Egypt: Day 7 (29 Oct 2007)

Volume 10, Issue 127; 20 Nov 2007; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Philae, the dams, the unfinished obelisk, Kitchner island, a wildlife tour, a Nubian village, and spices.

Philae is one of 17 temples moved to higher ground. The original Aswan Dam built by the British in 1902, placed Philae underwater much of the year. Other temples, like Abu Simbel were threatened by the much larger high dam.

All the crocodiles in the Nile are now stuck in Lake Nasser above the high dam.

They can't get through the turbines to the water below the dam.

After the dams, we stopped at the unfinished obelisk. Unfinished because it developed a huge crack before it was completed.

Can you imagine the cursing?

We spent the rest of the day exploring the first cataract below the British dam. This included a field trip to the botanical garden on Kitcher island as well as a short bird-watching trip by boat.

Looking west, beyond the banks of the Nile, the sand begins.

That sand is the Sahara desert and it stretches for 7,000 miles to the Atlantic ocean. South of the delta, greenery extends for a few hundred meters, perhaps a few thousand in places, on either side of the Nile. That's it. A few oasis notwithstanding, it's just sand everywhere else.

(Don't believe me? Click on that little map icon in the lower left hand corner, zoom out, and pan west. The great Sahara.)

Our wildlife tour ended at a Nubian village.

And that night, Hatem took us out to buy spices if we were interested.

I can't begin to describe the aroma.

Comments

Very nice Egypt diary, and photos! Just a small comment: the bird above is not a kingfisher, but more likely a Squacco Heron, a common heron species along the banks of the Nile.

—Posted by Tellervo on 22 Nov 2007 @ 10:12 UTC #