HONEYMOONS WORTHY OF YOUR LOVE… Sailing the Nile in a Dahaybieh

If you haven’t thought of a honeymoon in Egypt, think again!

Romancing honeymooners will be in good company.

The corniche along the Nile-front is full of lovers… strolling arm-locked confidantes, whispering pairs on park benches, waterfront patios lined with tables-for-2.

There’s also a love-strewn history, world-famous sights, a unique cuisine, a vibrant rural life unchanged for centuries, an exhilarating urban culture – where else can you find camels on the streets of a capital city?

And the highlight… the life-giving Nile, splitting the Egyptian desert from south to north with a swath of fertile farmland.

You will ride camels, taxis, donkeys, overnight trains, planes, and caleshes (think horse-drawn hacks). But the highlight will be your sail up the Nile in a Dahaybieh.

These grand sailboats, restored from the 1800s, are fabled to be the choice transport of the pharoahs. They are run solely by wind, and their wide red-striped, lateen-rigged sails, on bow and stern, majestically catch the breeze and sweep the dahaybieh past reed islands, herds of water buffalo and riverside temples, up to Aswan. Their broad teak decks are surrounded by low-slung couches encircling silver trays (perfect for middle eastern-style dining), crowned with crystal chandeliers, and staffed by friendly locals who are as dedicated to your service as they are knowledgeable in Egyptology.

Our room had crisp white linens, and a sparkling ensuite bath, with huge casement windows that opened up, only inches from the rippling Nile.

As we meandered down the Nile, exploring the path of the ancient pharaohs and priests, we anchored, just steps away from the famous ruins from 3000 BC. Our days were a mix of lounging on deck with Lucy Duff’s Nile autobiography, and hiking into the desert to see deserted tombs, sugar cane crops, and remote villages. In the late afternoon, we took a dip in the Nile!

But our nights were spectacular… feasts of pigeon (see next week for “how to eat a Pigeon”), fresh fish and honeycake, followed by egyptian rhythms on the oud, and gazing at the powdered-sugar sky of stars.

We even watched the full moon rise over the Nile, FROM OUR BED!

Check out the Dahaybieh slideshow in the sidebar!

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