Day V – Aswan

26 Dec

We had a 3am wake up call but the guy himself was sleeping peacefully when we reached the lobby at 3.30am. It was he we were supposed to collect our breakfast box from but we had to wake him up instead. Left the hotel and entered the waiting minivan, picked up several other tourists and headed to a waiting convoy. Waited for another 45 mins and left at 4.30am towards Abu Simbel. I woke up to a wonderful sight of the the many stars in the dark dark sky. In no time, i caught sight of the sun peeking slowly out of the stomach of the earth. Masyallah. Arrived at around 7am at Abu Simbel which is South of Aswan.

   

Oh very very important when visiting Egypt if interested to visit the temples is your student card, the ISIS card. You get 50% at almost every sight!

Huge huge monuments awaits us when we arrived there. The morning chilly, breeze made out walk uphill a pleasant one, to the twin temples of Abu Simbel. As we arent allowed to take photos inside for preservation of the temples, do read up its interesting history and relocation of the entire area 60m, piece by piece in the 1960’s to avoid destruction by the rising water of the Nile river. Read here!

                         

  Can you believe that baksheesh (tips) is expected alot throughout Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and fortunately not too much in Siwa? There are many Tourism Policemen around and along the pavements. Before this photo, i saw a couple of caucasian tourists took a picture with other policemen. So when this policeman called to us to take a photo with him, i was like sure why not but hubby was very hesitant. I urged him to go take a photo and with a heavy, unwilling heart went and managed a smile which didnt stay on his face as soon as the policeman uttered ‘BAKSHEESH’ with a sly smile. I gave him a pound. I cant believe it!

We told Uncle F about it and he laughed at us and didnt believe it himself. He even teased us when we took a photo with him at a mall, saying we owe him 2 pounds for the photos.

I think this is one of the things you experience when you dont go with a tour group, the real people.

  When it comes to this boy, i couldnt help but feel so much for him, hubby got jealous. All i saw was ‘kesian nye, he is so young and he was trying to sell us stuff’. I felt very sad, truly. He tried to sell us 20 postcard joined together for 20 LE. He held books about Abu Simble and its history to be sold as well.

little boy: postcards 20 pounds? this (gesturing the book)?

me: how much (pointing to the book)?

little boy: how much you want?

me: i dont know…

little boy: 70 pounds?

me: woah…no its ok, la shukran…

little boy: how much you want?

me: oh no no…

little boy: this? (postcard)

me: i just want one only…

After taking time to understand, he was told by some older men to go get it from the shop nearby so he went to get it. He brought 2 and i bought 1 for 1 pound. He left to go back to the shop i think and give the money to the owner of the shop. I wish it would go to him. I teared because he looked so pitiful trying to sell stuff instead of studying in school. I wished i could have talked more to him, instead of acting like some hot shot tourist. (jk)

little boy: ciao!

Aswan High Dam

     

Philae Temple which was also relocated and currently it is found on an island so we had to take a motorboat. Read up here!

                 

After all the tour, we slept till late. We left to look for dinner but all the ‘restaurants’ were like coffee shop and all i saw were men so we settled for KFC. It wasnt as uneventful as we thought it, my jaws suddenly locked because i put too much food in my mouth i think. It was a scary scary thing as this happened to me once before in Venice when i was all alone in the cabin room, in the middle of a jungle, many km away from town. It went back to normal then. I tried to flex it again and again but it still locked. I silently prayed to Allah and relaxed for a bit, Alhamdulilah it was back to normal but still could feel it hurting. My jaws ached for a few days after.

 

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