We woke up at 7 o’clock to catch our 8:15 am train to Aswan. The hostel made us breakfast and then we headed to the train station. It was Malaria Monday again so we also took our pills waiting for the train. It was about a 3 hour train ride from Luxor to Aswan.
We had arranged for a driver to pick us up from the train station in Aswan and take us to see a couple tourist sites. When we arrived at the train station at noon in Aswan, our driver, Omar, was there to great us.
We went to the Philae Temple first. This was a temple that was actually moved from its original location and rebuilt where it stands now. Aswan built a low dam that ended up flooding the area of the temple. It was fine until another high dam was built. At this time, UNESCO made the decision to move the temple to preserve its history. We took a small boat out to the temple which sat across the Nile and looked around.
After the temple, Omar took us to see the high dam. This dam was built more like a pyramid instead of the wall-like dams you tend to see in the US. It was huge and heavily guarded by Egyptian military.
Next we were taken to a Nubian village. These are the indigenous people of Egypt and Sudan. The town is painted in many beautiful colors and it was neat to see these people’s village. However, it was also another market and we were the only customers. It’s difficult to keep telling people that we don’t want to buy their things over and over again. We have learned our Arabic words for no thank you (“la shoukran”) and when that didn’t work, we would say “halas” which basically meant “stop, we’re finished here.”
After leaving the Nubian village, Omar took us to the hostel we were staying at. We dropped off our things and headed out to find some dinner. We managed to find a bakery and bought a bunch of breads and cookies which we ate for a late lunch/early dinner. We lazed around the rest of the evening and went to bed early at around 9 o’clock. We had to get up at 2:40 am to catch our 3 o’clock am bus to Abu Simbel.