Today started with breakfast at the resort. It seems to take 4 or 5 Egyptians to fix a problem or investigate one. The toaster did not work and soon a crowd of service people were there to work on it. Later the Orange Juice went out and it was the same story. No problems and we checked out to wait for our escort and van. The people here is Aswan are competent, but not nearly as good as Sassa and staff in Cairo. No complaints, but just an observation. We arrived at the ship, checked in and then went for a short nap. First tour was at 10:00 am to the High Dam
and then temple of Philae. The dam was OK. We saw it yesterday on the long trip to Abul Simbel.
We had to board a ferry (small motor boat in not good shape) to carry us to the island where the temple of Philae is now located. It also was moved when the dam was built. Describing it as one temple is a misnomer since it is actually three. The first was built in the Old Kingdom. The second temple was built in the New Kingdom and finished in the Ptolemaic period. The last was built by Trajan in the Roman period. It is a shame that the Christians have destroyed a lot of the Egyptian monuments. They defaced them with chisels thinking that they were sacrilegious. What a shame. It is still impressive in size and workmanship. You can tell what columns were built by which group when you analyze the decoration of each.
I got to go down a little side passage at the insistence of a guard (friendly name Osama which he soon said not Bin Laden) to see how the Nile was right outside. In fact he showed me on the walls the marks of the Christians, Egyptians and Romans. He also talked (in broken English) about the flooding and how high the water went. He took my picture there. I took his showing him in front of the temple armed with an AK47. I tipped him Le1. I continued to photograph the temple and finished just as I was due back to the meeting area.
We boarded the ferry and returned to the bus. Today it was real full size bus not a van. However there were only 7 people with the guide. Kim and I and Robert (from NY) and an Indian family with a boy and girl were on the bus. They were gripping about the size of the tour. They thought they were entitled to a private guide. GEEZ. I think that a 1 to 7 ratio is great. After we went to the Temple, we stopped at another perfumery. This time we bought the six pack. I worked out a deal to get the aroma therapy glass camel at no charge instead of 4 fancy SMALL bottles. The six pack and camel were $100. It was less than we spent on the one bottle (albeit that bottle is bigger) in Cairo. It was a better deal. The first bottle is larger, but cost between $50 and $75. I can't find the receipt to give the exact number.
We returned to the ship and went for lunch. Culture shock, as there was nothing but Jell-O and bread for me to eat. I paid Le 4.50 for a cup of tea. No drinks at lunch are included, but the food is free. What a problem. You cannot bring in your own water or other drink. A big NO NO as we found out. I guess we will have to pay the Le5 for a 1.5 liter of water and share it at every meal. However, I will not back down on bringing the peanut butter and jelly. Simply there is not anything else that I like to eat. I am glad that I planned in advance. It is now time for a short nap and then another trip tonight.
For more information on the Temple of Philae