A short flight from Cairo took us to our next stop in Egypt, the laid-back and pleasant town of Aswan. Aswan is inhabited mostly by Nubians, people of Southern Egypt that settled along the banks of the Nile for its rich agriculture. Nubians are relaxed and friendly, wear long flowing robes and go barefooted. It gets HOT in Aswan! We made friends with Mohammed who ferried us to the island of Philae and the Temple of Isis. The Goddess Isis was the wife of Osiris who was murdered and dismembered by his brother Seth but brought back to life by Isis’ magical powers. Isis and Osiris had Horus, God of the Sun, Sky, and Moon, who eventually avenged his father’s death by killing Seth. Orsiris, Isis, and Horus dominate ancient Egyptian culture and to see the magnificent Temple dedicated to the Goddess Isis, with its stunning hieroglyphic stories, was breathtaking and magical like Isis herself!
Before checking in at the Old Cataract Hotel, we visited the Aswan Dam, better known as the High Dam. The High Dam is an engineering feat built to contain the flooding of the Nile, provide irrigation, and generate hydroelectricity. Sadly, it flooded and drowned many Egyptian treasures but some, like the Temple of Isis, were able to be dismantled and relocated prior to the 1970 dam completion.
The Old Cataract Hotel was my favorite accommodation in Egypt. Is it a completely renovated 19th century Victorian Palace on the banks of the Nile with spectacular views of Elephantine Island. The origin of Elephantine Island dates to the exile of the Jews from ancient Israel after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BC – eight centuries after Moses led the children of Israel from Egypt! There is a magnificent, on-going excavation on Elephantine Island uncovering the ruins of the Jewish community and a museum that houses a large collection of scrolls (500 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls) describing Jewish life in Ancient Egypt. We descended the famous Elephantine Island Nilometer (one reason to always travel with trip insurance!) Nilometers were used to measure the river’s water level during flood season: too low would bring famine and too high, destruction. Rebecca
Previous Articles in This Series
- Protecting Traveler Equity Matters - February 1, 2017
- Never Tired of New York - May 16, 2016
- Italy for Spring Break! - October 1, 2015
- A Mother/Daughter New York Trip! - August 25, 2015
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile - May 4, 2015
- Egypt: Hidden Treasures of the World - April 17, 2015
- Egypt: Loving Luxor - April 16, 2015
- Egypt: Luxurious Luxor - April 15, 2015
- Egypt: Amazing Aswan - April 14, 2015
- Egypt: Just the Beginning - April 13, 2015