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daniserralta Aswan - A travel report by Dani
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Aswan,  Egypt - flag Egypt -  Aswån
7392 readers

daniserralta's travel reports

Aswan, Sand Gate.

  17 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Aswan stands in a really beautiful part of the Nile. The Palmtrees at both sides and the desert behind them are impresive making the area as a great relaxing place to spend a few days.

Aswan travelogue picture
Coming from Sudan, Aswan is the best place to come back to reality and recover yourself in a swiming pool or drinking a bier. Going to Sudan then Aswan is the gate to the sand and to a hard way to Africa. The sunsets from Aswan town are great and can keep you hipnotised for a while in red and orange colours. That's the area of the Nubians and where you can find the best of their influence in folklore, art or traditions. Aswan is an small city along the Nile rver. Most of the hotels are at the shore of the river and also some clubs, bars, etc.. The main market street os souq is inside the city and quite alive too.

Favourite spots:
Abu Simbel.
Abu Simbel.
For me the best there wasn't there but at the surroundings. Aswan doesn't deserve a visit itself but not that far you can find the impresive Abu Simbel. Be ready for a long bus drive through the desert at night to reach the temples of Ramses II and Hathor. Amazing construction in the middle of nowhere and looking to the Nasser lake .... shame that it was move to the present location at 60's cause of the big damm. Now is safe and visitable for some Euros but just for a limited time of 2 hours. 2 hours are not enough and there are thousands of other people but anyway is an amazing place. Out of the city is also the temple of Philae dedicated to the godess Isis and in an island of the Nile river. You must go by boat and is a gorgeous construction. (It was also moved here from other place cause of the damm!) At the west bank there's the Aga Khan mausoleum, the tombs of the nobles (Not really interesting ones.), Saint Simeon monastery and the unfinished obelisk are also nice.

What's really great:
Aswan travelogue picture
For me was very special Elephantine island. No, is not great, everything is in hard ruins and is a hard job try to imagine in your head a reconstruction about how it was. Anyway there's an small and interesting museum with many pieces founded in the area. A couple of mummies, sarcophags, and a lot of ancient egyptian stuff. But it was special because there was almost no one when I was there and I found some dog cubs to play with beetwen the egyptian ruins. Was a great moment just spend part of the day relaxed there playing with de doggies and later trying to read some jerogliphics with my recently bought Learn to translate jerogliphx in 10 lessons book. I didn't learnt but was fun try and even translate the pharaons names!! That´s for beginers!!

There are many accomodations in Aswan.
I was there with an old Lonely Planet guidebook so I found that many hotels where closed!!
But was very easy to find some other cheapies.
Marwa hotel and Rosewan Hostel where near the train station both cheap, nice and enough clean for a backpacker.
Along the Souq street, the one in front of the train station going deep inseide the city along the river, at right, there's the Nubian Oasis Hotel, cheap and famous.
A few meters before at right there's the Ramses Hotel, 60 piastres for a nice room overlooking the Nile river and the Nobles Tombs at the other side.
Along the river and at the shore there are some nice hotels with balconies looking the river and the hundred big cruises. Hathor Hotel for example.

The best hangout for me was just stay at the shore of the Nile river and realx looking the life go on as the Nile water does.
Yeah! I know!
Is dificoult to rest relaxed with thousand "felucca captains" trying to sell you trips to anywhere, hashish or horribly stupid souvenirs ..... but, for an strange reason, when you stay in one place enough time then they stop and you can relax the rest of the day with just an ocasional disturbance but fine.
Then you can enjoy of a great sunset over the Nile for example.

Alonge the river there are many floating restaurants like the Aswan Moon restaurant or the Nubian restaurant, etc .... all of them are expensive.
All of them are there for tourists groups coming from the cruises or tours so you can expect high prices.
Along the souq avenue and at the small streets at both sides there are many street food restaurants. Cheap, cheap, cheap!!!!
If you don't mind about clean dishes or glases, the food is as good as in the restaurants and keep you alive for one more day!!!
Lots of fruits and the amazing big pita bread ... delicious with goat cheese.

Other recommendations:
The train station is the main acces to the city and is at north side.
Don't take a taxi to go anywhere!!! Is an small area and you can go easily walking anywhere!!
Don't trust the hordes of flycatchers waiting for tourists at your arrival just go where you checked before.
There are also buses to anywhere in Egypt, to Luxor 4 hours and 12 hours to Cairo.
To Abu Simbel there's an excursion by bus that goes like at 4 am. with a pick up at your hotel. Reasonably priced and it worths!!
There's a local public small ferry-boat that crosses to Elephantine island for 0'20 piastres and another to cross to the west bank.
For a felucca sail to Kom Ombo or further contact Captain Washington at Moon restaurant. He works wit some reliable travel agencies and is a serious captain. Safe feluccas then and competitive prices for backpackers.

Published on Friday July 28th, 2006

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Wed, Aug 09 2006 - 02:41 AM rating by gloriajames

Loved your report and pics! Brought back great memories for me of my trip. Excellent.

Tue, Aug 01 2006 - 11:56 PM rating by downundergal

Another interesting report to add to your ever growing collection. Abu Simbel sounds amazing and it's nice to read that you can avoid the tourist hordes at times. Love the doggie pic and the sunset is fantastic.

Sun, Jul 30 2006 - 09:45 PM rating by frenchfrog

very informative report, good to known I sould get the last edition on lonely planet guide! very well written.

Sat, Jul 29 2006 - 01:57 AM rating by marianne

Nice report and photos. I suppose it felt as if you were back in the civilised world after travelling in Sudan. The palm trees must have looked amazing in the setting sun. You say that it is a long bus ride from Aswan to Abu Simbel, how long? entry us a few euros, can you be more precise? Maybe add this as it is useful for travellers.
I suppose Aswan is pretty crowded with all the tourists groups, but from your description I gather that it is possible to avoid them.

Fri, Jul 28 2006 - 09:13 PM rating by jorgesanchez

si senor!

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