Although the majority of the visits are either to tombs or
temples, one of the highlights for me was sailing in a felucca,
the local traditional sailing boat. We took one on a visit to
Kitchener Island, just across the water from Aswan. Here,
at the beginning of the 20th century, Lord Kitchener created
a 17-acre botanical garden, importing trees and flowers
from around the world, which is now open to the public.
Our trip included a visit to an alabaster factory where we
were given a brief demonstration on how the pieces are made.
We were then shown the difference between a hand and
machine-made article, and advised to be aware of false copies.
Subsequent to this, however, we saw items in the market that
looked similar to those that we were told had been handmade,
but at a much cheaper price!
Aswan also appears to be a perfumery centre. Here,
we visited an outlet that specialises in essential oils, and
were given an explanation on the merits of each fragrance.
This included several aromatherapy and healing oils, as well
as some which form the basis of named perfumes.
All the excursions are included, but the really “must see”
one is not. This is a trip to Abu Simbel, the country’s most
impressive temple. An UNESCO World Heritage Site,
it is situated in the Sahara desert near the border with Sudan.
Classic Traveller promotes flying there from Aswan at an
additional cost of £140.
Magnificent statues at Luxor temple
Web site created by Mark Griffin