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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Aswan, Egypt

Dec 15, 2010 - Aswan

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Aswan is an ancient market town, situated on the north side of the First Cataract. The name is derived from the Arab word for market ‘As-Suan’. The cataract, and the town once marked the southern-most frontier of this ancient land. It later became a strategic military outpost for campaigns against the Nubians and much of the granite used in the Pharaonic sculptures were excavated from Aswan’s quarries. Aswan’s earliest settlement was established on a large island in the Nile, just below the First Cataract. The island came...

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Dec 9, 2010 - Aswan

Aswan is Egypt's southern most city. It is a beautiful, relaxing city in Upper Egypt accented with rose-colored igneous type rock strewn across the banks of the Nile. As the sun sets, the river is dotted with beautiful feluccas, sails gracefully swaying in the warm breezes of the Nile. There is definately a hint of Africa in its people, warm and friendly, with a distinctly different dialect and look of Nubian rather than Arab. Aswan is gateway to Lake Nasser, the vast reservoir that stretches about 300 miles behind the High Dam, south into...

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Trip Journal


Egypt & Jordan, 2010

Nov 4, 2010 - Aswan

After an eventful night on the overnight train, we rumbled into Aswan early yesterday. I LOVED the train - I will try to get some pictures up - it was exactly like the train I went on as a child with my grandparents out from Rockhampton to Mt Isa. The tiny carriage had three seats during the day, and converted to two beds at night (although I remember sleeping on the luggage racks, but I was about 10 at the time! . It was lovely to fall asleep just outside Cairo and to wake up around Luxor and see the hot air balloons drifting across the...

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Unexpected Egypt

Oct 22, 2010 - Oct 22 - Back in Cairo after Aswan and Luxor

Back in internet land so time to update this diary! On Sunday we left Cairo on the overnight train to Aswan. The train was very comfortable, air conditioned with meals served in our compartment - only two people to a compartment and the beds were very comfy. We slept like logs and woke up the next morning in Aswan. After settling into our hotel we were off again on a boat on the Nile, firstly to pick up our elderly Nubian guide, Mr Hamdi, who talked about the history of Elephantine Island (Aswan's earliest settlement over 5,000 years old),...

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Oct 13, 2010 - Cruising on the Nile

This morning we checked out of our hotel to start our cruise on the nile on a local Felucca Boat. This is a small sail boat with a flat deck (which we would all be sleeping on overnight). This was a great day to just relax in the sun and enjoy the beautiful Nile with a few beers and lots of chatting between us all. The local crew cooked meals for us onboard while we enjoyed the sun. As evening fell we pulled into a bank to make camp, where we erected our toilet which consisted of a hole in the ground, a seat, and some cloth walls....

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Oct 11, 2010 - Aswan

We arrive early in the morning following our night train adventure beside the Nile. Was not too bad and most of us slept quite well. Though the toilets were starting to get a little stinky. Once off the train we were taken to our hotel where we managed to get an early check-in and freshen up before planning our day. Six of us decided to head to the Philae Temple for some sight-seeing. So we caught a taxi from the hotel and then a boat across the Nasser Dam to the island that Philae resides on. It did not originally reside here but had to...

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Oct 7, 2010 - Aswan

Up at 0430 to be taken to the Temple of Ramses II and Neferteri relocated higher than original position on what is now the lakeside of Lake Nasser, in 1964. Apart from admiring the actual feat of making the temple in the side on a rock so that it gets the sun at exactly the right angle twice a year to illuminate the holy of holies, and being astounded by the mathematical and astrological equations that have had to be done to achieve this; the engineering feat required to move the entire temple from being drowned by the dam is staggering and...

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Sep 15, 2010 - On the banks of the River Nile

Sleeping trains are like sleepovers for teenagers....not much sleep happening. It is like tring to sleep on a trampoline where a lot of people are jumping and each one has been assigned a special noise as well (banging door, screeching brakes etc...). Chalk it up to an experience anyway. We arrived in Aswan in the mid-morning. After the usual fight with the taxi driver for a fair price, we got to our hotel. For $30.00 Can. we get a small room with private bathroom, two single beds, AC, huge fan and fridge. Also, good breakfast (even...

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Jul 8, 2010 - Abu Simbil and Beyond

Up at 2:45 AM in the morning and meet at 3:15 to board the bus. Dark. Get to assembly point (military escort for all traffic to Abu Simbil) but miss the first batch - sit around until 4:30 then off. Desert. Lots of desert. Sand and rocks and shale and small hills... Some developments and saw part of a massive project to take water from Lake Nassar and irrigate the eastern Saraha. First attempt failed. This time they're lining the ramp with concrete. Get to Abu Simbil about 8:30 and listen to a lecture about it's origins and movement. Temple...

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Egypt in the Summer

Jul 7, 2010 - Alice gets a Tattoo

The Sleeper car was comfortable and we had no trouble falling asleep. I woke up around 7:00 AM and watched the countryside slip by. Small fields, lots of hand labor, irrigation pumps, animals... A continental breakfast then we arrived at Aswan. At 9:00 AM already very hot. Got to our hotel and made plans for the day. Alice took a dip and I tried to get a connection to the internet. Worked for about five minutes... About 11:00 we met up and went for a sail on the Nile in a falluka, a lanteen sailed ship with two young men as crew and an...

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Egypt in the Summer

Jun 4, 2010 - Abu Simbel

Our wake up call at 3.30. 4am and we are in the bus, our destination Abu Simbel (3 hours away). All buses and vehicles have to travel in a convoy to this site. Kimo says this is probably unnecessary as there have not been security issues for years. He says most of the security for tourist sites has been lessened over the years but this particular destination is quite a money-spinner for the government, as the tour companies have to pay highly to be part of the convoy. This magnificent temple was shifted about 150 metres to avoid being...

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Jun 3, 2010 - And finally to Aswan

We awake to find that we are in Aswan. After breakfast we decamp to our hotel. We meet Kimo who takes us to the markets and a very small upstairs café to sample the Koshary. A local meal made up of a variety of small pasta, rice, chickpeas and lentals – to which we add a tomato and onion sauce and chilli or garlic oils. Quite tasty and only cost a couple of Egyptian pounds. Kimo is always taking us for local meals or treats – usually something basic or very cheap, but always tasty. Afterwards David leaves with Russell and Fred to visit the...

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