Egypt
Aswān

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45 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Sahara Sunrise & a Sunset Sail

    January 9 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    4am is not my friend. That was our wake up call for today so we could join the convey to make our way to Abu Simbel. The only way to cross the Sahara is with a police escort - so hello 4am and 3 hour bus ride.

    It was totally worth it. I’ve been looking forward to Abu Simbel since we paid our deposit for this trip, or really even since my 2010 history class at school (eeek was that 10 years ago!). The entrance is quite dramatic! There are a few unusual things about these temples:
    1. Unlike all the other temples we’ve seen, these were actually carved into the mountain, rather than crafted block by block.
    2. These were moved up onto the hill because th Aswan dam was flooding the temples and ruining them.

    The Aswan dam is like a beautiful version of Lake Macquarie - but man made! The desert starts on the banks which makes for a really unusual contrast; the nile right next to massive rocky sand dunes.

    Walking around the corner, I was immediately impressed by the regal statues of Rameses II. Not a guy you would want to get into a war with - which was exactly the point. Inside was quite well preserved. My favourite wall was the battle of Kadesh. Yep, there’s another depiction of this battle, just in case you missed the other million versions. This one was really beautiful though. Surreal.

    Our afternoon activity was a visit to a Nubian village, which we reached via a motor boat. A few of us got to go onto the roof of the boat and watch the sand dunes roll on by. The contrast between water and desert was, once again, striking!

    Cue camel ride along the Nile. Terrifying. Mildly entertaining. They are crazy creatures. Not to mention the last thing I heard Garry say when leaving the boat was “if you get bitten by a camel, you’re on a plane home tomorrow”. Nothing like riding an animal with poisonous teeth. I’m more than happy for that to be the last camel ride of my life.

    The Nubian village was beautiful and brightly coloured, with a dome shaped roof on every house. They keep crocodiles (not mummified ones this time!) in their houses. For Egypt, the crocodile was bad news, but for Nubians it is a symbol of protection. Matt held one of the baby crocodiles that had a red cord wrapped around its mouth!

    We strolled through the village and did a bit of shopping. MT bought a drum, I bought three scarves and a rug. Returned to cruise ship via motorboat. Happy days.

    Until the first drama of our trip. Matt left his backpack on the motorboat! Luckily he had his wallet and phone in his jacket. Medhat sorted it all out and miraculously the backpack was returned!

    Tomorrow is our last day in Egypt!
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  • Day7

    Felucca on the Nile

    December 30, 2016 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    This was one of our more adventurous trips of the year - 2 nights on a traditional Egyptian sail boat. It was fairly primitive but a great experience!

    The boat had one flat and padded area for the 12 of us to sleep on "sardine style". The boat had 4 crew members, but no motor or bathroom. The cook had a small stove top, and somehow managed to make some of the best food of the entire Egypt trip on it.

    We really got to know the rest of our tour group much better after living together on the boat. There wasn't much to do other than relaxing and gaze into the sunny horizon, but the time passed quickly eating, drinking, swimming, playing games, and building a campfire on the shore where we docked for the night.

    Certainly a memorable experience on the Nile!
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  • Day104

    Assouan

    November 16, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Nous voilà sur le quai de la gare de Louxor, on attend le train pour Assouan. Il y a deux types de train : les vieux trains climatisés et lents, et les très vieux trains non climatisés et très lents. Notre train a 2h de retard, on monte dans le précédent qui se pointe en gare en comptant sur le super-pouvoir du touriste (= capacité à passer pour un super-neuneu quand ça l'arrange). Surprise, ici le sol c'est la poubelle, et aussi le cendrier... 😯. Arrivée à Assouan, et là... ben quelques taxis nous proposent tranquillement leurs services, mais personne ne nous suit en insistant. Ouf 😊

    Le jour suivant nous visitons le très documenté Musée Nubien où on tombe sur une représentation du dieu Toth* sous sa forme babouinesque, arborant un drôle de zizi tout flasque. Puis nous nous rendons à Philae visiter le temple d'Isis. Il faut prendre un bateau pour y aller et Khalid doit négocier quinze minutes pour qu'on paie le prix qui est pourtant ECRIT sur une pancarte. De quoi devenir zinzin... 🙃 mais nous sommes les derniers touristes de la journée et on a la chance de visiter le site tranquilles, aux dernières lueurs.

    *(fam.) etym. marocain "tota" 🥒
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  • Day5

    Kitchener's Island, Ägypten

    November 30, 2018 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Die Kitchener-Insel (englisch Kitchener’s Island; arabisch auch Geziret an-Nabatat, „Insel der Pflanzen“) ist eine kleine Flussinsel im Nil in Ägypten. Sie erstreckt sich unterhalb des ersten Katarakts auf einer Länge von 650 Metern in Südwest-Nordost-Richtung bei einer Breite bis zu 115 Metern westlich der größeren Nilinsel Elephantine und dem Stadtgebiet von Assuan nahe dem östlichen Nilufer. Auf der 6,5 Hektar großen Kitchener-Insel befindet sich der Botanische Garten der Stadt Assuan.Read more

  • Day5

    Kitchener's Island

    November 30, 2018 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Die Insel ist nach Horatio Herbert Kitchener benannt, dem Sirdar (Oberbefehlshaber) der ägyptischen Armee von 1892 bis 1899, ersten Generalgouverneur des Anglo-Ägyptischen Sudan im Jahr 1899 und späteren ersten Earl Kitchener of Khartoum. Man überließ ihm die Insel 1899 für seine Verdienste bei der Niederschlagung des Mahdi-Aufstands im Sudan nach der Schlacht von Omdurman. Sie war bis zu seinem Tod im Juni 1916 in seinem Besitz.
    Auf Kitchener geht die Bepflanzung der Insel zurück, der hier viele exotische Blumen, Bäume und andere Pflanzen aus Asien und Afrika setzen ließ, die den Grundstock des heutigen Botanischen Gartens bildeten. Die Insel ging später in das Eigentum der ägyptischen Regierung über, die auf ihr eine biologische Forschungsstation einrichtete.
    Bild 1: Im Hintergrund sieht man den Turm vom Mövenpickhotel
    B8ld 2: Weihnachtsstern
    Bild 3: Mimose mit Frucht
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  • Day6

    Aswan Afternoon

    January 14, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    We arrived at Aswan train station this morning and headed to the lovely Isis Hotel, right on the Nile. Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we headed off to explore a bit. Not quite knowing where things were, we were keen to explore. There's a lot of boatmen and vendors calling out for his to hire feluccas as we walked by the water. A few are a bit persistent but most leave you alone when you say no thank you.

    Along the walk, we spotted what looked like a mosque atop a small hill. According to my map, it was the Nubian cataract. There weren't any other visitors there, except for us and an older couple. We were invited to have a look inside the mosque, I was admittedly a little nervous as the doors were all closed and they opened one to let us in. I know I shouldn't feel that way, but it's been a bit ingrained in us. My new friend from the door stepped inside, while I waited by the door just in case. The inside of the mosque though was quiet and beautiful.

    From there, we set off to find the market. The souk is long and lots of vendors vied for attention. No hassle, no charge to look echoed around us. People asked where we were from. The fruits and vegetables market for the locals was calmer as we could simply pass through.

    For lunch, we went to Aswan Moon, a restaurant along the river that I had found on Wikitravel. They didn't have a few options on the menu, but the grilled fish I ended up getting was quite tasty. The manager was from Sudan and we had some interesting conversations. He even wrote our names out in Arabic.

    After lunch, we set off to the Fryal Gardens, a serene section of green by the river. Admission is 10LE. There were families there as well, and you get a nice view of the Nile along with Elephantine Island. We did a fairly quick loop around before setting off to the Unfinished Obelisk.

    The route on the map took us into a poorer part of town where the streets were more sandy than road. Definitely a different side of Aswan that perhaps not too many see. When we got to the Obelisk, nobody was there. It was a bit eerie having this pile of rock all to ourselves and a few watchmen. As you stand high above the quarry, you can see the city beyond, as if behind a veil between ancient times and modern.

    With no other visitors nearby, there were no taxi's to take back to the hotel though we still had enough time to walk back to meet the group at 4pm for our motorboat tour and Nubian dinner. It was still a distance though so we ended up flagging down a tuk tuk. While a fun ride, perhaps not the best idea as the drivers don't appear to speak English even though they were fairly young. We thought we'd agreed on a price, but when they stopped to let us off (after attempting to drive in circles), the amount they wanted was 4 times what we'd agreed to. The driver was quiet, but his friend who'd hopped on to help with directions was the one who wanted more. We were close enough to our hotel at this point, and also stopped in front of a shop, where the shopkeeper came out to see what was going on.

    This is one prime example to always have small bills and be firm. We explained to him the situation. Funny enough, we had discussed leaving a tip above the agreed fare. After a few rounds, the shopkeeper decided to stay out of it. No need to fear though, we were in a safe area, and I held out the original amount plus the little. "Take it or we're leaving". The driver came around at this point, and accepted this. Whew.

    Tonight we visited a Nubian family on Elephantine Island, and had a nice walk around the village. One of the ladies had her birthday so they also had cake.
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  • Day8

    Nile Sailing and a Nubian Homestay

    January 16, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Late start and lie in today. I got some camel pants from the market and tried to catch up on my blogging before we set sail on our felucca. I think I've been more successful than the previous trips and am fairly current =)

    So the felucca, an open boat that moves by wind power, though I think they have a small engine. There's a roof over the main area but it's otherwise open. Mats cover the floor and the crew's provided cushions, blankets and sleeping bags (for hire) for the day and a half trip.

    We had some good wind and sun today, so that made hanging out on the roof inviting, though we had to watch our heads when the captain shifted the sails. In the evening, we docked on the West Bank of the Nile to stay with a Nubian family for the night. It was a bit late when we arrived so we didn't see much in terms of the village. This was first homestay where we all stayed in the same house.

    Nubian houses here are rooms surrounding a large courtyard. We had three rooms to share where mattresses are lined up along the floor and then hung out in the main sitting/dining area where we had a lovely family style meal including soup, lamb sausage and vegetables. After dinner, we played clapping games with some of the children. It was a really nice change from the cultural shows at previous homestays. Tonight it almost felt like we were visiting and sleeping over at a friend's place.
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  • Day112

    Assuan - Etwas Ruhe und Besinnlichkeit

    December 23, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Um uns schonmal ein wenig auf Weihnachten einzustimmen haben wir uns bei Assuan in einem nubischen Dorf auf einer kleinen Insel im Nil eingebucht. Hier gibt es keine Autos, nur kleine Gassen aus plattgetretener Erde und die meisten Einheimischen sind Selbstversorger, was eine tolle Abwechslung zum hektischen Treiben auf den Straßen Assuans ist ❤️
    Nur ungern verlassen wir unser kleines entspanntes Paradies, aber sich den unfertigen Obilisken im Steinbruch von Assuan einmal anzusehen, war es wert. Mit 41, 75m Länge und 1168 Tonnen Gewicht, mag ich mir gar nicht vorstellen, wie man so einen riesen Trümmer bewegt bekommt - Leider ist er vor seiner Fertigstellung durchgebrochen und wurde deshalb nie fertiggestellt.
    Zu Weihnachten gönnen wir uns ein wenig Luxus und nutzen Christoph's auf Dienstreisen nach England gesammelten Bonuspunkte für zwei Gratisnächte in einem 5 Sterne Hotel in Kairo am Tahrir Platz.... Euch allen wünschen wir an dieser Stelle schonmal ein paar besinnliche Weihnachtstage umgeben von euren Liebsten ❤️🌲🎅🎁
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  • Day6

    3rd tour day - Assuan

    January 13, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    Der einstündige Feluken-Törn auf dem Nil vermittelt einen ersten Eindruck von Assuan.

    Eine kurze musikalische Darbietungen der ungewöhnlichen Art, bieten vereinzelt auf alten Surfbrettern sitzende Kinder. Diese lassen sich auf dem großen Fluß treiben, paddeln vorausschauend an die Feluken heran, heben sich an diesen fest und beginnen dann, in der Hoffnung auf etwas Kleingeld, lautstark was das Zeug hält, ein sehr spezielles Potpourri verschiedener Volksweisen zu trällern.

    Nach dem Mittagessen brechen wir um 13.00 Uhr zum großen Staudamm von Assuan auf. Ein gewaltiges Bauwerk, auf das die Beschreibung Superlative fast noch untertrieben scheint ( Wikipedia, Wikipedia.....:-)! Auf der einen Seite der Nil, auf der Anderen der über 550 Kilometer lange Nassersee, der im Süden die natürliche Staatsgrenze Ägyptens zum Nordsudan bildet.

    Weiter geht die Busfahrt zu einer nahen Anlegestelle an Selbigem - wir wollen zum Philea-Tempel, der auf einer Insel steht, übersetzen. Ja ich weiß, schon wieder ein Tempel - Willkommen in Oberägypten :-) - auch hier hilft bei Fragen das www.! Noch ein mittellanger Besuch in einem Geschäft für Essencen und "Zubehör" - naja, brauche ich nicht wirklich - eine gute "getarnte" Verkaufsveranstaltung eben! Nach dreißig Minuten reicht's mir - zwei Etagen tiefer befindet sich eine ruhige Lobby ohne Vortrag - ich würde eh nichts kaufen! Heute Abend planen wir noch einen Spaziergang in Eigenregie durch den "Alten Basar" von Assuan.

    Der Brüller des Tages, war ohne jeden Zweifel eine ältere Mitreisende, die im Bus auf der Rückfahrt von "Essencen & Zubehör" zur Anlegestelle, von ihrem Einkaufserlebnis berichtete. "Naja" sagte sie sinngemäß, "billig war's ja nicht, sind aber auch *ethnische* Öle" - eine echte Konifäre, die Dame..... läuft bei ihr 😂!
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  • Day7

    Departure at 13.30 o' clock - Part 1

    January 14, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Einer der berühmtesten Hotels der Welt, ist zweifelsohne das "Old Cataract Hotel" in Assuan.

    Gefühlt mein halbes Leben schon, möchte ich einmal diesen historischen Prachtbau besuchen - wohl nirgends in der Stadt am Nil, hat man so einen spektakulären Blick auf den Strom. Ein besonderes Ambiente empfängt den Gast nachmittags beim "High Tea" auf der Außenterrasse - die tiefer stehende Sonne zaubert dann ein einzigartiges Licht auf den Fluß, auf dem die unter Segel fahrenden Feluken besonders authentisch wirken....., Nilklischee pur!

    Da wir heute um 13.30 Uhr wieder in Richtung Edfu ablegen, hat sich das "Tee-Event" natürlich erledigt, aber das berühmte Hotel, in dem Agatha Christie ihren Roman "Tod auf dem Nil" fertig schrieb, möchte ich trotzdem besuchen. Eine kurze Taxifahrt vom Anleger bringt uns um 9.30 Uhr zum "Old Cataract" - dann die Enttäuschung.....Besucher dürfen erst ab 11.00 Uhr das Anwesen betreten und nur gegen eine Eintrittsgebühr von umgerechnet 15 €. Egal, dann eben nicht! Die nicht geringe Summe für Eintritt plus Getränk auf der Terrasse ist mir für einen kurzen Besuch doch zuviel!

    Alternativ bummeln wir auf dem Weg zurück noch einmal durch den Basar und ich gönne mir zur "Entschädigung" eine professionelle Rasur beim Barbier - Wellness für den Herren!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Aswan, Assuan, Aswān, أسوان, Горад Асуан, Асуан, Asuan, Asuán, Ασσουάν, Asuano, اسوان, Assouan, אסואן, Asszuán, ASW, アスワン, ასუანი, 아스완, Eswan, Asuanas, आस्वान, Assuão, Aswán, Asvan, 阿斯旺

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