A wonderful stay at the Old Catarat in Aswan

June 9th 2022
Published: June 25th 2022
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Next stop is all about enjoy one of those special places in Egypt. I'm already running pretty late on my blogging. Back at home in South Africa is actually a pretty busy and nice time!

The train ride from Cairo was a pretty smooth and clean one. Our carriage was full of foreigners, but most of them left in Luxor around 6am. We made it on time to Aswan around 9.30am.

This is my third visit o Aswan. I actually stay at the Old Catarat, back in February 2000. Next was a short hop between Marsa Alam to Abu Simbel around 7-8 years ago. So here we are, short taxi ride to the Old Catarat. It used to be a Sofitel, but since a full renovation that took three years from 2008 till 2011, it is now one of the 5 Sofitel Legend in the world. The hotel is mythic. It has been on the top of many celebrities for nearly 150 years. If they are royalties, they have stay here!

On my last visit, I was in a room with a view of the garden. The room could have done with some solid upgrade at the time, but the place was magic. This time...well, we are just staying in the third best suite of the hotel! I call the Opera suite. Best two are the Agatha Christie and the Winston Churchill ones. Both are marketed at about 7k usd. We actually visited both, not really worth the price as usual. Our's is just a little smaller...but actually way cutter! Wouldn't happen in the middle of the winter...but I'm slightly well organized, and the deal was ours. Imagine, my bill is less than a basic Ibis in Paris on the same date. Slightly insane to even try to compare both places!

We did visit super early the unfinished Obelix. I didn't do it last time....ok, was worth the 15 minutes visit. We also spent a good two hours at Philae Temple. Sadly they only open at 9am...easy 40 degrees already at the time. Found a deal with a local guide to get us on the boat without the usual rip-off.

Philae temple is simply gorgeous. It's one of those places that had to be fully "deconstructed" as a lego to be rebuilt on higher ground once they built the new dam on the Nile. Place is spectacular...and full of Spaniards. I guess they must nearly feel at home with this heat!

We didn't do Abu Simbel this time. I did it few years ago. Special place, but you only want to do it flying with this heat.

I have to admit, the idea of this trip is to enjoy amazing rooms in amazing hotels....and we are just doing this perfectly well in Aswan. We had two lunchs and one dinner here. They could improve their offer of local food...but still a gorgeous place!

Enjoy the pictures. Next, we are on the first class train to Luxor. These trains are all old fashioned European ones. They are clean, and for the first class seat, super cheap for the three hours ride...one more time...it was on time!

Next, Luxor...more amazing pictures!

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