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  • Day24

    Day 23: Aswan

    March 28, 2011 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    The overnight train was annoying, but not as bad as expected. The ride was bumpy but not much worse than a plane in mild turbulence. The food was awful though - crappy 1970s airline meals.

    Awoke fairly early as the train chunted along through a classically Egyptian landscape - the broad Nile flowing through a sandy desert, with a narrow strip of fertile greenery and palm trees either side. Arrived in Aswan around 10:30am, and it turned out to be quite a nice city, at least in the centre anyway. Wide-ish boulevards, and situated right on the Nile with lots of waterfront parkland.

    After checking in to our hotel and freshening up, we went to the Unfinished Obelisk, which is a massive obelisk partially cut out of a granite quarry. Evidently someone ran out of money or willpower and the obelisk is still there. Next stop was the Nubian Museum where we spent most of the afternoon. The Nubian people are the local tribe from southern Egypt and northern Sudan, and a lot of them still live according to traditional customs. They are noticeably different from northern Egyptians - much darker skin (close to sub-Saharan African) and speak other languages, whereas the northerners look Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern in appearance and mostly speak Arabic.

    In the evening we wandered the local market, laughing at the lines used by shopkeepers in an attempt to drag you into their shop. Ultimately the salesmen were more annoying than amusing though.

    Had dinner at a restaurant floating at the edge of the Nile. Lovely tagine food, followed by the obligatory tea and shisha session. Not a late night though, as tomorrow is Abu Simbel day which means a very early start.
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