ASWAN – Philae Temple, Road Trip, Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples

After our visit to Abu Simbel Temple we flew back to Aswan. The flight actually departed early. We were taken to our hotel, the Mövenpick on Elephantine Island in the middle of the Nile.

The next day we visited the Philae Temple. It had been moved from where it was flooded to an island in the lake above the lower dam. After that,we saw the “unfinished obelisk”. We were supposed to go on a felucca ride, but less than a minute into our boat ride a sudden sandstorm came along.

The next morning, the sandstorm had died down, and we drove to Luxor, with stops at Kom Ombo and Edfu temples.

THE UNFINISHED OBELISK
Queen Hapshepsut was planning to erect the largest obelisk in Egypt – unfortunately, the rock cracked during the quarrying and the project was abandoned. The outcrop of granite is now located inside the city.

The large crack running up the top part of the obelisk meant it was unusable.

View from the bottom.

One of the local hounds taking a break in the shade – a good idea with the temperature at 40C

(Sadly) A funeral in the graveyard across the road from the obelisk site.

MÖVENPICK ELEPHANTINE in ASWAN
Our hotel was excellent – certainly deserved its 5-star reputation.

The main tower of the Mövenpick with a restaurant at the top.

Entranceway to the hotel from the dock. To get here, there is a shuttle boat that runs from the dock along the riverfront in Aswan.

Fancy buffet for breakfast – this is just the pastries.

Our hotel room – corner room with two balconies.

Housekeeping was getting creative with the flowers.

By the pool; we’re looking across the river to the main street. There are so many mosques in town, it’s an amazing experience to hear, when the loudspeakers on all of them start announcing the time for prayers, all at the same time.

Illuminated palm tree garden across the river from Aswan. This is the view from our room.

A SANDSTORM
We saw the sky was dark in the north as we set out on our felluca ride; however, it was so calm that the tour organizers were forced to substitute a motorboat ride. We only were a minute away from the dock before the waves came up and we quickly headed back to shore. The winds blew all night – fine sand was seeping into the room through the sliding balcony doors (not much, just around the carpet). The brihtly lit palm trees just across the river were not visible for several hours. We were told the tour boats did not depart that night due to high winds (which gave us a head start to Kom Ombo and Edfu!).

Front edge of the sandstorm approaches…

Returning to dock right after the storm hit – already we can barely see the hotel.

Limited visibility.

In less than a minute, visibility was close to nothing.

By the time we got to our hotel room, the opposite shore of the river was not visible. That’s the same nearby palm tree visible from our room in the picture of the illuminated plam trees up above.

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