Cruising the Nile: Aswan and caravan to Abu Simbel
Trip Start Dec 22, 2009
76Trip End Jun 22, 2010
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Where I stayed
After arriving at the Aswan train station I noticed it was "Hot! … damn Hot!" The temperature had risen at least 10 degrees C. (18 - 20 degrees) . Once we made our way to the platform a younger smiling Egyptian was standing at the station with a sign that read "Lara Kalman" Definitely closer than before! So we hoped into the car with Ali and made our way to the Nile Ruby cruise ship.
The Ruby was definitely more than we expected. The lobby had marble, lacquered furnishings and had been remodeled in the last year or so. To our satisfaction our room was really large and clean with a nice bathroom and views of the Nile.
After settling into our accommodation , we were called downstairs to meet with our guide Manny who would be showing us around Aswan. As before, Manny greeted us with a large crocodile smile and mildly limp shake as he welcomed us to Egypt. A couple of minutes later, we found ourselves at a ancient granite pit where the Egyptians had set out to construct the largest known obelisk of ancient times. Unfortunately cracks prevented its completion and it remained half completed. Pretty cool, but not jaw dropping.
Next it was off to the island temple of Philae. So far to date the only temple that I had seen was a fairly small structure near the Giza pyramids that was neat, but didn't impress me much. Once the car stopped we headed to the river bank and flagged down a motor boat for a ride out to the island in the middle of the Nile. Laura and I descended into the boat and were immediately captivated by the serenity of the river and the amazing natural rock formations. Arriving to Philae by boat was nothing short of amazing.
Back on the boat we were happy to find a well decked out buffet and some nice people that we would be sitting next to for the remainder of the trip: Lenka and her fiancÚ Torsten. Everybody was really kind and interesting. After dinner Laura and I worked out a little at the small flat bench they had next to the pool on the deck. No rest when you are traveling with the workout Nazi.
Waking up at 2:30 a.m. to leave at 3:00 sucks. Unfortunately that is what is necessary when you have to join a large military escorted caravan through the desert to make it to a Temple by sunrise.