During our stay in Aswan we needed to find ourselves an entertainment. We were exploring Aswan in many ways. We were climbing the nearest dunes, as you already know we visited Nubian village, plus we did some other sightseeing. For instance we went to see the High Dam, we did a day Nile Cruise with Mohamed and we explored the most amazing Temple in the whole Egypt – Abu Simbel.
Regarding to High Dam – it is an example of modern and also controversial construction on monumental scale in Egypt. The main target of that enormous investment was to increase economic production by further regulating the annual river flooding. Nevertheless, it also brought great benefits to the Egypt’s farmers increasing cultivable land by at least 30%. And helped a lot in generating hydroelectricity – the electricity producing capability of the Dam doubled Egypt’s available supply. As a curiosity: the hydro-electric power generated is able to supply electricity to the whole of the country, however when we were in Aswan every day sometimes night the town had lot of power cuts – some of them lasted even few hours. The Aswan High Dam has produced several negative side effects, mostly environmental such as: raise of water tables, use of artificial fertilisers led to increasing salinity of the the agricultural areas and it caused endemic infection in perennially irrigated canals.Aswan High Dam is very often visited by tourists as it is historic attraction.
In terms of hassle, Aswan was much better that other cities in the North. Of course we had to deal time to time with insolent people, but it wasn’t that bad. When we were in town we of course were buying lots of water and other soft drinks. We discovered a sort of street shop (nearby the Nile Navigation Office) with a large choice of drinks. When we came first time, they were trying to cheat us. The conversation started like this:
Us: – “Salam Alaikum, how much for the Sprite?”
Seller:- “ 7 Egyptian Pounds”
Us:- “Ok, how much for the Coke?”
S: – “ 7 Egyptian Pounds”
U: – “Ok, how much for the water?”
S: – “ 5 Egyptian Pounds”
The prices were clear – we were supposed to pay 19EP. We didn’t have smaller money that day than 50EP and we gave that note to the seller. He gave us only 5 EP change(!) He looked into Charlie’ s eyes with a confused face expression and asked: – “Is that ok?”
We looked at him and said: – “No it’s not ok, we gave you 50 EP and we were supposed pay 19 EP”
The guy gave us 10 EP more, smiled and asked: – “Is it ok now?”
We got a little bit angry, but still politely answered: – “No, it’s no ok, you need to give us more change”
After, third time we finally got 30EP change….
They were trying some funny games the next time we went over to buy more drinks, but already after a few words the owner said to the guy who was serving us “Halas!” (which mean Stop/That’s enough!) – And after that suddenly everyone started counting correctly and shopping became so much easier.
In Aswan we also discovered shop with souvenirs, which was named: „No hassle shop”. That name was interesting, and I wanted to test whether it was really no hassle…Well nobody bothered me, but young boy (seller) asked me 6 Euros for one not even looking good postcard! A wayyy to expensive…
What we definitely would love to recommend to anyone in Aswan is McDonald with one of the best views ever – On the Nile River🙂. It was weird, but fast food helped Charlie to recover faster. We assumed that due to Ramadan all sandwiches were freshly made on customer’s request. The buns were crispy, salad fresh and meat juicy🙂 Plus they had amazing, seriously amazing freshly squeezed orange juice.
In Aswan we also noticed enormous amount of luxurious cruise ships. They were mostly docked on the river banks…they were half empty, just time to time we saw a person in bikini/swimming trunks walking on the ship’s roof deck, where swimming pool and leisure area were available.