October 2002 Trip
Day 11

Egypt Tour Day 6
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2002

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Todays journeys took us from Kom Obo to Aswan and later in day around parts of Aswan. As you can see Kom Obo is not to far north of Aswan. We arrived mid morning and many of the other groups headed of the various places. We waited until after lunch when we went to the Granite Quarry to see the unfinished obelisk, and to Philae Temple which is located on an island between the old British Dam (built in1902) and the Aswan High Dam. We will actually visit the dam tomorrow after Adu Simbel. After returning the rest of the afternoon and evening was spent on the boat. In the evening there was a group of Nubian dancers that performed.

Nubia is an area that starts roughly at Aswan and goes south into the Sudan. During history this area provides many of the riches associated with the northern part of Africa.

After the arrival is Aswan I took a few pictures. Here are a few of those:

Cruise boats, cruise boats and more cruise boats along the
Aswan shoreline. I don't know how many were in use.

Faluccas weaving back and forth across the Nile.

One of the neat things about these Nile cruise ships
is that there all pretty much the same design. They
are long, fairly narrow and about 5 stories high. The
entrance and exit doors are on both sides so a situation
like the one in the picture to the left can occur. Here
there are 6 ships plus ours all docked at the same dock.
All the doors are lined up so to get to shore we had to go
through the other 6. Not long after this was taken all
the ships moved and we ended up being the 1st
instead of the 7th ship from the dock.

The first place we visited in the Aswan area was what are known as the granite quarries. Just about anything made from granite in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs came from here. Located here is what is known as the "unfinished obelisk".

The granite quarries. If you look closely in the upper
centre you can see a section of the "unfinished obelisk".
The top of the "unfinished obelisk". The reason it's unfinished
is because it cracked in 3 places. You can see one of those
cracks in the obelisk in the upper right of the picture.

A shot of the entire obelisk. It would have been 42
meters high and weighed 1,150 tons if completed.
A wider shot of the granite quarries with the 2 other members
of the group Charles and Basilio. The obelisk is in the centre.

Phalae Temple is one of a number of ancient temple that have been relocated due to man made dams. In 1898 this temple was completely submerged when what is now called the "old" or "British" dam was built. It only showed up when the dam was opened to release the flood waters each year in August and September. It was then discovered that with the High Dam being built further up stream it would then be half in and half out of the water. This would have caused structural problems if it went on for long so it was decided to move it to it's current location in the early 1970's, a process that took 8 years. The right picture below shows where it was.

This temple was considered the domain of the goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris. She's the one who brought him back to life with her tears of love, so the story goes. The location was considered ,at that time, to be the source of the Nile so was very sacred to Egyptians. Osiris was thought to be buried on one of the nearby islands. It's known now that the source of the Nile is in mostly Ethiopia with the rest in the Sudan. This temple along with Edfu and one other is considered one of the best preserved in Egypt.

The First Pylon as it's called.

The island where the temple was before relocation.
(It's the very low semi enclosed area just above the water.)

I believe that this was a bath house.

A closer view of the First Pylon better showing its reliefs.

We returned to the boat for the rest of the day.

Charles and Basilio returning to the ship.

Bassilio and Charles taking a late afternoon dip
in the ships swimming pool.

A sunset over Aswan.

After dinner in the evening we had a group of Nubian Dancers come and entertain us.
Here are some images taken from digital video of this group.

They were a very lively group.

It got more lively as the evening progressed.

The musical accompaniment. I don't know what it's
called but the instrument is played like a violin.

The audience got involved. I have no idea what
their doing but it didn't last long.

The audience is really into it now!

The start of a conga??? line?
Lots of fun appeared to be had by all.

Tomorrow Abu Simbel.

On to Day 12.

Created December 4th & 5th 2002.
Final Edit December 10th, 2002.