Today’s activities include walking up to one and a half miles over uneven ground and rough terrain. It could take up to one hour of standing at each site in hot conditions under the sun with no shade. There are approximately 40 steps at historic sites without railings. The flight from Aswan to Cairo is approximately one hour and a half.
We will disembark and depart by coach for the High Dam of Egypt. Also known as the Aswan Dam, this world famous dam was an engineering miracle when it was built in the 1960s. It contains eighteen times more material used to build the Great Pyramid, and provides electricity and irrigation for the whole of Egypt. The old Aswan Dam, built six kilometers down the river by the British in 1898 provides a wonderful view for visitors, from which you can gaze across Lake Nasser, the huge reservoir created when the dam was built. We will continue our morning with a visit to Philae Temple. “Philae” is a Greek approximation of what is described in hieroglyphic texts as “Pilak”, and refers to the “island of the time of Re”, i.e. the time of creation. However, what we refer to today as Philae is the main temple complex relocated from that ancient island to the island of Agilika in the 1960s as a conservationist move to avoid the site’s loss due to flooding by the High Dam. This temple was the center of the cult of goddess Isis and her connection with Osiris, Horus, and the Kingship, during the Ptolemaic period of Egyptian history. We will then head to the unfinished Obelisk, located in the Northern Quarry. Possibly intended as a companion to the Lateran Obelisk (originally in Karnak, but now in Rome) it would have weighed over 2.3 million pounds and would have been the world’s largest piece of stone ever handled. However, a crack in the stone occurred, which caused it to be abandoned where it lays today. Tools left by its builders have given us much insight into how such work was performed.
A box lunch will be provided before the flight.
We will depart by coach to the Aswan airport for the flight to Cairo. Upon arrival, we will transfer to the hotel for check-in.
At the hotel.