Day 9: Aswan!

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April 15th 2013
Published: April 17th 2013
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Our Royal suite on the cruise
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 was then followed by a louder knock at 8.15 with the man bringing our breakie! We were stoked. Good nights sleep all on a rickety old train! Unexpected goodness 😊 Breakie was ok. All white bread again and a croissant but enough to put some food in our bellies!

After a few hours spent getting our stuff together and writing a few blogs to catch up we heaved our packs on our backs and got escorted off the train and met another Expat tour guy who took us to his van and drove us to our nile cruise! It is amazing! Fresh face towels on arrival and a drink and so far it is looking like there is only the group of 10 of us on the whole ship! So we were upgraded to royal suites! We have a giant king size bed which looks even bigger than king and more staff here than people on the boat constantly wanting to help us. Unfortunately there isn't wifi which is a shame but we'll live 😊 We freshened up, had some buffet lunch which was another hot lunch! Seems they eat hot food all day, all year round! But it was yummy all the same! We then all met down in the lobby with the boys who had opted to take the seater train! I dont think much sleep was had and we were so thankful we had gone for our option!

First stop was The Unfinished Obelisk of Egypt AKA Egypt's unfinished pencil. It was a big granite quarry where they used to

Unfinished Obelisk
carve our stones for use in pyramids, temples and obelisks. They had obviously begun to make one back in the day and there was a giant carved out obelisk still in the ground. It was going to be the biggest in the world until an egyptian worker chipped away at it a bit too much and caused it to crack. You can see a few giant cracks through it and one in particular straight down the middle of it. So they were unable to finish it. I would have liked to have seen them try and transpot this giant monument in the making across the nile to its destination!

Next stop was the Aswan High Dam. Just so you aren't confused as to how I retained so much valuable information to tell you, Ben is sitting next to me regurgitating facts. Thanks Ben. Anyway, the high dam...when constructed it was the largest dam in the world and built in the cold war. They needed to get UNESCO's approval as in making this dam they would flood 12 temples – one of which we saw later today as it was relocated. By building this dam it stopped the annual nile floods in Egypt as they were able to control the level of water flowing through the country. It also now protects Egypt over the 1 in 70 year droughts that used to occur.

We then hopped on a lil motorboat and headed to the island that now homes the Philae Temple. We got told legends about the Egyptian gods and the feuds that persisted between two brothers which is evident in hyrogliphics all around the walls and posts of this temple. It was extemely impressive and amazing to think that they transported it all bit by bit from its orginal location before the dam flooded it.

Some of us had opted to go to a Nubian dinner so got taken back to shore and got on board another motorboat to take us out to what they now call Nubia as their original country got flooded when building the dam by Lake Nassea. They relocated to the other side of the dam and this is where we got taken for dinner. I was a lil disappointed by this exursion actually. I expected us to enjoy dinner with the Nubian family and learn a bit about their culture but instead

The high dam
we got welcomed into their home and taken into the eating area which also was home to their pet crocodile!! Which they feed fish and it STUNK! And they left us to it, bought us food then tea and then drove us back ashore. The food was nice – chicken, this thing which is a mixture of lamb and beef kinda like a sausage, a potato stew and rice. We loved the motorboat ride though as on the way there the sun was setting and it was just so calm and warm still so we took some cool pics. On the way back we lay on the top of the boat waiting to go and they tried for about 20 mins to get the motor going and we thought we were stranded in Nubia!! Finaly with a hiss and a roar it got going, we all clapped and we were on our way. We got back to the cruise boat about 10pm and went straight to bed as we have a 2.45am wake up call in the morning for our trip to Abu Simbel!!!

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The Philae Temple

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