After exploring the city of Alexandria, which is three hours north of Cairo, we are on a sleeper train to Luxor. Surprisingly the train is on time, because we hear that it is notorious for considering its schedule more of a “guideline,” give or take four hours, as opposed to an actual schedule.
I haven’t traveled on a sleeper train since I was a kid, so it feels like a new experience. The train jostles and sways in what feels like every direction, making me think that it would be more aptly called a “no bloody way you’re sleeping” train than a sleeper train. And there was no bloody way I was going to get any sleep.
While the train was miraculously on time when we started off, it was predictably late upon arrival by, you guessed it, about four hours. And there’s no feeling fresh after a night on a sleeper train. The cabins are incredibly small and there isn’t enough room for two people plus your luggage. A fresh change of clothes felt like such a massive effort that we all just slept in the clothes we had worn all day.
Thankfully, relief from a stale and sleepless night is close at hand. After deboarding the train, we transferred ourselves to the Melodie—the name of the boat that we will cruise upon for the next 7 days as we make our way south down the Nile. Actually, the Egyptians call the southern part of the country “Upper Egypt” because they base it on the direction of the Nile, which flows south to north. So technically (according to the locals, anyway), we are sailing “up” the Nile. Up, down, or whatever, it will be a relief to get some sleep.