Egypt - Aswan
We just had time to buy a train ticket before boarding the 1400 into Aswan.
We checked into a hotel that Michael had enjoyed previously; it promised a hot shower and cold beer. Later we walked along the Corniche. This had a real seafront feel to it with waterside cafés, restaurants, gardens and boat-trips. The tourist souk of Aswan was busy, but still any westerners were immediately picked out and given the time tested one-liners to encourage them to stop and purchase. There were tightly packed stalls for jellabas, scarves, hats, ornate bottles of perfume, piles of coloured spices, tapes, coffee shops, restaurants, dried herbs and of course internet cafés. Remarkably, sandwiched between them were shops selling things for the locals: bakers, butchers, hardware (buckets and nails), paint, and electrical repairs.
Fri 19 Dec
I had a lazy morning collecting laundry and checking out train times and fares. In the afternoon I went down to Kom Ombo by train (45km) to see the two temples there, right on the banks of the Nile. I walked the last kilometre through a village and past fields of well-irrigated smallholdings. I had the temple to myself. It was quite impressive, especially to think how long it had lasted. The columns and walls were rich in hieroglyphics, in the late afternoon sun the stonework began to glow. I'm not particularly interested in hours of endless traipsing around archaeological ruins but this was enough for me to get the general idea, enough to know I was in Egypt. I got the bus back and enjoyed supper with Michael, I'd enjoyed his company on the trail these past few days, and we'd had some interesting conversations. Tomorrow we'd be going our separate ways.
Egypt - Aswan