Monday, July 11, 2011

aswan, egypt:

After catching the overnight train from Cairo, we arrived in Aswan, a gorgeous city on the Nile in southern Egypt. It was extremely hot - around 42 degrees celsius - but was dry and slightly bearable.
Aswan is the gateway to Abu Simbel, a temple built for Rameses II, which is about three hours drive south, near the Sudanese border. To visit Abu Simbel, you have to travel in a convoy that leaves at 4am in the morning. Although this sounds early, it definitely helps in beating the heat! Abu Simbel is amazing, not only on the outside, but more impressively on the inside. Here, hieroglyphs and incredibly detailed art depict Rameses' life. Unfortunately, again, no photos are allowed inside, with security watching everyone like a hawk. But trust me, it is amazingly beautiful and it is at this point that you realise the Pyramids are only the tip of the ice berg!
Aswan is also home to the Nubians, who populate southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. We had the honour of being able to visit some Nubian villages where we experienced the most genuine of hospitality. The villages look so incredible, with earthy dwellings painted bright blue, contrasting with the red sand. This was a real highlight of our time in Nubia and in Egypt as a whole.

Next: our felucca trip on the Nile

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