#CatchGinEgypt - Part II: Aswan, Egypt

After a quick late night flight from Cairo, I arrived in Aswan at about 11PM, where my driver met me and immediately took me to my hotel.  I stayed at the Mövenpick Resort Aswan.  This hotel is actually located on an island in the middle of the Nile.  So, a 24-hour ferry meets you at the dock on the mainland, and sails you to the hotel (it only takes about 5 minutes).  The customer service at the hotel was awesome and I was upgraded to a superior suite room, with two balconies and a view of the Nile.

Since I was only spending one full day in Aswan, I worked with Memphis Tours to curate a private tour, so that I could hit as many hot spots as possible.  We started out tour with a visit to the High Dam, an engineering miracle built in 1960 protecting Egypt from Annual floods from the Nile.  My tour guide was wearing some potent ass cologne, which I believe was a magnet to the flies, so that was a bit annoying...but I got over it.

Then we proceeded to visit the Unfinished Obelisk which shows the techniques used by the ancient Egyptians to cut obelisks. This particular obelisk belonged to Queen Hatshepsut, one of the rulers of The 18th Dynasty and the royal wife of King Tuthmosis II.

Moving on, we headed to the majestic Philae Temple, which was built on the honor of Goddess Isis, the chief deity of the island.


At the Philae Temple in Aswan, Egypt


Lastly (and what I was most looking forward to), we sailed on the Nile for about 30-40 minutes by a motorboat to the Nubian Village that is located on the West Bank.  I got to meet and speak with a Nubian family, and walk around the village for a bit to shop for spices.  When I went into the family's home, they greeted me with a glass of cold hibiscus tea, and showed me their...crocodiles...and asked if I'd like to pick one up..

My reaction...


The colors in the village were so vibrant and the people were really friendly.  We spent about an hour there, but I could have stayed for much longer.

Taken outside of the home of the family that welcomed me to the island.

Inside one of the homes in the Nubian Village in Aswan.

I wasn't in the best of moods because that was the day the U.S. elected Voldemort but I was trying to stay positive and not let it ruin my vacation.  When I got back to the hotel, I decided to participate in some self-care and went to the pool to lay around until sunset.  The view from the infinity pool was awesome.

That evening I took the ferry to the mainland to walk to the train station (about a 15-20 minute walk) so that I could purchase a train ticket to Luxor for the next day.


The view of Aswan from the pool at the Movenpick Hotel


First class cabin on the Egyptian Railways train.  Costed only about $5.23.

The train station was a...scene.  Buying the tickets from the station can be very frustrating because the other people are in a rush and will be hovering and reaching over you to get to the ticket window. They do have kiosks in there to buy tickets, but I was afraid to use them because I wanted to make SURE I was booking a first class ticket and was confused when the kiosk was saying it was only 90 EGP. I finally made it to the window and asked for a first class ticket, and indeed it was 90 EGP (that's about $5.23).  It was an awesome deal.  The next day when I hopped on the train, there was only one other person in the first class cabin with me.  The ride to Luxor was about 3 hours.

Next time I'm in Egypt, I am definitely taking a tour of the Abu Simbel temples.  I didn't have time for that on this trip.