After a grueling 14-hour butt-numbing overnight train ride from Cairo, finally, we arrived in Aswan. We were picked up from the train station and were brought to our “home” for the next few days, M/S La Boheme. Aswan is our starting point to our cruise along the Nile River. Although we were very overwhelmed of the idea of doing this cruise thing, we were a bit disappointed after learning that we were actually upgraded to a five-star suite had we arrived earlier. Boo, sleeper train!!
Anyway, after a freshening up, we headed to our first destination: High Dam. This was built to control the devastating Nile floods. The dam’s construction made a lot of noise because (1) the nutrients that make the valley fertile throughout the old times will be retained in Lake Nasser, and (2) a lot of Nubian temples and monuments will drown from the flood. The second issue was raised by UNESCO, thus the relocation of a few ancient structures like the Abu Simbel Temple and the Temple of Philae.
We then hopped on a boat that brought us to an island, to which the Temple of Isis (now) stands.
This was my first encounter with a legit ancient Egyptian temple (not counting the pyramids here, they’re more of a mausoleum than a temple). The capitals, the hieroglyphs, the symbols of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, the works! Felt like I was in a Nat Geo documentary!
I love these gorgeous capital designs!
This Coptic cross vandals were evidences that the temple was used for Christian services.
The small yet beautiful Temple of Hathor stands in a few distance.
To better see what’s around, we hired a felucca, a traditional sailing boat, that cruised us along the river from which we had a quick glimpse of everything else Aswan.
We passed by a few interesting spots we’d like to check out if only we have extra time. There’s the Qubbet el-Hawwa, the Aswan Botanic Garden, among others.
After sunset, we didn’t call it a day yet. When we finished dinner, we returned to the Temple of Isis for a light and sounds show. It’s much different from the one we previously had in Cairo. Here, we were on a “walking tour” around the complex with the lights and sounds as our guide. It’s a good experience, not to mention a hair-raising-kind-of-there-might-be-a-ghost-over-there one.