Saturday, February 19, 2011


Friday, November 25th, 2005 Aswan and Lake Nasser

Our alarm clocks were set for 3:45 am this morning so that we could have breakfast and make it to the airport for our 6:30 am flight to Abu Simbel. This is one of the best known Temples and it was moved 200 feet up the cliffs from where it had originally been carved because of the rising water levels of Lake Nasser. From the airport we were bussed to the Temple site on the edge of Lake Nasser.

Here we explored the massive temples honoring Pharaoh Ramses II and Nefertiti, his queen, for about an hour and then it was time to trek back to the airport and fly back to Aswan arriving about noon. A brief glimpse of history; it was worth getting up before dawn to see this stunning ancient wonder.

Arriving back in Aswan we boarded our bus for a tour of Aswan ending high on the hill for lunch in an open-air Nubian Restaurant located high above the Nile. Nubian people are very dark skinned and tall. They are indigenous to the area and have remained true to their culture and even though the new Aswan Dam covered most of their original land they have sought out new land in the area to build their homes and small farms. The outdoor meals are wonderful but one has to learn to ignore the ever present flies.

The afternoon was free to visit the Old Cataract Hotel next door (we were staying at the New Cataract Hotel) and enjoy high tea in the British Style. This hotel is known for the rich and famous guests over the past century. Truly a magnificent opportunity to see how the other half lives!

After enjoying another fantastic sunset on the Nile; we boarded our motor boats again for a trip back to the Philae Temple for a Sound and Light Show. Several hundred people were aboard these boats all headed in the same direction....all with NO lights! The only lights were those from popping flashbulbs on cameras. Spooky! I don't remember such a dark night and they were speeding along just as fast as they do during the day! We all put on our life vests without being told!

The show was great...they told us a story as we moved in a huge group through the temple with the lights showing us the story as it was told. The show lasted a little over an hour and then back on the motorboats for another scary ride across a black river to our buses!

Dinner tonight was in a restaurant in downtown Aswan. What I remember most is the unusual type of napkins! They were Kleenex tissues. A box was right in the center of the table. After dinner, several (including Jim) went to the pharmacy next door to the restaurant to obtain medication for Pharaoh's Revenge....yes, the different types of food were affecting more than a few. The guides said not to even bother with the medications from doesn't work on our germs! So for a dollar a box; health was guaranteed for all! At least if you continued to take it day in and day out we found. Jim actually had a very mild case compared to some of our tour mates but it took several days to correct.

I hope you've enjoyed the photos of the Nile River yesterday and today….the sailboats you see are called Feluccas. The photos of the Feluccas and pool were taken from the small balcony in our room. I must admit the view from this room was the best of the trip….couldn’t stop taking photos.

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