Blogs from Aswan, Upper Egypt, Egypt, Africa

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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan March 10th 2014

14 December, 2012 Waving goodbye to Sudan, we headed off into the Egyptian dark. Originally the agreed plan had been to stop at Abu Simbel, only 20km or so from the border but the Egyptians now had other ideas and wanted us to continue all the way to Aswan. Feeling terrible for Suse and Nat up the front, the three of us in the back rugged up in sleeping bags and blankets and dozed, only sitting up when we arrived in the town. It was almost 1am and Suse was exhausted, having been unable to convince the police that she was too tired to continue. We parked near a train station on the outskirts of town and Suse slept in the front while the four of us spread out in the back and fought with mosquitos ... read more
Felucca with friends, Aswan
Hieroglyphs, Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan October 23rd 2013

After the week-long emotional high of Libya, we were soon brought back to earth by the worst place on earth: the Egyptian border offices at Salloum. Suspicion, arrogance, repeated searches, requests for "tips", and endless bureaucracy was the theme of the day. We were ushered into the dark, grime-smeared corridors of a rotting building to get our passports stamped. Shifty characters loitered about, eyeing us up with what seemed to be a mixture of curiosity and resentment. Finally we were issued through to a dark room with a large desk where three uniformed guys sat. We were introduced to "The General" who with incongruous politeness informed us that we would need to purchase our visa on exit from the country and then waved us away. I had organised a fixer to travel from Cairo to sort ... read more
Near Tahrir Square
Giza

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan » Nubia June 24th 2013

Day 43 – Aswan The bus wasn’t comfy but I managed to get some broken sleep in there. Mon and I had the most ridiculous sleeping positions to try and get comfortable. Legs in the air, half off the seat etc. We woke up early and had a pre-packed breakfast ready for us as the bus still had a few hours to go before we reached our destination. We got juice, croissants, cheese and surprisingly a boiled egg. Haha! We didn’t eat ours but drew faces on the eggs to amuse ourselves for a few minutes. Once we arrived we had a quick peek in our cabin on the boat…. very nice and headed to Philae Temple. It took a bus and boat to get us there and we had a local guide called ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan April 15th 2013

Well we were out to it almost all night thanks to good earplugs and sleeping tablet each. We were so tired and the sleeper train beds were actually pretty comfy considering what we were expecting from the look of the outside of the train. After eating dinner they came in and converted our cabin to bunks. I feel asleep as you have just read while Ben was writing the blog and then settled in when he woke me up to get ready for bed! I only woke once at 6am to go to the loo which was on sonstant flush stuck somehow and the whole cubicle was flooded which was a lovely experience! Then back to bed and I faintly heard a knock on our door while I was dozing at 8am but ignored it which ... read more
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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan April 6th 2013

Our sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan was interesting. Apparently its mostly tourists that take it as it is too expensive for most Egyptians to travel on. It wasn´t the nicest train ever, but it wasn´t the worst either. I´d say the train I took in Thailand was much less comfortable. We had our own cabins with two bunks in each with a little sink and mirror. A mostly functioning toilet at the end of the car. It provided the necessities with a degree of privacy for everyone. I think the biggest drawback was that it was noisy. Everything rattled. Once you got over the noise though, it was alright. The bunks were surprisingly comfortable. When we arrived, we didn´t even miss a beat and headed over to check out Philae temple. We took a little ... read more
Sorting it out on the train
Heiroglyphs in Philae Temple

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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan January 23rd 2013

Ahmed joined us again this morning when we met Hussein to arrange the transfer of our luggage to the Mövenpick Hotel on Elephantine Island and advise us that our Cairo hotel has been changed from the Hilton in the city to Le Meridien Pyramids out at Giza. Even before we left Australia we thought that this could happen because the Hilton is very close to Tahrir Square. After seeing just how close the Hilton was to the buildings that were damaged in the revolution of 25 January 2011 when we visited the Egyptian Museum, we thought it even more likely that we might be relocated to the hotel at Giza when we returned to Cairo. Of course our return to Cairo coincides exactly with the second anniversary of the uprising against President Mubarak. With our bags ... read more
Temple of Isis Philae Island
Temple of Isis Philae Island 2
Temple of Isis Philae Island 3

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan November 13th 2012

We awake around 9.30 in the morning. It has been such an amazing sleep. The best I've slept in such a long time. The farmers have been by this morning because now there is a donkey and its baby on the grass where we are docked. I try a couple of times to pat the donkey but they don't really like us getting close. Right toilet time, the thing we dread the most. It involves grabbing some TP paper, heading off the boat and popping a squat behind a bush. It's not glamourious but that's the only down side to the felucca. We have our breakfast which is delicious. Then we sail off. It's beautiful and calming. We dock at a beach for lunch. There are 3 children on the beach with a donkey and a ... read more
Scarabs!
Music and Bonfire Madness
The Haka

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan November 12th 2012

The sleeper train was fun, very bumpy I am woken in the morning by a man bringing breakfast to my door. As we are waiting to arrive I spend a little bit of time looking out the window. The Contiki guide tells us about the Nubian houses. They are like a box without a lid. Their lids are leaves. They are designed this way to keep them cool in the summer which can sometimes reach 50 degrees. People out here sometimes die just because of the heat. When people die here they are buried and a rock is put where they have died. No headstone saying who they are or whatever. Just a rock. We arrive in Aswan at 10.30am. I hop off the train and am greeted by another Mohamed who takes me to the ... read more
The High Dam
Dayna - Isis
Philea Temple Egypt

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan October 28th 2012

Nile Cruise: Sunday, October 21 Wake up call at 6 am for an enormous buffet breakfast and the trip to the Valley of the Kings. We went into tombs 2, 6 and 11. Impressive to be in the tombs and there were some areas that still had vivid colours from almost 5000 years ago. It’s hard to believe they weren’t painted in the last 100 years. I wonder how much of our present culture would withstand 5 millenium of wars, tomb raiders and environmental deterioration. Next stop was the Temple of Hatshepsut that was cut into the mountain with impressive columns facing the west, the Madinet Habu Temple and the Colossi of Memnon. All of these also have great photos from the hot air balloon ride from yesterday. Back to the ship ... read more
it's grass or desert - no in between
locals posing
how to see the Nile

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan October 18th 2012

October 18, 19, 20, and 21st. Thursday 18th - Nile Cruise ending in Aswan We arrive at Aswan and I am up early as we sail in under the Aswan bridge. We have a busy morning visiting the High Dam, Ancient unfinished obelisk site and then a boatride on the Nile over to the Temple of Philae. This entire temple had been moved off an island in the 1970s and took 5 years to move. Difficult to comprehend. 51 countries assisted in the move. We opt out on any afternoon tours that are extra as we are toured out so to speak and want to spend the afternoon on the boat. We are getting ready to head back to Cairo the next morning. Sian had a spa treatment that ended with a covering of mud up ... read more
Temple of Philae (14)
Fishermen on the Nile River
Temple of Philae (28)




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