Day 3 – Aswan

I slept like a rock and only woke up when I needed to. Then I went back to sleep for a while and when I woke up the next time I watched the countryside move past. Then it was breakfast which was disappointing after dinner. Breakfast was a roll, a croissant, a cheese croissant, and a piece of date cake, all served with some fig jam. I ate the cheese croissant and saved the rest for later to snack on.

We arrived at Aswan just after 10am. We walked 3 minutes to our hotel and were able to check in. Then we had time to rest until we met at noon to go to Philae Temple. It up to the room and made myself comfortable and had a shower. I tried the internet but it had a login and I decided to wait. I unpacked a bit to reorganize myself. Then I went down to the lobby to see about internet. 30LE a day, no thanks.

We took the bus to Philae temple. Along the way we stopped at an ATM for cash. It was going well until it ate Louise’s card. Then we waited while she called to cancel the card and all that. Then we stopped at a little store for water. After it was strait to the dock to get a boat to the temple.

Philae temple is one of 16 temples in Egypt that had to be moved after the construction of the High Dam in Aswan. The water rose higher than expected and threatened many temples. Philae was located on an island in behind the high dam. When it was relocated it was cut into 40 ,000 pieces, each given a number and mapped and then put back together in it’s new location 200m away on a higher island.

The temple is beautiful and had many famous Ancient Egyptian legends carved into the stone. The hieroglyphs are amazing. The temple was even used as a Christian Church during the time they were fleeing south from Roman controlled Alexandria. There are crosses carved in pillars of the temple over the original hieroglyphs. There are many places where New Christians tried to desecrate the images carved into the walls to remove the false gods. There are places where tourists from the 1800’s carved their name and date into places on the walls.

 

After we returned from Philae we had a bit of free time. I went up to the roof of the hotel to check out the condition of the rooftop pool. The water had a film of dust on top and sand at the bottom. It was not a nice pool to swim in. A better inspection of the hotel showed the elevator had no fourth wall and the wall was exposed on the outside of the building. There were lights with wires out and exposed power socket wires. Water dripped down wires onto the lobby floor. The entire hotel looked like it was under construction and should not be open to the public.

At 5 some people went to the shops that sold perfume oils. I stayed back at the hotel and uploaded my pictures to get some ready for upload when I get somewhere with internet. It was nice to be able to relax, even if it was in a construction zone. At 6:30 we met for dinner. We walked to a restaurant where we took up 4/5 of the space. One table ordered salad, rice, meat, and veggies. The other table, which I was at, ordered Lasagna.

After dinner we walked back through part of the market. We didn’t buy because we were coming back the next night. Instead we walked strait back to the hotel so we could go to bed because we had to be up 3am to catch the bus to Abu Simbel in the south of Egypt only 50km from the boarder of North Sudan.

I went to bed at 8pm and could hear what sounding like construction in the room below me. I lay in bed trying to sleep until about 10pm when I finally did go to sleep, construction still happening below me. What kind of hotel has guests and are drilling and hammering late into the night. It was a horrible experience.

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