We intended, of course, to go up the Nile; and had any one ventured to inquire in so many words what brought us to Egypt, we should have replied: – "Stress of weather."
For in simple truth we had drifted hither by accident, with no excuse of health, or business, or any serious object whatever; and had just taken refuge in Egypt as one might turn aside into the Burlington Arcade or the Passage des Panoramas – to get out of the rain.
And with good reason. Having left home early in September for a few weeks' sketching in central France, we had been pursued by the wettest of wet weather. Washed out of the hill-country, we fared no better in the plains. At Nismes, it poured for a month without stopping. Debating at last whether it were better to take our wet umbrellas back at once to England, or push on farther still in search of sunshine, the talk fell upon Algiers – Malta – Cairo; and Cairo carried it. Never was distant expedition entered upon with less premeditation.
Amelia B. Edwards
Cairo, Egypt, 1873
Source: Amelia B. Edwards, A Thousand Miles up the Nile, London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1891