It was early in the morning when we boarded our waiting bus. We were now in Aswan, the most southern city in Egypt located on the east bank of the Nile, a city considered to be the country's main gate to Africa!
Our guide provided us with some quite interesting facts about Aswan, one of them being that it was one of the driest places in the world, the last rain here being in 2001 having not rained seven years earlier!
As Sadat drove the bus through the sleeping city in the early hours of the morning, the roads were deserted, hardly any people were seen on the sidewalks plus most stores were closed. However, we felt quite at home and welcomed in this city where beautiful flowers and trees decorated both sides of the streets. More surprisingly, no garbage was seen lying around! The city was very clean, therefore, getting a spot on one of my favourite in all of Egypt, after Alexandria of course!
We were brought to an area where we boarded a motorboat which brought us to the Island of Philae where the Temple of Isis stood. It was quite a pleasant ride in which we were seated on cushions around the small boat which accommodated comfortably thirty people.
I elected to sit in the back right behind the local Egyptian navigator giving me a full panoramic view of all of my surroundings. My jacket was kept on due to the coolness of the breeze when we were in shaded areas whereas in sunny ones, the warmth of the sun was quite welcomed.
Once we came in full view of the island of Philae which rose majestically from the waters of the Nile, the Temple of Isis looked quite stunning as it occupied about a quarter of the island with its huge structure complete with pylons, columns and beautiful wall scenes. While being one of the greatest Temples in Egypt as our tour guide explained to us, it was dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, mother of the falcon-headed god Horus.
One by one, we disembarked the boat and followed Akram around the island where more details were given on the temple and more beautiful scenes were viewed. Afterwards, we were given some time to freely wander around the island in which Michel and I explored more various sites while enjoying more wonderful scenes and landscapes. By then, the sun had pierced through the hazy sky and was in full view where Mother Nature had a way of enriching the landscape.
Little souvenirs were purchased on the island's gift shop and then we all re-boarded the boat which brought us to shore towards newer destinations!