We decided to travel by train to get to Aswan, where we would start a 5 day tour. We don’t normally travel by tours, but we had a short time frame and wanted to make the most of our time. We booked with Eye of Horus tours as they were the cheapest option and gave us a 5 day tour for $130 USD each (excluding most food and tips). We were able to book train tickets on the non-tourist train from Cairo by booking online – this was a lot cheaper (and a lot more basic) than the tourist train! After arriving in Aswan we were taken to see the High Dam, which has allowed Egypt to manage the waters of the Nile and prevent flooding.
Our next stop was the beautiful temple of Philae, which was flooded after the High Dam was built. It was then moved and rebuilt on an island which you can now reach by boat. Our guide showed us through the temple and then gave us time to look around – we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves and loved this beautiful temple.
The next morning we had a 3am wakeup call – we were leaving at 3.30am to join the convoy of tour buses headed to the templesof Abu Simbel(pictured above). These temples are really close to the border with Sudan, and you have to travel in convoy. We arrived around 8 and had about 2 hours to explore these amazing temples. Sadly we weren’t allowed to take photos inside – you see here one of the interiors taken by someone else. (We saw cameras being confiscated and weren’t game to try!)
There are two temples here – one to Rameses III and one to his wife, Nefertari. The most incredible thing about these temples is that they were moved just before Lake Nasser flooded them as the High Dam was being built – they literally moved the entire temples back from the shoreline where they would be safe! These were incredible and were absolutely worth the long drive there and back (which we slept most of anyway).