Jan/25 Breakfast on board train, Upon arrival at Aswan Station you will meet with our local representative to transfer you to your hotel for check in and freshen up. Later meeting with your Egyptologist tour guide at the lobby to start your tour visiting the Philae Temple, the High Dam, and the Granite Quarries. Return back to your hotel for overnight.
Jan/26 Day/05 Breakfast at hotel. Meeting with your tour manager to transfer you to Abu Simbel by private air conditioned Van. Upon arrival Abu Simbel, you will be transferred to visit the Great Temple of Ramses the 2nd one of the greatest and most whimsical kings of Egypt the temple is dedicated in theory to the gods Amon-Ra, Harmakis and Ptah, the temple was carved in and stone rock cliff with the four colossal seated statues of the King in front of the entrance, each statue is 20 meters high and measures 4 meters from ear to ear, taking a closer look you will realize that each statue present the king Ramses in different ages of his life starting from youth age till he became a mature King, the temple wall decorations celebrate the military grandeur of the king, continue your tour visit the temple of Nefertari the King’s beloved wife. Both temples were threatened by the increasing level of the Nile upon the completion of the Aswan High Dam and have been preserved in the 60’s by international action organized by UNESCO. All parts of the temple have been moved and rebuilt on a plateau above the former site, the temple is considered a miracle of the ancient and modern history. Return to Abu-Simbel a hewn in rock with the four colossal seated statues of the king in front of the entrance. It was dedicated to Amun-Ra, the Horrakhti and Ramses II. After visiting the Temple you will be transferred again to Aswan to your Deluxe Nile Cruise ship embarkation. Lunch on board. Sail on the Nile by felucca around Elephantine Island, Botanical Gardens and Agha Khan Mausoleum. Afternoon tea. Dinner on board & Nubian folkloric show. Overnight in Aswan.
After we got off of the disgusting train, we were finally in Aswan. Aswan was beautiful. Our hotel was right by the Nile and the weather was great. When we arrived at our hotel, we were crushed to discover that our rooms wouldn’t be ready until 1pm. We were expected to head out and start our tour in about half an hour. We drank some tea and freshened up in the bathroom. Our guide was a woman this time, which was different, because all of our previous guides had been men. Our first stop was the Philae Temple. I think that this was my favorite temple, but they’ve sadly all blurred in my head by now. After the temple we went back to our hotel to rest, and then back out to go on a felucca ride! The felucca ride was a lot of fun. The temple was as usual, beautiful, and surrounded with paper flowers (that’s the name of the flowers, they weren’t actually made out of paper.) These are my new favourite flowers. They smell like fruit! If I could grow them in Canada I would.
We stopped at McDonalds on the Nile for lunch, and had the McArriba, which was chicken or beef in a flatbread. I love how McDonalds adapts around the world for different nations. Then we went back on the felucca, for an extra $25 US a person (a lot compared to everything else!) and visited the Nubian village. The village was ok. It was weird to see. It was a mix of shops and stalls selling things to tourists, and a decrepit village. For some reason, people here ( and this trend continued throughout Egypt) were fascinated by my felt tipped pens, and kept asking if they could have some. I gave some away, but needed them to draw with! We had dinner at a local restaurant that was floating on a barge on the Nile. Pretty!
The next day, we had to get up at the ungodly hour of 3am to join a convoy. All of the tour buses and vans were going to travel in an armed convoy to go to Abu Simbel, because it is in the middle of the dessert and not safe to go alone. It took us 3 hours to get there. I mostly slept. When we arrived there, it was breathtaking. Ramses II was pretty conceited, he had tons of statues of himself, but he built a temple for Nefertari, which I guess redeems him?
There was an interesting hieroglyphic in there, of a horse depicting movement. It is believed to be one of the first forms of animation in the world. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the temple (so UNESCO could make money selling postcards, I think.)
We drove back to Aswan, where to embarked onto our cruise ship. We had to walk through 5 ships to get to our ship, and we didn’t even SEE the outside of our ship until the 3rd day. The ship was really relaxing, and the food was delicious.
PS: If you are reading this…comment!