Aswan... Now the Cruise...
Trip Start Oct 07, 2007
45Trip End Oct 31, 2007
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This morning, we got up early to drive to meet our cruise. On the way, we were able to visit the High Dam, and the monument built by the Soviets in recognition of their accomplishment.
There was a "guide" onsite who was more than happy to take our picture and point out some of the finer detail of the carvings. I think he got one of the biggest tips as we were completely out of small bills at this point.
The High Dam remains a fairly controversial project, as I assume most dams are (sponsors aside), since the rising waters hide so much valuable and inhabited land. In the Egyptians case, there were many ruins lost to the need for electricity. UNESCO brought the world together to fund a race against time in which they tried to save as many as possible, most of which we will visit a long the lake edge during our cruise. The most famous of course is Abu Simbel itself.
The security to get to the boat dock was interesting, and there was definitely some cash passed that seemed to speed up the process.
The first day on the boat, there was no actual cruising. We visited Kalabsha, by traveling in a little motor boat from the cruise and got a chance to check out the other English speaking cruisers. The crowd was certainly a little different than we had experienced earlier in the trip, I can only assume that its price tag makes it a little less of a "backpackers" activity, and more of a trip in itself. We didn't really talk to the other travelers at this point, most people kept to themselves.
Kalabsha-I don't really remember anything too extraordinary about it. We has seen a lot of temples at this point, and it didn't have anything too original, except of course for the fact that it was entirely reconstructed in its current site. The name comes from the origin of the site, not the temple itself. (After flipping back through the photos of this particular day, I realized that here is where we took a funny picture of Ben mimicking Ramses II, and it also had some really cool pillars with the God Hathor.)
Dinner was amazing-I had to warn Ben to take it easy on the rich food so that his stomach wouldn't get upset after having gotten use to the ten days of a slightly blander variety in the desert. It was nice to have a proper dessert though.