Like kids in a candy store....
Aswan Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
Because my travel buddy and I only had time for a few days in Aswan last year, I was longing to go back. There is not much to 'do' there and, for most people, Aswan is merely a stopover on their way to the infamous Abu Simbel. But for me, Aswan possesses a welcome 'quiet' that speaks of times past. The Nile is at its most picturesque here, and my favorite pastime is getting on a felucca and just letting the wind and water carry me away.
This year, however, I decided to get a bit more out of my stay and visit a Nubian village to distribute pens, coloring books, crayons and candy to the local children. Unfortunately, there are no pictures from that adventure because it quickly went from "Where are all the kids? Don't be shy.
Then it was time to get back on the boat. WHY our felucca captain didn't keep a plank ON BOARD is beyond me. My friends looked around for a piece of wood up to the task, while I dropped my now empty bag over my neck and shoulders smiling exasperatingly at the Nubian captain who was teasingly waving at me going 'Y'alla!' (Let's go!) Umm yeah, no pressure whatsoever. Finally, when nothing suitable was found, the three men had to rig a kind of human pulley system. I managed to get my leg up onto the boat (heck, I was damn proud of that; it was a big boat!) then one of my friend had to push on my hips with enough force to hoist me up, while still trying to be respectful. The other pushed my shoulders and the felucca captain caught me on the landing.
Back to the Sara Hotel for a shower and a nap, while the guys went off to take care of some business and get me my Nubian music, then dinner at the Nubian House Restaurant for the 'meatball oven' I'd been fiending for since my last trip. What a disappointment! Was it the regular cook's day off?? Gone was the spicy Nubian kick that had put my sinuses to the test the year before. They were regular Ragu-like stuff. Ugh. Oh well, at least I had the view. I just soaked it in, sighing periodically while my friend kept the stray cats away.
Still later, some of the WORST belly dancing I've ever seen in my life. This, at Sara Hotel's entertainment tent. Just horrid, with singing to match but it was some of the most fun I've ever had, if only for the comedic aspect.
Walking along the Corniche at night was magical. Having a chai along the waterfront, the breeze off the Nile caressing my skin, was the perfect ending to a long, fun-filled day. I was a bit panicked because the restaurant seemed to 'rock' a little more than I liked, but I zoned out, only interjecting sporadically as the guys talked about how much more Aswan could be doing to market itself to tourists. My response - Aswan is NOT Luxor and that's exactly why I love it.