Monday, March 18, 2019
This morning was a very early wake up call because we had a flight from Cairo to Aswan on Egypt Air.
After landing in Aswan we met our guide again and boarded a bus to visit the Aswan High Dam. There was a lot of security around Aswan because the president of Egypt was visiting because of an African Youth conference.
The Aswan High Dam was finished in 1970 and replaced the previous Aswan Low Dam that was built in the early 1900s. Lake Nasser, one of the largest artificial lakes, was created by the dam. With the creation of the Aswan High Dam the annual Nile flood could be controlled by man.
After the dam, we went to explore the “unfinished obelisk” which is found in a granite quarry in Aswan and is considered to be over 3,500 years old. It is about 1/3 larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk. As the carvers were carving the obelisk directly out of the bedrock, cracks appeared in the granite and so it was never finished. This unfinished obelisk gave important information about what techniques the workers used.
On our way to the riverboat that we would be staying on as we cruised on the Nile for the next four nights, we stopped at an essential oils store for a demonstration and a chance to try the oils and purchase some.
Our riverboat was the M/S Mojito. The boat has only 70 staterooms. We arrived and had some time before our next excursion of the day.
We took a small boat to visit the island Agilika where we toured the Temple of Isis which was built to honor the goddess Isis, the Temple of Hathor, and the Kiosk of Trajan. The whole complex was moved from its original island of Philae after the flooding of Lake Nasser. You can see the metal columns where the flooded island of Philae was located.
Below is the unfinished Kiosk of Trajan (Pharaoh’s Bed)
The Temple of Isis
The Inner Sanctuary of Isis had two granite shrines, one containing a gold statue of Isis and another containing the barque in which the statue travelled. Only the pedestal for the barque remains.
After dinner our riverboat had a Nubian Folkloric show and we spent the night in Aswan.