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Aswan, to the Nubian museum

Home -> Africa -> Egypt -> Travelogue Egypt -> 20 January 2004

Tuesday 20 January, Aswan, to the Nubian museum

During breakfast we get a telephone call. Who good ever phone us here? An employee of Travco stands at the reception who wants to speak to us. After a complicated story about the hotelvoucher for Luxor he leaves. We are not sure what he exactly wanted. The fact that we visited the office of Travco yesterday has probably encouraged them to think of all sorts of actions.
Egyptian womanAgain, it is warmer than the day before when we take our seats at the terrace for some coffee. The Egyptian woman that serves us is so beautiful and so characteristical for this country (and fitting into this landscape) that I ask if I can take a picture of her. Elisabeth totally agrees with me. She feels very honoured but so do we. It is a pity I am not a muslem living here, then I could have up to four women...
Aswan AswanFrom the hotel we walk uphill to the Nubian museum. It stands in a park with a surface of 15,000 square meters and has been opened in 1997. Both security and the construction are modern and orderly. We start with a walk through the extensive gardens from where we also can see the cemetary of the Fatimids, descendants of Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad.
Nubian museumThe museum has a clear division and much more orderly than most Egyptian museums. From the prehistory we slowly walk further into time and each piece has a signboard with a clear explanation. The only hard thing is to get around the large groups that follow their guide and often totally block the way.
Nubian museumMost of the things which are shown here, have been found in the neighbourhood or relate to the Nubian background of this area. Like this wooden army of Nubians which was found in a tomb at Luxor, dating back to the Middle Kingdom.
Nubian museumObviously, Ramesses II, the greatest builder from the past, has his statue in this museum, too. Well known are the temples he build for himself and his wife Nefertari at Abu Simbel, 200 kilometers to the south. The construction of the High Dam would flood them forever and they were cut out of the rocks and moved more than 100 meters higher, the biggest project of the Unesco to save the Nubian monuments.
Nubian museum Nubian museumNubia is an area going from southern Egypt to the north of Sudan. Therefore this museum pays a lot of attention to the Nubian histroy, up to the present culture. Amongst others, there are some tableaus which almost cannot be distinguished from the real life.
Nubian museumOutside we babble a bit with a guard who is convinced we speak Arabic very well and who wants to be on a picture with Elisabeth. In fact, he has to throw us out, since the museum closes in the afternoon, but he tells his colleagues that we have enough time for a picture. Surprisingly, he doesn't ask for bakshiesh... maybe we should have asked him, since he wanted to be on the picture.
Roof terraceWe walk to a small but very luxurious shopping center with a roof terrace where we take a break. Today everybody seems to think that we speak Arabic well, since here also, they keep on talking to us in Arabic and we try to manage as good as we can. Maybe they just don't speak any English at this place, but that would be strange, since almost everyone knows at least some words in English.
Walking along the Nile we have to decline a lot of offers again. Cabs, carriages, felouka's, they all cost 5 pounds. Until you say yes, then the prices explode to a multiple number. After this last walk through Aswan we return to the hotel were we are welcomed with much enthousiasm by the guards and the waiters.
Terrace Old CataractFor the last hours of the day we install ourselves at the terrace and the waiters immediately bring an icebucket to keep our drinks cool. It is considerably warmer than yesterday. We notice today much more people speaking Dutch in the hotel and also in town. What are they all doing here, shouldn't they be working, back home?
Sunset at AswanToday, the sun sets behind a couple of dark clouds which makes the view even nicer than the cloudless sunsets we saw the last few days. We are really at a beautiful spot here, it is a shame that we have to leave tomorrow. We could stay here forever!
Back in the room we get another call by Travco. This time the employee who is waiting for us in the lobby wants us to bring him the voucher for our last night in Luxor to exchange it for another one from Travco Cairo! We have no idea why they want it like this and now there is no elevator left to use so I have to walk more than 160 steps down and then up again.


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