the Al-Azhar Mosque minaret, and (right) antique lanterns for sale in Cairo’s El Khalili souk.
A camel in front of Egypt's Great Pyramids of Giza
A 30-minute camel ride will take you to this iconic viewpoint overlooking the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Ancient statues at the Luxor Temple in Egypt
The remains of ancient statues at the Luxor Temple on the banks of the Nile. The temple was thought to be constructed in approximately 1400BC, and was used for celebrating religious festivals.
Valley of the Kings, Egypt
The entrance to the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the Valley of the Kings and (right) hieroglyphics in the tomb of Seti I.
A felucca on the Nile River at sunset
Feluccas sailing on the Nile River at sunset in Aswan.
A felucca in Aswan, Egypt
Adnan, a member of the Nubian tribe common in southern Egypt, adjusting the sail on his felucca.

See more of Virtuoso Life contributing photographer Richard James Taylor’s photos at richardjamestaylor.com and on Instagram @richardjamestaylor. 

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