September 07, 2004


Today we reached our last "port of call", Egypt's southernmost "big city" (1M) Aswaan, once the center of the Nubian civilization. We started the day visiting a temple (what else would we be doing after all??) a few kms outside of town called the Philae Temple. This puppy was on the wrong side of the old Aswaan Dam and was therefore flooded for nearly 80 years. UNESCO came to the rescue in 1980 though, assisting with the relocation so that Philae could again be viewed above water...

I'm a sucker for a cool row of columns

You can still see that water marks while Philae did its best Atlantis imitation (note the black markings above). Pretty striking to see the temple with the Nile and cliffs in the background:

Afterwards we visited the site of the quarry that supplied millions of tons of rock to all those temples...a spot which also featured an unfinished Oblesik, which would have been the worlds largest (over 120ft in length -- solid granite!) but unfortunately for the ambitious miners there was a flaw in the stone and it was left 3/4 finished for future tourists to gawk at.

We ended the afternoon with a Felucca ride (we had to have at least ONE authentic Nile sailing experience after all). As we sailed round elephantine Island we were serenaded by little kids in tiny little boats hoping for a piaster or pound (or more):

The Felucca goes "MiniMe"

That evening we actually stuck around after dinner for the boats' entertainment...a pretty cool (and authentic) Soufa and bellydance...unlike the previous night's "Egyptian Night" which we avoided like a plague of locusts ;-):

Thankfully I asked if you tipped bellydancers before she came on stage (turns out that custom is only observed at places like "Crazy Horse II")

Upon returning to our cabin my enjoyment of the day was suddenly shattered when I surprised Janet, walking in on her and her newfound lover:

He even had the nerve to wear my shirt and browse my book

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