Aswan in 2 days

January 1, 2024 (5mo ago)

Aswan is one of those cities that we went with no expectations with largely looking forward to starting our cruise to luxor but aswan was the highglight of our entire trip and leaves a lasting impression.

Where is aswan?
While aswan is accessible by both train and flight from cairo, we took a direct flight (1hr) from cairo. As soon as you land, its easy to realise its one of the most majestic towns you will see. Known mostly for its Nubian culture but against a backdrop of huge sand dunes filled with camels and flowing nile just right below it full of felluca boats alongside islands dotted with Nubian villages and lush gardens.


Where to stay
Majority of tourists visit aswan via nile cruise so hotels aren't that big unlike say cairo or luxor but we wanted to do a slightly slower trip so we put in nights at hotel befire starting our cruise.

On the higher side of budget there are two large hotels Movenpick aswan and Sofitel Legend old cataract hotel. Both offer great views of the nile and village but we chose old cataract to stay.

Note: This also happens to be the hotel where Agatha Christie stayed to write Death on the nile and hotel offers you a tour daily but incase you missed it like us, ask nicely.

Sofitel legend old cataract hotel(built in 1899 by Thomas Cook)

The view from terrace

The entrance

Agatha Christie Suite

1902 restaurent

Hallways

link: Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel


Abu Simbel

One of the most striking monuments built by Ramses II over 3000 years ago in egypt is also harder to reach. Located ~290kms from aswan city, it takes about ~3.5hrs by car riding along empty desert on both sides. Most folks leave eary from aswan at 4AM to reach early and skip the heat but we decided to skip the crowds and go late by around 1PM. We would have loved to see the sound and light show but unfurtunately the road back is closed after 4PM by militaty for security purpose. credit: unsplash

the entrance


Philae Temple

Located on an island and one of the best preserved temples, this looks extra magnificent during the evening when sun falls on the large walls of the temple. Read more on journey2egypt: Philae Credit: unsplash

Scene of arrival at the temple


Nubian Village

There are many nubian villages alongside the nile but we visited one of the more touristy ones (better boats and food). Full of colors and paintings and reachable by a 20min boat ride.

Arrival at the dock

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/p/AF1QipOH2z9BVzFcMzxAC9zU_m7-Bs9aBwYHRLxOnIOt=s1360-w1360-h1020 credit: google

will cover kom ombu and others as i write about the cruise journey.