If you ever take a train in Egypt remember that they run on what is known as “Egypt Time”. So if they say it gets in at 9am that is anytime from 9:30-11am! The seats were fairly comfy but the train bathrooms looked pretty familiar—just like the ones in India. Our English speaking guide Ashrak met us on the train in Luxor and took the 4 hour ride to Aswan with us. We got into town around 11am and were pretty exhausted, dirty and dying for a shower after the night train. Unfortunately our stateroom in the cruise wouldn’t be ready for a few hours so we decided to go visit a couple of the major sites. We’re not sure if it was the exhaustion or what but we weren’t too impressed with either the Unfinished Obelisk or the High Dam in Aswan. Come to think of it. . . Ashrak our guide wasn’t that great either! Most of the obelisks in Egypt came from this site in Aswan. The ancient Egyptians would use basalt rocks to chip out the basic shape of the obelisk. It would later be moved on the Nile in boats to its final destination where the carving of hieroglyphics would be completed. This obelisk was never completed because it cracked in the center.
The highlight of Aswan was definitely the yummy lunch we had at a local spot. They brought out so much food: hummus, babganoush, sautéed okra, beans, salad, soup, and huge pieces of grilled chicken! The last of Ruby’s contact lenses were in her purse which was stolen so we had to go find some in town. This wasn’t as easy as being in LA or NY but luckily after driving around town we finally found a shop with just 2 lenses in the right prescription. Afterwards we hopped onto our Nile cruise ship Emilio—it was not the one that we were originally promised but it was still really nice and modern. The staff brought lunch up to our room immediately. We basked in the air conditioning after showering and enjoyed a relaxing evening on the cruise.