A river of lights
Yup - the image above is indeed the Nile at night. It was taken from the International Space Station(ISS) last month (tip from badastonomer). This is an absolutely stunning image and provides a nice overview of the narrow habitation along the Nile, and the importance of the river.
I will mostly be in Cairo (in the brightest hub towards the top of the image), but then will also go out on a 3-day excursion to Luxor - and I'm really looking forward to it! My first impression of Cairo is that it is a big chaotic city. I have recently been to Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul, and it seems that order and calm has been slowly decreasing :) (Oh - c'mon, this is just the first reaction). This is certainly true for the traffic. On the Pakistan traffic index, Kuala Lumpur was not even close. I started to recognize some similarities in Istanbul. But Cairo may give Karachi a good chase for its money - and I may even bring in Lahore in the discussion (now that's saying something).
More from Cairo coming up. In the mean time, to get excited about Luxor, here is Josh Ritter's absolutely gorgeous "The Curse" about a love affair between an archaeologist and a mummy (I had posted it earlier here). If you haven't seen it, do check it out. The video is produced and puppeteered by Ritter's drummer, Liam Hurley.