Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Another Day On The Nile.....

Since we usually blog and post pics the same day or soon after, by this time we really don't remember our day to day life onboard the ship. But since we had little to no internet on the ship and it only worked when the ship was docked, that's why we didn't do this all last week.

Another day along the Nile we stopped in the city of Aswan to visit the dam by the same name. Before the dam was built the Nile River would flood the country rendering many residents homeless. Built between 1960 and 1970 the dam made a major impact on the country as they could now control the river, irrigate crops, and make better use of the water. With little to NO rain ever in Egypt the Nile River IS their lifeline and without it there would be no life here.

Aswan High Dam

Next we took a short boat ride to the island of Philae that sits in the reservoir of the dam on Lake Nasser. There we visited the Temple of Isis named after the goddess of the island on which it sits. Another amazing sight to see along the Nile.  This temple had been taken apart piece by piece and moved to it's current location when the Old Aswan dam was built.  Quite the feat.

The Original Site of the Temple

Philae Temple

The Coptic Cross Indicates That This Was Not Originally A Muslim Temple But Built By Christians

Our Egyptologist Guide Hatem

The Altar Of The Holiest Of The Holy

Back in town we stopped to learn about essential oils and perfume at one of Egypt's many factories. To entice us to buy something we were offered a free massage using some of the oils so we went for it. I was sent off with a young lady dressed in a long, black robe with her head covered in a matching scarf. She took me into a room and told me to take off my dress with as little English as she could muster up. They I was told to lie face down on a couch and so I did. She poured some oils onto my back and proceeded to give me a rub down, occasionally asking, "good massage?" When she was done I stood up only to notice there were holes in the decorative wooden fence that surrounded the little room where I lie half naked. This surprised me a bit since after all this IS a Muslim country where women are never to show any skin or hair, yet here I was in a public building getting a massage wearing very little by one of these conservative women.

The Perfume Factory....These Are Essential Oils
The Wooden Fence Is What I Mentioned Above

Clyde had his own massage by a man and before leaving we left tips for both which made us feel a bit less guilty since we knew we would not be buying anything.  While I do believe in the use of essential oils and they were cheap, it's just not something that I can fit into my little suitcase.

On our way back to the boat we stopped for a peek at an unfinished obelisk, the largest known ancient obelisk in the world. Queen Hatshephut ordered the obelisk to be built but then noticed it had a large crack down the side so it was never finished or used. While the obelisk itself did not make much of an impact on us at first, it was the giant mountain of granite that we were walking on that did. Egypt is known for it's massive granite quarries that feature mostly a reddish, grey colored stone that can be seen just about everywhere here. Because there is SO much of it here it's very cheap and used on floors, walls, stairs, entire buildings, bathrooms, sinks and more.

A Mountain Of Granite With The Unfinished Obelisk Lying Down

Back on the boat we rested through the hot afternoon hours, replenished and ready to go out again later. Our evening entertainment took place on a traditional Egyptian felucca, a wooden sail boat that gently took us down the Nile with two boys running it. It was a peaceful, quiet ride that floated us down the river with our guide who pointed out tombs and other sights along the way.

Our Felucca Awaits

Nearby Boats

Our Nubian Felucca Drivers

These Two Boys Pulled Up In A Small Boat And Asked, "habla espanol?" Clyde Said, "Don't Look At Them, But It Was Too Late. I answered Yes To Spanish And English And Before We Knew What Was Happening....They Began To Sing In Spanish. Of Course They Were Looking For Money Which We Did Give To Them. It Was Cute!

The perfect end to another day of cruising the Nile.....along the gringo trail.

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