We drove back from our ship to Aswan Dam. We had a look at the large story boards there and learned a great deal about the creation and need for the dam and Lake Nasser behind it.
Sadly the lake displaced thousands of Nubians who had to be moved from their land and build new villages else ware. They lost their lands and farms. They are still adjusting to a new way of life after millennia on their ancestral lands.
These life changes don’t heal easily or without anger and pain, even if some money or land does change hands.
The drive was “exciting” at times. Our driver is very good at his job, but the style of driving here is very different than from home. It is like the “wild west.” Everyman for himself.
Perhaps the front seat of the bus should be reserved for those not faint at heart and made of sterner stuff.
The highway looks very much like the road to Las Vegas from San Bernardino. Straight for as far as the eye can see with a slight rise, off in the distance.
The scenery around us is of a flat sandy desert with no greenery on one side while on the other side of the highway, small, rugged, black mountains pop up out of the desert sand.
It is a four hour drive to Abu Simbel and the ruins there.
There are damaged buses and cars parked around the area near the highway.
We turned east near the border of Sudan which was once called Nubia.
Trucks line the highway for as far as one can see as they wait make their way into Nubia to sell their wares. Many items are now in short supply in Egypt and the prices for everything has gone up while the Egyptian pound has been devalued more than once recently.
The word, Nubia means gold. It was once part of Egypt.
We arrived at our fine hotel after four short hours. The drive was exciting and passed by quickly.
The town seems to be under construction and isn’t very large. This area is undergoing development as we speak. Many large public works projects are underway including a large canal. One of the projects is the adding off more lanes to the main highway.
The grounds of our hotel are spacious and prestine and lay behind a manned gate. The hotel is made up of beautiful stone buildings which sit on the edge of Lake Nasser.
We have two pools, two shops and a restaurant here at our disposal. There isn’t much in the way of tourist areas outside of the hotel. We are a self contained resort or so it seems with Lake Nasser sitting behind us. Large boats with guest rooms ply the waters of the lake for those looking for a watery adventure.
We walked out past the guard and saw the town laid out before us. We are on the frontier. Sudan lies to the south. Our hotel sits in a vast desert open for miles around us. Homes dot the land out in front of us. We visited with the guard before coming back into the grounds which are spotless and beautiful. He was a pleasant fellow. My wife took a photo of the two of us posing for her.
We have television but sadly not in English. Just as well perhaps as the political situation continues to deteriorate as we travel. We feel save and are far from the troubles at the moment.
We will see Ramsey the Great’s statue tonight. It was carefully moved to higher ground as was his favorite wife’s monument to protect them from being submerged forever in Lake Nasser years ago.
We went to the Abu Simbel site tonight after another fine meal. There are images splashed onto the sides of the gigantic statues and the mountains holding them. It was easy to follow the story as our guide had filled us in on the way.
We wore headsets as the loudspeakers were speaking Spanish for some reason. There must be many Spaniards coming here now. It was a good crowd. The walk was over a side walk laid out over some rough terrain, but not too steep.
The time changes in Egypt tonight so we will get an extra hour of sleep.
We will head back to see the ruins under the Egyptian sun in the morning and spend another hour there before heading for Aswan.
It you need to purchase large quantities of sand or rock, this is the place to come to.