Our plane taxied to a stop some distance from the terminal - even though it appeared to be the only on that had landed in some time - and we traveled the last few hundred meters on a bus.
We were definitely excited but were feeling bit disorientated and vulnerable as we made our way through the empty arrivals area -- following a man we'd just met -- to collect our bags and have them checked through customs. He was also the one who would get us to our hotel.
|Boats on the Nile in the evening's light - Aswan|
(And I have to admit we’d arranged transportation with our hotel so that man we were following was their representative. Well worth the $45US we spent for that service as it was a bit more complex than we'd been led to expect.)
|Sunset on The Nile - Aswan, Egypt|
A darkened desert. . .armed guards. . .Aswan Dam! Nile River! It all added to the mystery and the out-of-the-ordinary feel of this travel adventure. We were definitely back in Egypt, one of our favorite travel destinations.
This time though we were spreading our wings beyond Cairo’s 'comfort zone.' This trip we are spending most of our time in Aswan, Egypt’s southernmost city. . .in the land of the Nubians.
Land of the NubiansThe Nubian region stretches from southern Egypt into Sudan. It is believed the first Nubian civilization was in this area now known as Aswan as long as 5000 years B.C. With so much history here, there are plenty of museums and archeological sites to keep us busy. Not to mention two islands to visit, the Nile upon which we plan to spend some time and of course, who could come to Egypt and not shop in their enchanting souks?
|Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt|
|Lobby area Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt|
|Our room - Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt|
|Our room with a view - Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt|
|Ruins of Abu - Elephantine Island Aswan, Egypt|
I'd hoped to have some Agatha Christie mojo rub off on me but with so much I want to tell you about this place, I am feeling more like Scheherazade – so be prepared. I don't have 1,001 tales for you but I've got many more coming from this enchanting Land of the Nubians.
|Old Cataract Hotel Gardens and entry - Aswan, Egypt|
We have been traveling on our own and have wondered through Aswan’s souks, along its main roads, and through Nubian villages -- and never once have we felt unsafe or threatened. In fact, just the opposite - we've been warmly welcomed. We’ve been thanked for visiting. People are geniunely flattered that we like their city.
We've barely touched the surface - and we'll definitely be back!
That’s it for this week from Egypt. Safe travels to you and yours and thanks for being with us. We hope you'll be back next week ~
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel InspirationBest of Weekend
Thanks for the inside story. What an adventure!ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed it! Just keep expecting Agatha Christie to be strolling down the hall any time. . .Delete
Egypt is endlessly fascinating; I've also been there a number of times, including just after a terrorist attack. Staying home doesn't particularly keep you safer (there have been terrorist attacks in lots of Western countries too), and it hurts the country you're avoiding, which is just what the terrorists want! Anyway, enjoy!ReplyDelete
Rachel you've said it well: "Egypt is endlessly fascinating. . ." I can see why you'd visit a number of times. We are still here and talking about where we will expand our travels to on our next visit. I agree that avoiding a place only further feeds the negative forces trying to destroy a place.Delete
You bring back such memories Jackie. We visited Egypt just two weeks after the horrendous terrorist attack at the Valley of the Kings in November 2007. Our travel agent called and asked if we wanted to cancel, and I said, no thanks, I was sure there would be enhanced security in the aftermath.ReplyDelete
We also started our trip in Aswan. When we arrived, there were only 3 or 4 families staying at the hotel, so we got extra attention, they were so grateful that we were there. When we ventured outside the hotel a carriage driver met us with tears in his eyes, we were his first customers for two weeks. He took us everywhere, refused to take payment, and gave us us lots of advice.
The Nubians are such lovely, gentle and friendly people, and we were so well looked after. And we had such sympathy for the disastrous consequences such attacks have on the livelihood of the people.
When the time came for our cruise to Luxor, we were not placed on one of the huge 2000-people cruisers, which were all moored to the river bank, but on a luxury 34-person yacht, but there were only 7 of us aboard, with about 60 crew to look after us. We had a ball, and they pulled out all the stops to give us a good time. When we went ashore to visit the temples and other sites, there were not the usual crowds, the seven of us and the archaeologist guide were on our own to enjoy and see everything so clearly.
Enjoy the rest of the trip, and I look forward to yhour sharing it with us.
Rob what a lovely comment you added and it helps enforce what we have been feeling ever since we arrived. The impact of the terrorists continues to be felt, as the hotel isn't anywhere near capacity (from our observations) and the felucca, carriage and taxi businessmen vie for our attention and pounds. The warmth of welcome we've received here has topped any welcome we've had in our years of travel. I want to hug everyone goodbye and assure them I will be back as I hope will other tourists. Thanks for sharing such a touching experience with us.Delete
You are the second friend to have visited Aswan recently. :-) What a magical place. I especially love your nighttime photo. Swoon. :-)ReplyDelete
It is so lovely and so enchanting that it had me going through the dictionary to find words to describe it and I am still struggling to give it the due it deserves. Lovely people, stunning history and amazing landscapes and The Nile River - a perfect getaway!Delete
Did you see the Unfinished Obelisk. I remember it being one of the highlights of our few days in Aswan, along with the Old Cataract Hotel and Elephantine Island of course.ReplyDelete
We didn't get to the unfinished Obelisk - sigh - we spent the better part of today in the Nubian Museum which is a gem among museums! And yes, Elephantine Island was a treat and I really could ensconce myself in this Old Cataract Hotel and at least pretend to write some great piece of literature!Delete
Wonderful account of a fascinating locale...looking forward to the next post. The Cataract Hotel is a memorable place to hang your hat; we enjoyed the Perla Palace in Istanbul, where Agatha wrote “Murder on the Orient Express.”ReplyDelete
Oh Emily, I am so envious of your stay at the Perla Palace in Istanbul. We've been in it but have yet to stay there. Agatha certainly stayed in some great places, didn't she? (And I loved Murder on the Orient Express!) Hope you'll be back and comment often!Delete
You've done a beautiful job of conveying the exotic mystery (and a little of a traveler's apprehension) of entering nighttime Aswan. I also loved your photos and your description of the Old Cataract Hotel making you feel like you'd "reentered the golden age for travel." What a journey and I'm looking forward to more posts of your time in Aswan!ReplyDelete
Anita, I do hope you two are still considering Egypt as a destination as you would absolutely love it here. And Aswan has simply blown us away with hospitality, attractions, food and accommodations. We heartily recommend this as one of your destinations!Delete
I went to Aswan many years ago. It was the terminal of a cruise we took from Luxor. We didn't see a lot of the city since we choose to do a day trip to Abu Simbel. I have great memories from my time in Egypt. #TPThursdayReplyDelete
Ruth, glad you enjoyed Egypt. It is one of our favorite places! Thanks for stopping by today!Delete
I have long wanted to visit Egypt, so I really enjoyed reading about your adventure. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures...I am moving Egypt higher on my Bucket List!ReplyDelete
Oh Marilyn you would love Egypt - the people are so warm and welcoming! Glad its moved up on your bucket list!Delete
Arriving to any unfamiliar place after dark can be a bit unnerving. I am excited to see more.ReplyDelete