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Aswan

Aswan Travel Blog

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Unfinished obelisk

On our last day of the cruise, we had the opportunity to check out the sites of Aswan.  The first site we were able to see was an unfinished obelisk in one of the quarries of Aswan.  This obelisk, started thousands of years ago, was unfinished because of a crack that appeared in the monument while it was still in the ground.  Since obelisks were created to link the people with the gods, a crack was unacceptable!  Fortunately for researchers, this obelisk allowed us to understand how those tall, thin structures were created.  It involved an erosion process using water.  It would then take 70 people to lift it out of the ground.

Our next trip was this infamous Aswan High Dam that we had already heard so much about.

Philae Temple
  The dam was built in the 1970's to provide electricity to the people of southern Egypt.  Well, the dam did it's job but the price was flooding southern Egypt and burying some ancient ruins.  The money for the project came from the Soviet Union at the time.

Next, we headed down to the river's edge and took a boat out to Philae Temple.  This temple was one that was buried by the flooding of the Nile River.  After the dam was built, it was decided to dig the temple up and move it to dry land.  It now sits on an island in the river.  We took a motorized boat out to the island and spent some time at the temple.  This temple is dedicated to the god Osiris, the god of the underworld.  Legend goes that he was killed and his heart was found on this island.

Taking it easy on the felucca
  He was brought back to life there as the god of the underworld.

After that, we took a felucca boat ride out on the Nile River.  We circled Elephantine Island, one of the many islands the river creates in the Aswan area.  These boats are not motorized, and when you are sailing against the wind, the boat zig zags back and forth to keep it moving in the right direction.  Once the wind is in your favor, it's nice, smooth sailing!  We were able to see some neat sites from the felucca, such as the botanical garden.  We also saw an old mausoleum and the hotel Agatha Christie stayed at when she wrote Death on the Nile.

After the felucca ride, we had lunch on a restaurant on one of the islands.  After lunch, we sailed to the botanical garden (which encompasses a whole island in the river) and spent some time walking around there.  After that, we had to head to the train station - we had to catch our 6:00 PM train back to Cairo.  This was another overnight train that would put us back in Cairo in the morning.  We said goodbye to our guide, boarded the train, and headed back.

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Unfinished obelisk
Unfinished obelisk
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
Taking it easy on the felucca
Taking it easy on the felucca
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
On the Botanical Garden Island
On the Botanical Garden Island
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
Site where the Philae Temple once …
Site where the Philae Temple once…
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
Philae Temple - Napoleon stopped b…
Philae Temple - Napoleon stopped …
Our tour guide, Shenoda
Our tour guide, Shenoda
Botanical Garden island
Botanical Garden island
Mausoleum we saw while sailing aro…
Mausoleum we saw while sailing ar…
Hotel Agatha Christie stayed at
Hotel Agatha Christie stayed at
Im on a felucca, which is that bo…
I'm on a felucca, which is that b…
Our cruise ship taken from a feluc…
Our cruise ship taken from a felu…
High Dam
High Dam
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
Philae Temple
Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Aswan
photo by: Vikram