Natural Beauty from Cairo to Aswan Rail

Cairo to Aswan 2

By Nicole Anderson

Cairo to Aswan 1
Egypt train map. Image: The Man in Seat 61.

Travelling by rail in Egypt may not be everyone’s first choice due to the train carriages not being of similar standard when compared to western countries.  Generally, it is true to say that the trains are comparably quite old and not that well maintained with regards to cleanliness and amenities.

If you can understand this from the very start, then you are likely to have a more enjoyable time than if you just spend your time thinking about how this experience does not compare to elsewhere.  You just need to remember that Egyptian rail does not promise to provide a standard similar to other services in other countries.  Once you properly accept this, you are far more likely to enjoy the trip for what it is – a unique experience in a fascinating land.

I make the above comments simply because I couldn’t help notice the number of tourists on this journey that spent time focussed on things they chose to pick at.  It’s as though their priority was the mode of transport itself, rather than the much bigger picture of where they were and what they were there to experience.  Unfortunately, this attitude undoubtably resulted in guaranteeing these complainers would always have a much less enjoyable time than if they accepted the reality of the situation and instead focussed on the uniqueness of this experience.

Needless to say, I was not there to focus on the negatives of a carriage(s), passenger amenities or how sparkling clean it could be.

Instead I saw this as a rare opportunity to enjoy seeing some of the southern Egyptian countryside while enjoying the warm culture and hospitality of the service provided. For me, the Cairo to Aswan trip was to be a different adventure to be savored.

In having this outlook, I found I was not disappointed at all.

 

Arriving at our Cairo station

To say that this place was busy would be regarded as a bit of an understatement.

James and I arrived in a group on a bus and were quickly ushered through the station with our bags.  Members of our group then stood on the platform together close to the building, waiting patiently next to our luggage and watching crowds catching various suburban trains home.

The sun was starting to set as we stood by to catch our overnight train that was scheduled to deliver us to Aswan the following morning.  It would be dark before our train would arrive and, in the meanwhile, it was interesting just to watch locals going about their daily commutes.

 

Typical Cairo suburban train after the crowds had dissipated somewhat. Photo: James Visser.

 

It was a busy station with trains coming and going on both levels. Photo: James Visser.

 

As the Cairo to Aswan train was arriving, we were told to ‘stand by’ with our bags at various points where our assigned carriages were going to stop.  It was then a bit of a scramble to get on board as some believed that the train was leaving at any moment as it was already slightly behind schedule.

 

A quick shot of the outside of our train as we were about to board. Photo: James Visser.

 

This proved to be a false alarm as they was plenty of time to get on board and get settled.  It was clear that everyone was accounted for prior to the train setting off.

 

 

Our overnight train

As part of the group we had booked with, James and I had been allocated a first-class sleeper cabin for two.  Whilst not overly spacious by any means, it nevertheless had enough room for us to sit on a couch within the cabin.  There was also enough space to have dinner which was delivered hot, soon after our departure.  Shortly after dinner the cabin was then converted into sleeping quarters by folding down 2 single beds contained within the wall.  One of these beds was folded out at the level of the couch and the other was above this, being connected by a ladder.

 

Having just arrived in our cabin and shut the door, James snapped this. Photo: James Visser.

 

Dinner actually tasted much better than I have had on many flights. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

Our cabin early the following morning showing the beds we slept in. Photo: James Visser.

 

As it was already dark outside when we left, you couldn’t see anything at all outside the windows until dawn the next morning.  So, after dinner we went for a quick walk to explore the train where we located the toilets and the lounge/bar carriage to meet and chat with other tourists.

 

The lounge/bar carriage on the train. Photo: Nicole Anderson.

 

The main event – the Cairo to Aswan Rail experience

We were both up fairly early the following morning keen to see what rural southern Egypt looked like from the train.

The train tracks and our journey essentially ran fairly parallel to the Nile as it made its southward path from Cairo to Aswan.  By the same token, while the Nile was not far away, neither was the Sahara being the world’s largest hot desert and surrounding the entire region.

This meant you could see lovely green vegetation native to the area, interspersed with large areas of barren dry desert.

It made for extremely interesting viewing as we sped past scene after different scene, showing the variety of nature within this region.

Check out some of the many photos taken by James below as we headed south to Aswan.

 

Cairo to Aswan 10

 

Cairo to Aswan 11

Cairo to Aswan 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arriving in Aswan

No where near as crowded as in Cairo, arriving at this station was on time despite leaving a little late.  We obviously had made up time during the night and our guide said it was in fact unusual for the train to arrive on schedule.

While I was a little sad our trip and the views we were enjoying were now over, I was also excited about what lay ahead on our Egyptian adventure.  Experiencing the Nile, Lake Nasser, the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean were all still ahead and I couldn’t wait.

 

Cairo to Aswan 22
Just disembarked the train and heading for the main building to exit. Photo: James Visser.

 

Cairo to Aswan 23
The interior of Aswan Rail Station. Photo: James Visser.

 

Cairo to Aswan: Things to do at either end

At the point of departure or arrival of Cairo to Aswan (or even vice-versa), there are a couple of things you can enjoy doing before and/or after taking this trip.

 

Cairo

Bearing in mind that this site focusses on escaping cities to immerse yourself in nature, you might be wondering what I could recommend in a city like Cairo with 23+ million inhabitants.  Well I think I definitely found something most people would love to see.

 

The Egyptian Museum

Located in downtown Cairo on the north side of Midan Tahrir, the Egyptian Museum houses one of the world’s most important collections of ancient exhibits.  This famous museum opened here in 1902.  Containing over 120,000 artefacts, many believe that no trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to this museum.

 

The Egyptian Museum Cairo
James and I outside The Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Photo: Tejni M

 

The museum has different sections exhibiting different periods of history from ancient Egypt through the various significant periods.  There is so much here to see.  A few photos to illustrate:

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the tons of artefacts on display there are also two separate areas requiring additional tickets to enter.  The first was the treasures of Tutankhamun containing priceless gold and artefacts retrieved from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.  The second was the Royal Mummies Room, containing the mummified remains of a number of Egyptian Pharaohs including the famous King Ramses II.  Both are really worth seeing although we were not allowed to take any photos within these two special exhibitions.

At the time we visited in June 2019, there was major construction we saw occurring at the outskirts of Cairo while we were visiting the pyramids at the Giza Plateau.  This was the site of the new Grand Egyptian Museum which will be a much bigger building than the current museum.  It is planned to open in 2020, when many of the artefacts will be moved there on Alexandria Desert Road, Kafr Nassar, Al Haram, Giza Governorate.

 

Aswan

Gateway to the Egypt’s many southern attractions including Lake Nasser, Abu Simbel, the temples at Luxor and the wonderful Nile, there is also another thing Aswan is famous for.

 

The Aswan Dam

What is the story behind this dam and its significance?  Well this is how Wikipedia describes it:

“The Aswan Dam, or more specifically since the 1960s, the Aswan High Dam, is an embankment dam built across the Nile in Aswan, Egypt, between 1960 and 1970. Its significance largely eclipsed the previous Aswan Low Dam initially completed in 1902 downstream. Based on the success of the Low Dam, then at its maximum utilization, construction of the High Dam became a key objective of the government following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952; with its ability to better control flooding, provide increased water storage for irrigation and generate hydroelectricity the dam was seen as pivotal to Egypt’s planned industrialization. Like the earlier implementation, the High Dam has had a significant effect on the economy and culture of Egypt.”

It was indeed an interesting site.  Aside from seeing it, we also drove over the dam itself seeing the view from both sides.  Below are some photos we took of the dam and what we could see from it.

 

Cairo to Aswan 29

 

 

 

 

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Conclusion

As someone who enjoys seeing nature in all its forms and appreciating how different it presents across various locations, this was a rail journey I did enjoy.

The Cairo to Aswan rail journey is something I would recommend be done if you plan on visiting Egypt.

No doubt it might even be better if you manage to take the trip in its entirety during the day, rather than an overnight one in order to see more of the sights on route.  Whether this would be possible of course will come down to the itinerary you are following and the time you have there.

Irrespective, if you embrace the local culture and focus on the uniqueness of the nature and the overall experience, I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Founder and Publisher at | Website

Outdoor adventure enthusiast that loves nature having travelled locations across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Passionate Travel Writer, Blogger and Influencer.

118 thoughts on “Natural Beauty from Cairo to Aswan Rail

  • September 14, 2019 at 2:52 pm
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    Wow! This looks like a great trip. I’ve never done this before. As I’m becoming an empty nester, experience is so valuable. Were the living quarters comfortable? That food does look better than most flights. I like a little space and it seemed crowded. The scenery is amazing. I love travelling and seeing new things.

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    • September 14, 2019 at 8:49 pm
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      The cabin was comfortable but tight, especially as we had big bags with us on this trip. The beds were fine to sleep in for the night. Bear in mind that train travel in any country generally does not give you a huge amount of space anyway, but it is definitely more spacious and comfortable than flying. You also get better views and in our case, we had very nice staff on the train as well. Thanks very much for reading and leaving your comment and question.

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  • September 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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    I really need to plan a vacation soon with the family. That sounds like a great place to visit and looks like you had an amazing time there. The view is amazing looking at those photos.

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    • September 14, 2019 at 8:42 pm
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      Depending on the age of any children you may have Lyanna, might determine what would be the best places to go and see. For example, there are resort areas that cater really well to families. There is no doubt, however, that Egypt is so worth the trip if you appreciate its beauty and impressive history.

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  • September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm
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    Looks like SO much fun! very unique place and the memories are so warm. totally sets me up for travel mood!

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  • September 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm
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    Sitting in a restaurant the other evening, I was telling my husband that I wanted to travel by train one day because I’ve never done it or experienced it. But I think it would be a ton of fun. Using this for a travel method in another country makes perfect sense to me, because you have the opportunity to see so much more than normal while relaxing! I’ve loved reading your series about Egypt and everything it has to offer. Certainly very different than anything I’ve ever experienced.

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    • September 14, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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      Thank you so much, Erica. I agree that travelling by train (especially if the route takes you out into places of natural beauty) is such a lovely way to see so much, in an enjoyable and comfortable way. Thank you also for reading through the Egypt series – there are still 4 more posts to go on this, so I do hope you check back as these are published and enjoy them as well.

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  • September 13, 2019 at 4:47 am
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    I’d love to visit Egypt one day, it’s high on the list. A train journey would be a fantastic way to see the country as well, it’s such a great way to travel. Loved seeing the photos of rural Egypt, it looks much greener than I was expecting, but I guess this is because you were beside the Nile.

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    • September 14, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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      Absolutely Paul! Although it was rare that we were close enough to see the actual Nile from the train, we know that we were not far from it as we travelled along the tracks heading south. That explains why there is some greenery there, rather than only the influence of the Sahara. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

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  • September 13, 2019 at 4:44 am
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    I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt. That museum looks incredible! My parents went last year and did the train as well I think. They had a similar experience. One of their big takeaways was seeing the poverty in certain areas and wishing there was more they could do about it.

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    • September 14, 2019 at 8:29 pm
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      Thanks so much for your comment, Kayleigh. I understand what your parents mean about their observations, as they is nothing really that any single person can do here. We are just visitors and our positive impact is the economic support and we collectively provide and hopefully we are as friendly in return.

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  • September 12, 2019 at 7:40 pm
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    Traveling by rail is something I would love to experience some day. Thanks for being so open and honest about your experience.

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  • September 12, 2019 at 5:21 pm
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    This is by far the greatest expression of real Egypt I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing those wonderful pictures and I hope you enjoyed your trip.

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    • September 12, 2019 at 7:48 pm
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      Thank you very much, Toyin. I think the best parts of any travel article are usually those that cover the non-touristy areas that offer a glimpse into the true nature of the location.

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  • September 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm
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    I love taking train trips 🙂 Some people while on the other hand would totally judge me when I say that. Especially when I tell them about my travel train stories from South East Asia and the Middle east but then it’s an individual preference. I think it’s more about experiencing the ambiance and culture than pondering on how bad the service is compared to the western ones. I love the fact that you brought out how some people would do nothing but complain.

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    • September 12, 2019 at 7:46 pm
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      I agree that train travel is an enjoyable way to glide past and appreciate the scenery that you otherwise wouldn’t see, Daniel. It’s certainly always best to concentrate on getting the most out of your experience without getting involved in other people’s issues, that’s for sure.

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  • September 12, 2019 at 11:46 am
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    Coming from Alberta, Canada, where there is hardly any passenger trains, I’ve always thought it would be so cool to sleep on a train! It does look a little cramped but I still think it would be a very neat experience. Your experience in Egypt looks amazing, I would also love to visit that Museum!

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    • September 12, 2019 at 7:43 pm
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      Doing an overnight trip on a train I think is pretty cool as well, Lindsay. And the trip isn’t so long that you get tired of it and you do see a lot during the ride. The Egyptian museum is certainly very big and so fascinating, I’m sure you would love it.

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  • September 12, 2019 at 2:09 am
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    First of all, that sounds amazing and I am sure Darcee would love this adventure since she absolutely loves trains. For our Honeymoon in December/January we actually were considering a sailing adventure with Nour El Nil on a traditional dahabiya or barge with a sail from Esna to Aswan cause though I want to see the sights of Cairo, the Nile and smaller less touristy areas really intrigue me. But when looking at it I really had no idea how to get back to Cairo! So we put the trip on hold for another idea but Darcee said that we will do it next year! SO can I do your exact train trip but in reverse? I assume I can.
    It looks as if you went with a group so I assume the tix were part of the package but by chance did you know what the one way private cabin that you had was per person? Cause it sounds awesome. Sorry that some in your group complained. Hate to see their reactions if they were travelling with us on the trains in India where all we had was literally a hole to use in the bathroom in the train. But everyone travels at different levels. I think we would love this trip. Bookmarking this!

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    • September 12, 2019 at 7:40 pm
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      Thank you so much for sharing such an in-depth comment Eric. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post and that you and Darcee are considering going to Egypt next year. Yes, I do know you can do this trip in reverse but the cost for us was included in the whole deal we finalized with our travel agent before leaving, so I do not know the actual fare amount – although I am sure it wouldn’t be that much. Cruising down the majestic and beautiful Nile was something we also enjoyed so much and I have published a separate post on that. There are still a few posts yet to publish in this series on Egypt, so I hope they might be of help to planning your trip as well. Thank you again for sharing and please don’t hesitate to let us know how your trip goes and if I can be of any help in your planning in the meanwhile.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 9:51 pm
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    Your rail experience looks better and more comfortable than many flights I’ve been on, I’m not sure why anyone would complain! The food looks appetizing, again better than many airplane meals. I haven’t been to Egypt yet but my husband is Egyptian and the majority of his family lives there so we are going to have to visit one day! Looks like you guys had a great trip and got to visit some amazing places!

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:48 pm
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      Your comments on the rail experience itself are so true Maggie. Personally, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Everyone can go looking to find fault with things if they really want to, but what is the point of that? I loved visiting every area I saw of Egypt and I think you will be in for a treat when you visit your husband’s family. I found the Egyptian people to be extremely friendly and genuine and of course, there is just so much to see and experience in this amazing country.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm
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    I so much love the idea of traveling by rail, and, honestly, this looks like it’d be a great one. I like, too, that you emphasize that it is so much about managing expectations. I think that’s so wise for pretty much every situation in life!

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  • September 11, 2019 at 6:53 pm
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    Agree with you on the disappointing attitude of tourists, I’ve seen the same thing in my country, India as well. This is such a unique trip to do – I haven’t come across the likes of it anywhere!

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:42 pm
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      Thank you, Smita. I agree this is quite a unique experience and one which most tourists don’t do but is definitely worth it. Unfortunately, silly attitudes prevail everywhere to some degree, but as long as you don’t let that affect you, then you can still enjoy your experience. Thanks very much for your comment.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 2:18 pm
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    The food looks delicious from photo ? sounds like you guys had a fun trip! I need to plan a quick getaway soon! ?

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:37 pm
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      Thanks, Snehal. Yes, I did enjoy the photo and it was a fun trip. I do think though that Egypt is better enjoyed as a medium to long getaway as there is just so much to see.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 1:20 pm
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    Thanks for the insight into your adventure! I appreciate your reminder to enjoy the overall experience and not focus on things that could be improved or are different from what you expect. We recently went on a family trip and despite an awful hotel in one location, the location and experiences there were everyone’s favorite. Egypt looks absolutely beautiful. I haven’t been but it’s on my list!

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:35 pm
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      That is so right Jennifer. To be honest, I found the train to be perfectly acceptable and I loved the friendly and hospitable staff which does make all the difference. In my view, it was a great way to travel within the country and to see sights that you would otherwise miss. Your example of the hotel you stayed at is a good one, in that in the scheme of things, it was not going to spoil your outlook or experience of the main focus of your journey. Hope you get to cross off Egypt from your list of places to see soon. Thanks so much.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    I can understand tourists maybe being surprised that the train isn’t what they thought, but it seems like such a waste of time and effort to let that consume the trip. My thought is always that things are different when we travel outside our comfort zone, so go with it. I would love to do this ride during the day, as you mentioned, to see the sights the entire way.

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:29 pm
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      I completely agree with you, Stephanie. I don’t understand the negative focus of some tourists either, but as this was the case with a few people on that trip, I thought it was worthy to mention. Thank you for such a great comment.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    This looks like a great trip. I’ve never thought of travelling by rail in Egypt but it looks like a good way to go.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 9:17 am
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    The pictures are absolutely awesome. It is pretty obvious you had an awesome time with your trip. I am quite jealous actually.

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:24 pm
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      Thank you for your kind comment on the photos Gaica. It was an awesome time and I hope you will plan a trip one day. I would be happy to help with additional information and ideas if you do.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 6:32 am
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    Yes! Get out there! What an amazing Aswan Rail experience. This trip looks very intriguing a fantastic way to see the country.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 7:47 am
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    I loved your rail journey from Cairo to Aswan and believe me it really looks like Indian rail. I used to remember my childhood train journeys which were mostly overnight ones. I loved your dinner and after that how you folded your beds and slept in train. Also, the view of palms and farms outside are lovely. Aswan dam looks like an oasis among the dry beds on its side. I love to see all forms of nature and your visit from Cairo to Aswan really has this.

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    • September 11, 2019 at 11:20 pm
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      Thank you so much Yukti. I have not yet journeyed by rail in India but would be happy to do so if I found a scenic route showing the country’s natural beauty. India definitely has a lot to offer in this regard so I would be really happy to give their train journeys a try.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 12:58 am
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    I really enjoy traveling by train and it seems like a great way to see much of the Egyptian countryside! Your first photo heading to Aswan is beautiful. The sleeper cabin is a bit small, but it seems perfectly comfortable for just a night! I would also really like to see the Egyptian Museum. King Tut’s artifacts fascinate me and it would be nice to see the Ramses artifacts as well.

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    • September 10, 2019 at 5:16 am
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      It does sound like you would love to visit Egypt, Summer. Thank you for your lovely comment on the first shot. I thought that would be the best one to introduce this post. The Egyptian Museum is just fantastic in its exhibits, and while there are areas you are not allowed to photograph, there is no doubt the experience and memories stay with you.

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  • September 10, 2019 at 12:23 am
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    Egypt is very high on my bucket list, so I really enjoyed reading about your experience in Cairo on the trains. I have never done an over-night sleeper train, but I would definitely be willing to try one if the situation was right. How wonderful that the food was decent! It looks like you got to enjoy many beautiful sights along the way. What a great variety!

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    • September 10, 2019 at 5:13 am
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      Thanks so much Leah. I do hope you get to plan your trip to Egypt soon as it does sound like you would enjoy it also. The sites and friendly people are definitely worth the trip.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 5:21 pm
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    Such a beautiful place to visit. The train journey looks super fun. This is a very good read!

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  • September 7, 2019 at 7:50 pm
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    I’m totally with you that setting your expectations and focusing on where you are and what you are seeing is so important in enjoying a rail trip of this type. Also, what a pleasure to be able to explore the big sites but also see all the beautiful scenery in between as you travel!

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    • September 10, 2019 at 5:09 am
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      Thanks very much Kavita, although I should say that this was just one continuous trip from Cairo in the north to Aswan in the south. All the major sites in Egypt we saw was either as we cruised down the Nile, travelled across Lake Nasser and the rest was by road. Nevertheless, I felt that this was a significant journey to share by train, given the sites we were able to see during the rail trip. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 5:05 pm
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    Never would have thought of travelling by train in Egypt. But now when I have seen your pictures and known your experience, I would actually love to try out travelling by train. I am sure I will find it much cleaner compared to Indian standards. Great pics.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm
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    Hey.. They have tuk tuks in Egypt… Did not realize that. The train journey does sound lovely. For one, through your pics, I did see some rustic sites. Also it seems to give you a feel of the non touristy areas. Thanks for sharing this

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    • September 10, 2019 at 5:03 am
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      They certainly have tuk-tuks in Egypt Ami, in the thousands, believe it or not. I love seeing the non-touristy sites as well, particularly if this is away from the cities as I think you get a feel for the ‘real’ country and people. I’m so pleased you liked the photos in this respect and that you took the time to let me know.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 6:28 pm
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    Oh wow! This looks so incredibly beautiful! I’ve always wanted to see Egypt.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 7:52 am
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    Overnight train is good to safe compared to a hotel stay. When I travel, if possible, I opt to choose train travel. I enjoy the scenery outside the windows very much. The train and the train station over there look quite modern and neat.

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    • September 10, 2019 at 4:59 am
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      It was a great way to travel within the country and see lovely and interesting scenery at the same time, Mijia. The train was very functional and the stations were spacious and the staff very friendly. Thanks very much for reading and commenting.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 7:30 am
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    I know exactly what you mean by the quality of trains in Egypt not being like that in Europe because I come from India and we have the same issue. However, I have grown up travelling in those trains so I am sure I wouldn’t mind that at all in Egypt. In fact I love train journeys! Good to know that the food served was better than what you’ve had in many flights. The lounge area looks like a great place to chat with others!

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    • September 3, 2019 at 8:11 pm
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      I actually enjoyed the entire experience Medha and considered it all part of the adventure that I was experiencing across this beautiful country. I can’t overstate how hospitable and friendly the staff were and the food was actually very good indeed. It’s just too bad that some people chose to focus on other things, rather than fully appreciating the beauty you could see from the train. Thanks so much for reading and your comment.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 2:31 am
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    Your train trip from Cairo to Aswan reminded me of my train trip from Jakarta to Surabaya in Indonesia. First class compartment that turned to sleeping bed when you got back from dinner. But it was in the early 80s, and I’m sure it’s different by now. The morning views you saw when you got to Aswan was similar, too. Local people were doing their morning routines. Somehow it brought back memories even though locations are thousands of miles away.

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    • September 3, 2019 at 8:06 pm
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      Thank you very much for also sharing your experience Umiko. It’s funny how we all are reminded of quite similar experiences even though they might be half a world apart. Goes to show there are many shades of similarities across different regions. I would like to try the trip you took so long ago to compare, although as you intimated, it could be very different today.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 12:32 am
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    Thank you for providing that warning upfront regarding the conditions and what to expect with the trains there. I think it really helps if you have proper expectations to enjoy the journey more. I like train travel and would definitely consider this one. It is a unique way to experience a location. You can see so much in relatively short time and enjoy the scenery without the worry of driving.

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    • September 10, 2019 at 4:53 am
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      So well put Joella, thank you. I completely agree with you. Fortunately, my expectations were all about enjoying authentic Egyptian hospitality and seeing the beauty of the countryside as we got away from the cities. The train ride delivered this really well without an issue and the experience for me was enjoyable.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 7:01 pm
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    Egypt is so beautiful and the story behind the dam is quite interesting. I like how you were there for the experience and how you enjoyed it despite a few hitches. You’re really adventurous.

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    • September 2, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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      Thank you so much Viano. I don’t think there were any hitches really as I don’t count the attitudes of others, simply because my focus was getting on with enjoying my own journey. I agree Egypt is a beautiful country with so much to offer.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 6:22 pm
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    Traveling from Cairo and Aswan by train was definitely an adventure. Not sure I would have enjoyed the experience myself, but it gave you an insight into what rural southern Egypt looks like. I’d like to go to Egypt too, but my Egyptian friends say is it’s not really safe these days.

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    • September 2, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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      It was a great adventure for me, Anda, as I saw it as such and was not going to spoil things for myself by focussing on things that truly didn’t matter in the bigger picture. In regards to safety, I must admit there was no time when I didn’t feel safe and indeed the last article in this series focusses on solo women travel in Egypt and directly discusses safety – which you may find of interest. Thanks for commenting and I hope your wish to go to Egypt will occur in the future.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 7:14 am
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    If we dont expect too much, thats the time we can enjoy the whole trip, and sometimes with good surprises too. Glad you had a great time in Egypt. The museum looks grand!

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    • September 2, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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      That’s for sure Blair. I always think it’s best not to have any expectations when you go to places and keep an open mind. That way you are far more likely to enjoy the differences and uniqueness of the environment. The museum certainly was amazing with all the ancient exhibits that have been well maintained and protected.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 6:33 am
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    Your train journey looked like an adventure in itself. The cabin looked perfectly adequate and the food tasty. The bar carriage looked like fun place to got but the main draw for the train journey must have been the scenery you saw along the way. Very interesting.

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    • September 10, 2019 at 4:48 am
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      I completely agree with your observations Laura. The cabin, food and lounge carriage were all fine in the scheme of things and the highlight was, of course, the scenery. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

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  • September 2, 2019 at 5:17 am
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    I love how you showcased the southern Egyptian countryside. I want to experience the being in that train too! I wanna try the sleeper cabin and the lounge carrier!

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  • September 2, 2019 at 4:24 am
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    I definitely want to do this rail journey after having the experience of two rather ‘unique’ rail journeys in Myanmar and Vietnam. As you say focus on the journey and not voice your concerns on the state of the trains. LOL. You are having the most incredible journey, I am a big fan of your articles, which also helps as we are planning a journey there next year.

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    • September 10, 2019 at 4:45 am
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      Thank you so much indeed Jane for such a lovely comment. I haven’t visited Myanmar as yet and although I have been to Vietnam, I didn’t take any trains while I was there. I’m so happy you are enjoying this series on Egypt and that it is providing some ideas for your own trip next year. I would love to hear about your trip after you get back.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 10:22 pm
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    I love your blog. And the overnight train looks a ton of fun plus there’s a lounge inside. I would love to try that.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 9:54 pm
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    What a great experience! I have heard that the train rides in Egypt were pretty great to get around and your post shows that same feeling. What a great way to see the countryside!

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    • September 2, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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      Well, I only used the overnight, long-distance (tourist) train, so I can’t really comment about getting around by train to other centres in Egypt. Train travel here indeed was great to see the countryside which changed quite significantly in various areas. Thanks for your comment.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm
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    I’ve yet to visit Egypt so I enjoyed reading this immensely. I agree that sometimes we get ingrossed in the smaller details, rather than focus on where we are. I’d like to take this journey during the day to see the incredible landscape. I hope to visit Egypt and see these sights one day.

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    • September 10, 2019 at 4:41 am
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      Thanks very much Lisa – I’m so pleased you like the idea of taking the train as well. It would be great if they offer this during the day and you can fit it in your itinerary. If/when you go, I hope you share your experience also.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm
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    What a great experience! I would love to go on a rail trip to Aswan. It s the perfect way of traveling slow but still moving forward. Cairo must be such an adventure for travelers! The beauty of the landscapes you see is definitely unique!

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    • September 10, 2019 at 4:38 am
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      Thank you so much Paulina. I am so pleased we took the train as opposed to the bus or a flight. It made for a unique and enjoyable experience and the views were wonderful. Cairo was also an adventure but it is always nice to get out into the country and see the natural beauty that is abundant.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    I totally agree with you that as long as your expectations are managed well, you won’t have too many negative experiences on your travels. Your photos of the train actually look a lot nicer than what I would’ve expected, and it’s so festive that there’s a lounge car too where you can hang out with other travelers. Egypt is on my list and I hope to make it there soon!

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    • September 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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      There is no doubt in my mind that there are so many more positives than negatives here Diana. Overall this is something that I hope you include when you make your visit as I’m sure you would enjoy it just as much.

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  • September 1, 2019 at 6:28 pm
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    The train ride through Egypt is fun! I totally agree that we need to accept the condition on the road and should focus on the things what is unique on the spot.The train ride shows some complete different experience.

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  • August 31, 2019 at 8:05 pm
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    OMG!! I would love to travel to Egypt one day. I love overnight train journey with food on board and the rail route looks so amazing!!! And the last few photos of the Dam were so beautiful.

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  • August 31, 2019 at 5:25 pm
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    What an adventure! I totally agree with you that it’s best to accept the trains as they are and look at it as an experience – and a unique one at that. You had a great outlook on it all and that food in first class looks yummy in fact. Love the way you can mingle with locals and internationals in the lounge, getting to know the culture.

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    • September 1, 2019 at 9:06 pm
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      Thanks so much Danni. I think so much of any experience is ultimately how you choose to look at it and your own attitude. If you are there to enjoy the experience and focus on why you are there, you are more likely to get more out of any trip. Meeting and interacting with people with different cultures has always been positive and enjoyable for me.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    Wow that train looked like so much fun! What a great trip! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  • August 30, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I have never thought about doing a train ride thru Egypt but it sure looks worth doing it! I don’t think that the train looks that bad but then again I have done a night train in Thailand and I’m never doing that again! haha.
    The food actually looks delicious!

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    • September 1, 2019 at 9:02 pm
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      The food was very good Marlies and as I said above, certainly much better than a lot of airlines I have flown. I agree that it wasn’t that bad at all and the train staff were very nice and helpful. Although I have visited Thailand a few times, I have never tried a night train there so I can’t really comment. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 6:05 pm
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    looks like an amazing adventure. traveling by train is a cool way to see an area.

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    • September 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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      That’s for sure Kat. You do get to see a lot in a relatively short time as you travel through different regions. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 5:44 pm
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    The scenery and the food looked great. I am one that has yet to travel by train and really want to. You make it look doable. Wonderful post!

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  • August 30, 2019 at 3:51 pm
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    I have always wanted to visit Egypt. I have never thought about taking a train ride when there, however. Thanks for the pictures and ideas.

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    • September 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm
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      Thanks Chris. It’s true that people do not automatically think of train travel when considering a visit to Egypt and before booking to go, I didn’t even know this would be an option. I’m pleased I did ride the train though as I found it really worthwhile.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 3:49 pm
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    I love traveling by train and seeing the countryside of other countries. Your experience sounds similar to some of the older Polish trains that I rode: run down, but functional. I agree – focusing on the state of the train isn’t the best way to spend a journey. I think it’s so cool that you were essentially running parallel to both the Nile and Sahara. It gave you a variety of scenes flying by your windows!

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    • September 1, 2019 at 8:49 pm
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      Thanks very much Rachelle. It just surprised me when some fellow passengers focussed more on the train itself rather than the broader experience that it offered. Travelling between the Nile and the Sahara resulted in some fabulous views of the natural beauty and settlements of people out that way. I would recommend anyone taking the train for this reason and the hospitality of the staff on the train was also really nice and welcoming.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 1:24 pm
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    Your train cabin looks comfy enough! I have not taken a overnight train ride yet but if I do get the chance to visit Egypt, I’d love to experience the Cairo to Aswan train. You did get so many amazing views on that trip!

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    • September 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm
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      I imagine it would be even better if it wasn’t an overnight service Eileen as you would have many more hours of seeing more of the countryside. Not that I’m complaining as I was very happy with what I saw and experienced. Thanks for your comment and I hope you try this also one day.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 3:07 am
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    This looks like such an awesome experience. I would love to travel here one day.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 2:20 am
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    I think this looks like an amazing adventure. I also think I would rather take a train across the country than a big bus.

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    • September 1, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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      Thanks Rachel. During our travels across Egypt, we actually did both and both types of transportation have their advantages depending on what you are interested in seeing. However, there is no doubt that the train offers better comfort if you have your own cabin and you can also socialise with other passengers much better.

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    • September 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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      I had been looking forward to visiting Egypt for sometime Rigel so I know what you mean. The journey from Cairo to the south to explore the beauty and wonders of the countryside is definitely worthwhile. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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  • August 30, 2019 at 2:15 am
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    This is amazing! It looks like a lot of fun and there’s a lot to see there.

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  • August 29, 2019 at 10:28 pm
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    What an amazing experience! That museum looks really interesting and traveling by train would makes the whole thing even cooler!

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