Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day Four: Aswan

Sunday was the first day that we slept in past 6:30 AM. It was nice. Aswan is known more for the beauty of its Nile than it is for ancient ruins and we wanted to take it easy on the last day of our adventure. The city has a very large Nubian population and much of its tourism industry revolves around Nubian history and culture. We decided to walk around two Nubian villages located on an island in the middle of the Nile and took a boat over. As soon as we got there, a Nubian man who called himself Mustafa (though everyone we ran into called him Mamdouh) decided to befriend us and show us around the place. He took us through all the fields, showed us the irrigation system, and invited us into his home for some hibiscus tea. He swore he wasn't a tour guide but a farmer but he was practically fluent in English, French, and Spanish so I think he's done this many time before. Still, it was very nice to have a guide around the village since we felt less like intruders. After tea, he took us on his felucca and we sailed the Nile in style.

The fields. Bananas!

This one's for you, Stanley.

His home was weird.

The McDonald's boat has seen better days.

He dropped us of at Kitchener's Island where we walked around a beautiful botanical garden for a while. After unsuccessfully trying to bargain down the price of a boat back to the mainland, a police officer also trying to get across took us under his wing and forced someone to take us all over for a good price. Eight people ended up taking a rowboat across the Nile.

I'm not quite sure why a Tissue Culture Lab was in the garden.

From there, we read about a wonderful restaurant with a great view of the Nile during sunset. We trekked up a mountain, hoping for a great dinner and view. The kitchen was being renovated. We ate up the view (har har) instead.

After having a real dinner at another restaurant, we went to the Nubian Museum and got our history on for about 45 minutes before it closed. We should have had an hour but the guards forced everyone out so they could go home early. We walked around for a bit before heading to the Aswan airport to get back to Cairo. The flight was at 11:30 PM and by 2 AM, I was soundly asleep in bed.

OoooOOoooOooo. Creepy. Bye, Aswan!

1 comment:

  1. MARK! how did i find this so late? the pictures look great! -phil