Unquestionably, the highlight of my stay in Egypt was riding the felucca down the nile. A "felucca", as shown in the picture, is a wide riverboat with a flat, open deck covered in blankets and cushions on which passengers eat, drink, and sleep. The felucca has one large sail, which is strung between two long poles, on two of the three triangular edges. The third edge is left open, and the overall triangle of the sail is adjusted by moving about the two poles, both of which are attached to a third pole, which is the mast. A large tiller is used for steering, from the bottom is an adjustable keel, and under the deck is an exceptional amount of storage space.
We board the felucca between two large Nile cruisers (basically river cruise ships, with restaurants and private rooms), in typical Egyptian style, meaning with a great deal of commotion (rant below). With a push off the dock and a whisper of wind, we're off on our Nile adventure. Of course, the ride wasn't terribly adventurous -- ra... [more]