Egypt – Day Four

We got to sleep in today.

Around 8:00 am we went to see the unfinished 130 foot tall Obelisk that was carved out of a granite mountainside in Aswan and which was to be shipped to the Karnak Temple in Luxor. It is the world’s largest one-piece stone and it was abandoned because of a crack in the granite.

We then travelled to the Aswan High Dam, an engineering miracle that created the largest (over 300 miles long) man-made lake in the world. With help from the Russians this lake helped to eliminate seasonal flooding and drought and brought the fishing and tourism industry to the area.

Our last stop of the morning included a water sailing to the Philae Temple which was totally dismantled and relocated rather than being left under water when the Aswan High Dam was built some 50 years ago. This temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis, the goddess of love.

In the afternoon we travelled by boat to a small village of African Egyptians who were relocated also as a result of the new Dam. Here we rode camels for a short distance and enjoyed a visit to the home of a friend of Mohamed’s where we enjoyed hibiscus and mint tea and watched his personal collection of three crocodiles fight in their cage.

The trio up the Nile on a small boat was very scenic and enjoyable.

After dinner, Peter and I walked to KFC and McDonalds to see if wi-fi was available and experienced the first night of a Muslim four-day religious holiday. It was very noisy and the streets of Aswan were at certain places very crowded. We decided to get to our boat early.

Drivers are very aggressive here but it is considered polite to drive at night with only your parking lights to keep bright headlights out of the eyes of other drivers. Drivers will only turn on headlights if there is no oncoming traffic or to see one of the many potholes.

The vendors are everywhere with cab rides, boat trips, and other tourist attractions for sale everywhere. Peter went to one of the many ATM machines and almost instantly had 200 Egyptian Pounds in his hand.

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