Friday, February 18, 2011


TODAY: Aswan is Egypt's premier inter resorts offering a delightful, natural beauty, a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere with a warm and dry climate. Lying 560 miles south of Cairo, this area has suffered very little consequence from the recent political upheaval in Cairo…with the exception that because Tourists have been advised to avoid traveling in Arabic countries…the thousands of people who are employed by and/or work in shops, that are mainly supported by the visiting tourists are out of work. Aswan today is the third largest town in Egypt and the biggest one in Upper Egypt, It is also one of the most popular cities to visit along with Cairo and Luxor.

According to news reports, they expect the tourists to arrive starting in March barring any future problems.

Thursday, November 24th, 2005 Aswan

Up early to enjoy the wonderful views of the Nile River from our rooms in our new hotel in Aswan. We were in the bus by 9 am and headed for the motorboats on the Nile River that would take us to visit the Philae Temple of Isis. The entire temple was moved to a higher island after the Aswan Dam caused it to be buried under water for six months every year. It took an international rescue operation eight years to relocate the Temple. After viewing the Temple we returned by motor boat to our bus and proceeded to cross the Old Dam built by the British and then drove to the newer Aswan High Dam that not only changed the agricultural rhythms of Egypt by preventing the devastating Nile floods but also created Nasser Lake and a whole new way of life for not only Egypt but the entire northern part of the African Continent.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the Papyrus Institute for a lesson in how the Egyptian's created paper and then an opportunity to purchase some beautiful painting done on papyrus. They do provide many opportunities to leave some dollars in Egypt! By the way, they love American Dollars as long as they are crisp and new! We made trips to several different banks (all were low because they'd not ordered their new bills for the holidays) to gather ones, fives and tens. We'd been told not to bring large bills as they don't like to give change!

For lunch we boarded our motorboats again for a trip on the Nile to a river side open-air restaurant. On the way we were entertaining by young boys, probably about ten years old, singing while they paddled with pieces of cardboard in very small boats along side of our boat. Looking for tips!

Back to the hotel for a few free hours and I finally found the Internet Access Room in the business center! Six days since I'd touched a live keyboard! WOW....that's when I finally got out a very short email to family and friends and spent most of my time cleaning out the junk mail. Sure was nice to open mail from people we knew!

About 6 pm we boarded the bus for a trip downtown to the Spice Market. Jim bargained for two shirts and we all purchased white scarves for our heads on the camel ride tomorrow. We saw them using a flat iron in the laundry, baking pieta bread in open ovens, huge barrels of spices and many different varieties of olives and dates. The blue spice for making their clothes so white was sold right along side of the cooking spices. Eventually our guide turned us free and only one person got totally lost; but found the bus and then us!

Dinner tonight was a surprise...since it was Thanksgiving Day in USA, the guides persuaded the hotel to cook us a turkey dinner! It was a very nice way to end our first day in Aswan.

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