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Visiting High dam and Temple of Philae in Aswan

After the breakfast, we started an hour long drive through the town of Aswan to see the temple of Philae.

 


Temple of Philae


Located in a small island in the reservoir of Aswan dam, this temple was built during the Ptolemic kingdom. Due to Nile floods, it was completely underwater for several years. With the help of Unesco, this temple was systematically dislocated and moved to a nearby island. Bonkers, right?

We took a short ferry boat to the island and had a great time exploring and seeing views of lake Nasser.

We tried to refrain from shopping during our trips to avoid bringing silly tchotchkes home, but finally broke down and bought a beautiful necklace.

Temple of Philae

Temple of Philae

 

Temple of Philae


Aswan high dam


With water being the lifeblood of Egypt, Aswan high dam was constructed in 1970s after the low dam, which was created in 1902, was no longer sufficient. This 364 foot high, nearly 2 mile long dam holds enough water to last all of Egypt over 5 years.

It was quite a challenge to build this dam not only because of the 1-billion-dollar price tag but also with the logistical challenges that it brought. Nearly ninety thousand Egyptian and Sudanese Nubian nomads had to be relocated and the ancient temple of Abu Simbel had to be moved to make way for this reservoir.

Next to peace monument with our new friends High Dam aswan
Next to peace monument with our new friends

It was quite fun to drive over the dam, which is highly regulated and patrolled by the Egyptian government. We had 10 minutes to admire the beautiful views on both sides of the dam before getting whisked away to our next stop.

Our last stop before heading back to the cruise was visiting the unfinished Obelisk. This is the quarry where the best candidates were identified. They were then precisely cut into long obelisks before getting transported to their final destination along the Nile.

We also learned about how the obelisks and columns were transported and vertically hoisted without any modern machinery.


Nubian Village excursion


In he evening, we had an optional tour to visit a Nubian family and experience a camel ride.

Some members of our group went on this excursion, but we decided to skip it and instead enjoyed a leisurely evening watching the sunset on the Nile.

We enjoyed the small pool and hot tub on the roof deck of the cruise. The sunset was beautiful and we had a great time during our last night on the Nile River.

Nile River cruise Sonseta St George

Nile River cruise Sonseta St George

 

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