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.

Aswan High Dam

Aswan High Dam

Aswan High Dam

We then hopped on a boat that brought us to an island, to which the Temple of Isis (now) stands.

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

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!

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

I love these gorgeous capital designs!

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

This Coptic cross vandals were evidences that the temple was used for Christian services.

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

The small yet beautiful Temple of Hathor stands in a few distance.

Temple of Hathor, Philae

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.

Felucca ride along the Nile River

Felucca ride along the Nile River

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.

Qubbet el-Hawwa

Aswan Botanical Garden

Felucca ride along the Nile River

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.

Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)

Lights and Sounds Show at Temple of Isis (Philae Temple)