Okay, I figured it was about time I shared another story about our trip to Egypt last year. I can't believe it's been over a year and I still haven't finished my album! It's good that life keeps me busy, I suppose, but this is the longest it's ever taken me to finish an overseas vacation album!
The evening of our Galabea Party, we docked in Aswan, which was the southernmost part of our cruise. The differences between Aswan and Cairo (as well as most of the rest of our trip) were striking. The stall owners were less agressive, things seemed less hectic in general, and it was a wee bit warmer (okay, a lot bit warmer). Goods were cheaper, and there were items for sale here that you didn't see in the north like woven baskets and camel bone jewelry. Most of my favorite parts of the trip took place in and around this city.
We started our first day in Aswan with a boat ride to the island temple of Philae:
It was a beautiful spot in the middle of the lake, with pretty plants and flowers on the edges of the island. The temple, on the other hand, looked pretty much like most of the other temples we had seen on the trip. The novelty was starting to wear off. Just a little. Turns out, this temple, well, really, the entire island, had been transplanted when the dam was built to save it from being completely flooded. It's kind of weird to be someplace that's so old, looks so old, but really, hasn't been in its current location for even a full century.
Aswan is situated on Lake Nasser, and much of our time in Aswan was centered on the lake. I'll post more about our other trips on the lake in another post, but here's a layout I did trying to catch some of the color that I think of when I remember the lake:
Once we returned from Philae to the mainland, we boarded our bus and headed to the Aswan High Dam. We stopped for just a few moments to walk around on the top of the dam and take a few photos. The lotus style monument you see is a gift from the Russians in honor of the workers who built the dam.
From there, we walked through the Aswan rock quarry and took a look at the giant unfinished obelisk, still stuck in the ground after all these centuries. It would have been huge, but it cracked before they finished their work. The small picture of what looks like a little city is actually a cemetery. They built these little miniature homes for their dead, and will come out to their relatives' tombs to have picnics with their dead family. Quite different from what I'm used to back here at home!
I also made a layout to memorialize our tour guide, Mohammed. He was a true fount of knowledge, although there were times when I suspected he made a few things up. He definitely made the trip as wonderful as it could be. I never felt like he was rushing us, he was funny, and he was an excellent source of medicine for tummy troubles! Alton and I still quote him from time to time, our favorite phrase being "yummy shrimps" something Mohammed talked about repeatedly during our time in Cairo.