Today we had to check-out at 7am before visiting the sights around Aswan: Temple of Philae, the High Dam and the Unfinished Obelisk.
Philae Temple is so picturesque as it is situated on an island between the British Dam and the High Dam. You get there by motorboat.
The High Dam has a major part in the story of this temple, as well as hundreds of others. Its creation was the cause of hundreds of ancient sites having to be moved to safety or flooded below the man-made Lake Nasser forever when it was built in the 1960s. This is how the beautiful Templo de Debod made it’s way to Spain! The Spanish funded for it to be moved piece by piece to Madrid so not to be lost to the lake.
We took a detour on the way to the final stop to a Perfume shop. We had already been to one in Cairo where we bought some essence, but we had enjoyed it and were happy to go to another one. The others in our group hadn’t been. I bought some lotus essence – a local scent which is beautiful. I had wanted it in Cairo but decided not to get it. In the shops they give you a bulk discount – if you buy 4 bottles, you get 2 free, if you buy 4 big bottles, 2 big bottles free and 2 perfume bottles free – you get the idea. However, it quickly racks up into a lot of money and I was feeling pressured to buy way more than I wanted to. The quality and quantity is good, but do you really need 6 massive bottles of essence? I really only wanted the lotus essence, so that’s what I did.
The Unfinished Obelisk was our final site to see. It really is amazing. If the obelisk hadn’t have cracked so badly, it wouldn’t still be here. It would have been the biggest obelisk ever made. Thanks to this imperfect obelisk, we have been able to learn the secrets of the Ancient Egyptians – how they made these massive masterpieces out of one single piece of granite.
Before long we were being picked up by our driver, waving the boat goodbye going towards our final hotel for two nights – The Old Cataract – a destination in itself.
Low-Down of the Nile Cruise:
We stayed on a good ship with a lovely crew who were always friendly and chatty with us. We had no complaints – everything was impeccable from start to finish. There were only 30 travelers on-board which was quiet – it’s a big boat that can cater for 100 people. This is all down to a downturn in tourism since 2011 in Egypt. If the boat were busy, I’m sure it would have been a very different experience.
Food on board: delicious. Breakfasts and lunches were buffet-style. There was always a veggie, fish, chicken and beef option at lunch and dinner with plenty of salads, vegetables, potatoes, rice and an array of mouth-watering desserts! Even the pickiest eater (me) ate well. On the final evening there was a BBQ on the top deck and it was such a fun way to end the cruise. The ‘English-speakers’ made a table of 12 and we all dined together for the last night.
Details of our trip: 3 nights with M/S Moon Goddess from Luxor to Aswan
Highlight: Valley of the Kings of course. But I loved sitting on the boat and watching the wildlife on the green riverbanks as we went by.
Lowlight: the 5am start before Valley of the Kings wasn’t great but worth it as it would have been too hot and crowded if we had had a lie-in!
This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.