One of our intrepid travellers, Huey, travelled on the 'Best of Egypt' 14 day accommodated trip which started on the 5th December 2010 in Cairo, and wrote us a daily diary! Here is the second part of her series of diary entries....
Day 3 - Aswan After an overnight 13 hour train ride we arrived at Aswan (1000km down south from Cairo). Aswan is a peaceful town with much of its life around the vast Sahara Desert with the Nile flowing past, with many feluccas (traditional Egyptian sailboat) peppered along it. We headed out on a short boat ride to the tiny island of Agilka, where the Philae Temple (Temple of Isis) perches on. The temple was relocated stone-by-stone, all 57,000 of them, thanks to UNESCO to avoid it from going under the water when the Aswan dams were completed.
A beautiful temple dedicated to the Goddess of Love & Magic, Isis, the complex is adorned with intricate inscriptions. That is until the Coptic influence at later centuries, resulting in the defacing of Gods & Goddess' carvings on temple walls. It still stands beautiful today with many of its carvings remaining intact & its location is certainly a charming factor on its own.
Aswan is home to Nubian culture, so we visited a traditional Nubian home where the hostess served us hibiscus tea & a home-cooked dinner. We had a first-hand experience of how the Nubians still continue to live like their ancestors did, in specially designed homes to keep warm in winter & stay cool in summer, as well as daily activities of cooking, craft-making, hunting etc. It was a very eye-opening experience to see how so many ways of living is still relevant after so many generations.
We glided back to the hotel under the stars on the Nile, wondering what other adventures the days ahead might bring.
To find our more about overland trips in Egypt and the Middle East contact the OverlandingAfrica.com team or post your comments below.