17 Nov 2007

Aswan and Nile Cruise, Egypt

The Aswan dam is really big. Not as huge as the Hoover Dam in the Colorado, but its at least 4 km long - the dam itself. The lake which it formed is called Lake Nasser, after the Egyptian president who went all out to have it built. The original dam was built by British engineers but after the 1970s it became too inefficient to control the severe flooding of the Nile so the Egyptian govt decided to build another one, with the help of the Soviets. Lake Nasser is really huge - so huge you can't see its banks. The guide told us that its the biggest man made lake in the world. From the plane it did look enormous - more like an inland sea.

Our cruise ship was the Nile Ruby. It's like a floating hotel, complete with gym, swimming pool and jacuzzi, two bars, a large dining room and shops. Repin and I had a comfortable room, with a large queen bed and sofas. Our ship would only sail tonight at 3.00 am so we were told to enjoy Aswan town on our own. Repin and I went for a ride in an pen carriage - but the poor horse was so skinny and under nourished we both changed our minds and told the driver to take us back to the ship. I bought the horse an apple, hoping that would at least keep the poor animal from starving but I'm bluffing myself. I'm sure it wont last very long. I've noticed this about many Arabs and Egyptians in general - they don't really care much for animals. They don't keep pets - not as far as I can see. There were'nt any cats anywhere in Mansoora.

The Nile itself is beautiful here. Lots of green on both sides of the banks. From what I can see there are banana plantations, mangoes as well as dates.

On the second night on board I got a shock of my life. Going back to the room after dinner I saw this thing hanging from my ceiling. Repin wasn't with me so I was really scared. Thought someone was trying to frighten us. But after some enquiries I found out that the others got it too - Puan sri got the same thing -towels hanging from the ceiling.

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