25 miles north of Sudan... Abu Simbel!
Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
69Trip End Sep 04, 2008
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Abu Simbel is a pefect example of this. Rush hour in Aswan starts at 3am. Coach buses and huge vans line up to start the journey to Abu Simbel, the southern-most of the 5 towns that make up Aswan. There is police convoy, so tourists visit Abu Simbel for a limited time in the ealry morning. It was a 3-hour drive, greeted by a sunrise in the middle.
I had great anticipation for this temple because of the majestic photographs I have seen of Ramses and Nefertari
Another 3-hour drive- this time a little more comfortable- and we were back in the good ol' Aswan. Anne and I went to an Egyptian pizza place called Biti, located near the station. They specialize in Egyptian pizza with unlimited toppings! Aswan is known for its fish, so I tried calamari, mushrooms, green peppers, and tomatoes (not that there is calamari in the Nile). It was kind of like thin pizza/baked crepes and absolutely delicious! They were making the pizza on the first floor, so I was taking a picture from the staircase. The guys saw me and motioned me to come down. I was like, eh I'm good, but they peer pressured me like the Egyptians they are. They let me go behind the bar and actually help make the pizza! I first spread sauce on the dough and sprinkled chicken, green peppers, tomatoes, and olives on it and topped it off with thick chunks of mozarella cheese. I guess I was being skimpy on the toppings because the guy kept saying, "Put more, more." And he kept telling his co-worker to take pictures and made peace signs... ok, buddy. I put the pizza in the brick oven using a really long stick. Probably only Aswanese can stand to work in such heat. I felt like I was on the Travel Channel! It was such a cool experience.
The big lunch made me drowsy
I picked up my bag from the hotel and headed to the train station for the 3-hr ride to Luxor. I was only too happy to get rid of my guide, who was needlessly creepy. He was especially interested in Anne. He tried to like kiss her and asked me what her room number is! Wtf! I would have much rather had Anne's guide, who was creepy too, but at least he was young, good-looking and creepy. It's nice to have an individual guide, but it was a little too much.
Alright, I have one long, busy day in Luxor tomorrow. I am going to tackle both the west and east banks in ONE day! I thought doing them in two days was cutting it closely... we will see how it goes.