Tuesday, 30 April 2013


Hi, you can read part one and part of our Egyptian adventure here and here...

Since our flight was for 7am our transfer to the airport was for 4am. I was so jealous of our tour leader Mostafa who looked like a million E£'s in his suit while I looked like a hot mess. Just as an aside there are some really good looking men in Egypt and they have some interesting flirting styles....but I digress. It took about an hour and a half to get to the airport. Cairo is the city which never sleeps....even the shops were open at 4am!!!!

The flight was just over two hours long and we reached Aswan just after nine. Stepping out of the plane there was a sudden realisation that there was a major temperature difference between Aswan and Cairo. On our way to the hotel we stopped at the high dam. It’s pretty impressive and has a lot of political issues surrounding it. It’s an interesting place. The construction of the high dam became very important after the 1952 Egyptian revolution.  The dam with the financing from Russia was constructed between 1960 and 1970.  Prior to the dam being build the Nile would flood every year during the late summer.  The thing was that the floods would vary sometimes destroying an entire crop or bring drought and famine.  A need to control the floods became key and by building the reservoir and dam the Egyptians are now able to control the floods.

On the one side you have the Nile river and on the other the Nasser Dam. Both are beautiful.  We then moved onto the unfinished obelisk. Aswan is the source of Egypt's finest granite. The discarded obelisk is in one of the northern quarries. Its huge...it weighs about 1168 tonnes and is fashioned from one solid piece of stone. Archaeologists claim the pharaoh Hatshepsut (my fav) commissioned the making of it to commemorate her sixteenth year in power but other seem to think that it was intended to complement the “Lateran Obelisk” which was originally at Karnak (wait for that post) but it is now outside the Lateran Palace in Rome.  The obelisk was cared directly out of bedrock but it seems that in a late stage of the process of making the obelisk a crack appeared and it had to be abandoned. The bottom side of the obelisk is still attached to the bedrock. This unfinished piece of history gives many insights into ancient Egyptian stone working techniques especially as you can still see some of the workers tool marks.

All I know is that if I had worked on this massive obelisk and it cracked I would have cracked.  All those hours of chipping away at the granite and it cracks and its “Oop’s sorry. Start again”. Can you imagine how ticked off the stonemasons must have been after all their hard work. 

After spending hours under the hot sun we finally checked into our hotel. Meg and I could not wait to check in and take a nap. Our guide Mohammed was I think a little disappointed in us because he really wanted to show us the Nubian village.  But between us being exhausted and the heat which was hectic we were just on up to more. Plus it was quite a costly excursion and not included in the tour so we were not really in to it. So we opted for air conditioning and a nap. When we woke up we wanted to go down to the pool but stepping out onto the balcony put an end to that idea. It was crazy hot in fact the glass sliding door burnt my finger when I touched it. So instead of heading out we sat chatting and eating snacks. It was a real opportunity for Meg and I to connect and to spend some time getting to know each other on a different level.  I loved hearing about Meg’s interests and her life and about some of the boys in her life……but we won’t be sharing that with her daddy!!!  She is such a level headed girl and she has a strong sense of what is right and wrong and man she is curious. It was a precious moment in time.

The electricity went out (kind of ironic that they export the electricity generated by the high dam but there is not enough for themselves) and the room got boiling hot but as the sun set the view was breath taking and it had started to cool down enough for us to watch a bit of the sunset from the balcony. It was beautiful. Meg and I did a quick re pack (the bane of my travel existence) and then got ready for dinner. In the end we had burgers via room service. We were lazy and watching a movie....plus we had a 2:30 wake up to start our road trip to Abu Simbel.

Early morning at the airport


Aswan High Dam

Making electricity

Lake Nasser

Russian monument

Red granite quarry

Our guide Mohammed showing us some stone techniques

The crack

Hotel Lobby in Aswan

WHO puts a scale in a hotel room.....that's just SO wrong!!!!

The view from our room

The sun sets on the Nile

We watched the setting sun from our balcony 

Room Service

1 comment:

Katie Cook said...

LOVE these pictures:) Wow...what an interesting county. It's fun to see more of what's there besides just the pyramids! Thanks for sharing sweet lady!! love Katie