Aswan Travel Blog› entry 66 of 81 › view all entries
Soon after sunrise we joined a frenzied line forming at the front of our boat. For two hours we pushed and shoved only to find the officials handing each passenger so-called anti-cholera pills. After producing our yellow vaccination records we were waved back to our enclave on the deck. Chaos and confusion reigned and we began to worry about our passports which they still held from yesterday. It was noon when the flotilla was repositioned to the dock area and we were able to step ashore. We raced to the warehouse-like customs building to claim our stamped passports. We were finally in Egypt.
After being cooped up on the train and boat for five days the five of us were thrilled to walk our way into a new and civilized world.
Aswan had a population of 80,000 and was the southernmost city in Egypt, located below the Aswan and High Dams. The High Dam was completed in 1970 and was one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. At 2.3 miles long and rising 364 feet above the riverbed, it remains one of the largest dams in the world. Below the dam, the tamed Nile was lined with date palms and sycamore trees. Luxurious steamers, yachts, and feluccas (dhows) stirred its waters while hundreds of tourists from all over the world strolled its banks. We settled into a couple of rooms at the youth hostel.