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Aswan



Aswan
Introduction

1. Elephantine

2. Temple of Khnum

3. Runis of Yebu

4. Nilometers

5. Temples of Satet

6. Aswan Museum

7. Nubian villages

8. Tombs of the Nobles

9. Felucca trip

10. Kitchener's Island

11. Aga Khan Mausoleuem

12. Monastery of St. Simeon

13. Unfinished obelisk

14. Fatimid cemetery

15. Nubia Museum

16. Aswan High Dam

17. City scenes

Practicalities




















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ASWAN
The first cataract

Aswan, Egypt

Overlooking the islands of Aswan, with the city to the left


Aswan, Egypt

Aswan, Egypt

Aswan, Egypt

Philae, south of Aswan, Egypt


Most people coming to Aswan, have already been to Luxor for days. The contrast couldn't be bigger, from the busy agressiveness of Luxor to laidback Aswan. Still, even in Aswan, there are few salesmen and tour organizers here as well, but far with much better manners.
While Aswan town is not spectacular in any way, the nature around is among Egypt's fines. A cliche not to be missed is taking a journey around the islands on a white felucca.
Aswan is a great place for exploring Ancient Egypt; the waterfalls here are the 1st Cataract of the Nile. Through long periods, Aswan was the southernmost settlement of Ancient Egypt. To the south, the cultural Nubia begins. Or Cush, as it also has been known.
Everyone goes to the island of Philae, many include the temples at Kalabsha. But there is one easy destination a short ferry ride from downtown: the Elephantine Island. It is as close to a natural theme park as one gets around Egypt, within a few minutes walk several parts of Egyptian history unfolds, from 5,000 years back, into (almost) modern ages.
Also the nature of this island is stunning, formed by gigantic stones that the river water has moved. But you will hardly believe your eyes; can water really move double digit tonnes stones?
Here in Aswan, where Africa is only Africa, the Elephantine Island was also home for a sizable Jewish community some 400-500 years BCE. But nobody has ever found out how this community came to and end.
On the other side of the Nile, the western, you can see the Aga Khan mausoleum, which is very new, but has it's charm through being the shrine over the celebrity-imam dying in 1957. And it's one of the few landmarks in the nearest vicinity of Aswan.
Among the major attractions of Aswan are of course the Aswan Dams. There are two. The first was finished in 1902, and was the largest in the world in its days. The new one was completed in 1971, and came as a result of the higher needs of the increasing Egyptian population. But it's far from containing it's maximum amount of water, due to low water in the Nile up from Aswan.




By Tore Kjeilen