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Main Street in Aswaan

After the tours in Luxor finished yesterday,  I collected my bag from the hotel and we headed off to Aswan about 3 hours away…This city is beautiful…! I loved it.. Very clean, beautiful avenues and the view to the Nile is the best I’ve seen in Egypt.  My hotel room faced the Nile River and it was spectacular!  It truly was God’s gift to nature and I can see why the Pharaohs built so many temples with views and/or close to the Nile.

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View from my balcony

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Drinking my Florida drink watching the sunset on the Nile

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Life is good

The hotel also had 2 story villas right on the Nile that were incredible too. Although it was great for me the hotel and the tours are empty.  Since the revolution in Egypt,, tourism has been slow to come back obviously.  It is better this month, the tour guides in Luxor and Aswan have told me so in many ways I’ve been able to do more with better prices but I do hope things get better for them.  The tour guide from Luxor told me that it had been very slow and my tour and another she had worked was very much appreciated as she needed to work.

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After maybe about 4 hours of sleep, I get up a third straight day even before the crack of dawn…today it’s pick up at the hotel at 3:45!!!!!!…..OMG…!!! Brutal….!
Hassam picks me up and off we go with my breakfast bag prepared by the hotel, Hassam my guide and my 2 drivers.  One driver takes the wheel and the other one sleeps…about 30 mins into the drive Hassam and I go off to dreamland too!….
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When we get to Abu Simbel, the walk to the temple is a bit of climb and once you round the corner you see these majestic monuments facing Lake Nasser….The story behind these temples is that they were down close to the river and would have been destroyed as the river was rising due to the construction of the High Dam….so they moved all the monuments piece by piece and placed it in high ground to protect it.  It was an amazing feat of engineering, there is a short film describing the whole process.  They were even able to place the temples back to an exact point as before so that 2 times in the year, the sun enters the temple and lights up the statues of Ramses and Amun-Ra.  How they were able to do this over 3000 years ago without high tech equipment, surveys was truly amazing.  The four statues in front of the monument are of King Ramses during different stages of his life from young to old,DSC_1109

The relocation of the monuments meant this also meant that they had to relocate a Nubian Village that sat where the monuments are now, but the government built them new homes and a community center, school, etc , not too far away.
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And because Pharoah Rameses was so generous he built his favorite wife Nefetari a temple too. This man had like 40 something wives and almost 100 children….yup he was busy alright, no need for Viagra for him apparently… Her temple has huge statues in front of her and King Ramses….just in case she forgot who built her the temple…LOL…They don’t let pictures inside but there are still colorful designs  and graphics…
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After viewing the temples you exit through an area where there is a restaurant and an area full of little stores where you are swamped with vendors (think of the Disney rides where they always exit to one of their stores!!..lol.. only this is Egyptian style with a more “personal” touch)  trying to sell you anything from fake & cheap statues of King Tut, Queen Cleo, Nefertiti, etc, plus the assortment of souvenir junk you find in any souvenir shop.  In between all this you will find beautiful scarves and cotton sheets but it is at times so overwhelming how you are harassed that it’s unfortunate  but you feel you just need to be left alone and walk away from potential getting something unique.  I did buy 3 beautiful scarves which they originally quoted me for 400 pounds each which is like $55 and completely outrageous!!..I started laughing and putting it back and the bargaining began with the vendor saying he was only “joking” and back and forth until I got the scarves for less than $5 each…LOL….I love this bargaining thing, I wish they had it at the malls!!!…man I’d rock!…I can just see myself walking into Ann Taylor and saying to the sales clerk I’ll give you $30 for that blouse….LMAO…!! Oh well,…in the meantime I’ll bargain in Egypt….
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After that we head off to see the High Dam.  I’m told it’s the 2nd largest dam in the world. It could be and I wonder how it compares to Hoover Dam in Las Vega.  That thing is also massive.  Anyway, I take Hassam’s word. On one side is the river Nile and the other Lake Nasser.  The Dam supports an enormous amount of energy for Egypt.  After seeing the Dam we head back to Aswan so I can catch my flight back to Cairo.  It’s the 3 hour return trip so we all knock off to sleep, except the driver of course!… Anyway , back to Cairo and more adventures….LOL….
Traveling Redheaded Lady !

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