In ancient times “Aswan” was an encounter point for the fluvial and terrestrial caravans that united the center of Africa with the Mediterranean Sea. Today is a quiet city, one of the few ones in the whole country where you can live with the salespersons, the coaches drivers, or with those who drive the felucca.
My arrival in Egypt
I entered Egypt from Sudan, the ship that once a week runs Nasser Lake, took me from Wadi Halfa up to Aswan, in a trip that lasts 18 hours. The artificial lake Nasser has a dimension of 500 square km and it is the result of the Great Dams of Aswan, built during the decade of l960. It has 111 meters height and 3,60 km lenght and its volume overcomes the 42 million cubic meters.
To travel the lake let me understand the immensity of the Nile and of its waters, to imagine the past and to understand why an entire civilization lent it cult as if this was a God.
In ancient times “Aswan” was an encounter point for the fluvial and terrestrial caravans that united the center of Africa with the Mediterranean Sea. From that time the gold of the place (nub) could have originated the name to the region. During the New Kingdom understood between the years 1539 and 1075 AD. Nubia became a county of Egypt. Wawat, the Low Nubia went from Aswan to the Second Waterfall. Kush, or high Nubia went from the second Waterfall up to almost the fifth one.
Nowadays Aswan is one of the cities in Egypt that receives the biggest quantity of tourists. Their margin on the river full of cruises that sail from south to north or vice-versa and their streets in the nights become a picturesque scenario that once visited , it become unforgettable.
Of all the cities that I have visited in Egypt, Aswan was the one that I like most.. Located on the right of the river Nile,it has a population that is about the 200.000 inhabitants. It was the quietest city for me, one of the few ones in the whole country where you can live with the salespersons, the coaches drivers, or with those who drive the felucca, a small sailboat that navigates by the Nile and that it can go as far as its captain proposes .
And as all tourist city, you have many options to fill the time to visit it. Here they are several temples like the Philac or that of Kalabsha, the museums Nubio and of Aswan and a botanical garden, too.
But without any doubt, the most attractive thing to do from Aswan is to arrive to Abu Simbel.
Abu Simbel is located 250 south km of Aswan. There, one of the majestic places of the whole country is: The Great Temple of Ramses II that was transferred to the summit of a cliff between 1963 and 1968 because of the construction of the Great Dam and the formation of the lake Nasser.
The temple was product of the New Kingdom in the XIX dynasty and its entrance has four statues of Ramses II, of 20 meters high each one and in its interior eight huge 10 meters that represent Osiris with the features of Ramses II.
According to the myth, Osiris was the Egyptian God that gave the laws to men and he taught them the cultivation of the plants, from then, men stopped to be anthropophagous (those that eat human meat) and they abided to morals.
The temple dedicated to Hathor, (the goddess of the love and of the happiness) and also to his wife Nefertari is neighbor to the temple of Ramses II. There are six statues sculpted on stone , four of Ramses II two of his wife.
The new Kingdom in Egypt was known as an era of wealth and power without precedents. Military campaigns pushed the Egyptian frontiers farther from where they had been in the Half Empire, creating a Kingdom that ran from the 5° waterfall in the Nile to the river Euphrates in western Asia. The mittanis and the hititas, powers of the north, became their allies, and Assyria and Babylon paid them tribute.