Salam and welcome to Aswan! 😀
While in Aswan, our group stayed at the Helnan Hotel.The rooms were quite comfy, yet the WiFi strength was almost non-existent. We were also up too early to have their breakfast buffet, so instead we received these packaged meals.I’ve never heard of chips for breakfast, and the sandwiches were quite processed, but at least they made for good treats to feed the precious street dogs. 😛
Aswan is Egypt’s southernmost city, and prospered for many years along the caravan route, as a gateway into Africa. Like Cairo and Giza, it is also situated along the Nile River. Highlights of Aswan include a massive High Dam, which provides irrigation and electricity to the whole country. Likewise, although the temples in Aswan are not necessarily a highlight, one of Egypt’s most beautiful temples is just a short 3.5 hour-drive away. 😀
Abu Simbel Temple
These two massive rock temples were carved into a solid rock cliff, and overlook Lake Nasser, on the border of Sudan.The greater temple honors Ramses II, and is known as one of the most beautiful in Egypt. The lesser temple honors Hathor, the goddess of love, joy, and motherhood Fun fact: the temple was relocated by UNESCO in 1959, to save it from rising sea levels.Cost: As an optional activity, it cost 60 USD. This include the 7-hour round-trip transportation, entrance fees, and guide.
Felucca Sailing on the Nile
We also spent two days in Aswan, cruising in a Felucca Sailboat along the Nile.Our tour group of 30 was split up between three boats, and the people on my boat got on real well. There was a couple from New Zealand who work in animation on movies like Lord of the Rings and Avatar. There was also an Australian who had recently spent 5 months traveling across East Africa, doing the same trip I would be doing starting next month. It was nice to ask her questions about the trip and start reading her book, Love, Life, and Elephants.We all slept on the deck of the boat, which was covered in a mattress and bed sheet. The outer deck was wrapped in sheets and even decorated with Christmas lights, like an adult-sized fort. So much fun! 😀The crew also prepared our meals while on the Felucca. Our first day we dined on falafel, kofta meatballs, and whole wheat
pita, a specialty in Egypt. On day two we dined on eggs, stewed broad beans and coffee for breakfast, then later a smorgasbord of Middle Eastern dips. They had spicy eggplant dip, tuna with onions, cucumber/tomato salad, and whipped potatoes.One of my favorite things was a spicy tomato and potato soup.As for the other boats, they were full of extroverted Aussies who enjoyed the cheap drinks, and sure knew how to have a good time. 😀 We spent one full day sailing up the Nile, enjoying beers, beach swims, and worrying very little about anything, other than working on our tan.The biggest concern was that there were no toilets on the boat, so all of us had to find natural toilets when we stopped at shore. 😮
Anyway, in the evenings, we would all gather together on the beach for a bonfire before cuddling up in our warm blankets and sleeping on the sea.We awoke in the morning to cows mooing in the nearby field, and horses galloping on the shore.
Anyway, at this point, we had seen so many historic sites, and we’d made our way up and down the length of the country, with over 9-hours of driving each day. Needless to say, we were all ready to settle in one place and enjoy a little beach vaca. 🙂For this we headed toward the coast, to Dahab, where we’ll be enjoying Red Sea views, and hopefully some spectacular diving as well. Stay tuned to hear all about it. Until then. 🙂