Aswan is located 1000 km south of Cairo on the banks of the Nile. For many centuries, the city was a trade center on the caravan route, ivory and other goods from Central Africa were brought here, and the famous pink granite was mined in the vicinity. The economic importance of the city was especially great during the reign of the pharaohs.
To the north of the city, the Nile calmly carries its waters for more than a thousand kilometers, right up to the Mediterranean Sea, and to the south, rapids impassable for ships begin. There is not a single bridge across the river in Aswan. To get to the other side by car, you need to drive along the crest of the old dam, which was built at the end of the last – the beginning of this century and delayed the second, but not the main wave of the Nile tide.
In Russia Aswan is usually associated with a giant dam built in the 60s with the assistance of the USSR. With the construction of the Aswan Dam, the Egyptians finally got the opportunity to control their great river – to direct the entire tide of the Nile into the reservoir. The dam has become one of the landmarks of the city. This gigantic structure is 111 m high, 3.5 km long and 1 km wide. On the left bank of the river, at the western base of the dam, a monument to Egyptian-Soviet friendship has been erected. From the observation deck of the monument, located at a height of 46 m, both the dam, the reservoir, and Aswan are perfectly visible.
According to Politicsezine.com, Aswan is a very picturesque city. Its residential quarters are located on the right, low bank of the river. The tree-lined embankment stretches for several kilometers. Tourist ships lined up along it in a continuous line. They cruise along the Nile to Luxor, stopping at Kom Ombo and Edfu along the way, where wonderful temples have been preserved since ancient times. One of the stops on the cruise is the Mausoleum of the Aga Khan, considered a fine example of contemporary Islamic art. Not far from the mausoleum lie the ruins of the ancient Coptic monastery of St. Simeon, founded in the VI century.
The pride of Aswan is the Botanical Garden on Plant Island or Kitchener Island. The garden is home to over 400 species of subtropical flora, including the world’s largest collection of palm trees, with over 100 species.
At the southern tip of Elephantine Island is an impressive site. The high bank is lined with stone slabs on which hieroglyphic inscriptions are carved. Ancient Aswan began in this part of the island. In the middle of the rocks stands an island with a beautifully preserved temple of the goddess Isis.. Its front platform is surrounded by a colonnade. A large image of Ptolemy XII adorns the wall of the first 18-meter pylon. In the temple you can see the paintings depicting the childhood of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris. The beautiful bas-reliefs of the temple were badly damaged by floods, as well as by partial flooding after the construction of the old dam.
The Nubians who settled in the city give it a special African flavor: you can hear old Nubian music in restaurants, and buy bright Nubian embroidery in souvenir shops. In winter, Aswan comes alive, its streets, restaurants, embankments and bazaars are filled with crowds of tourists.
Dahab is located in the south of the Sinai Peninsula. In the past, it was a Bedouin village, and now it is a resort offering excellent opportunities for beach holidays, diving and windsurfing.
Dahab is a geographic name that combines several places. One of them is Masbad, a small tourist center with a cozy promenade, along which, on one side, there are numerous shops and Bedouin shops, and on the other, at the very edge of the sea, cafes and restaurants. This is an inexpensive place for youth recreation. There are many small hotels and campsites that are ideal for those who are willing to sacrifice some comfort and spend the money saved on outdoor activities and excursions.
Three kilometers from the tourist center is The lagoon is one of the best places in the world to learn how to windsurf. Its natural features – smooth water, wind directed along the coast, sandy beaches, attract a large number of fans of this sport. There are four comfortable hotels here.
In the north is Assala – a village of indigenous Bedouins. It ends with the residential area of Mubarak, resting against the mountains. There are more than 20 dive sites in the vicinity of Dahab. All dives are carried out from the shore. One of the most impressive places is the world-famous Blue Hole.. This is a huge well in the reef rock with a diameter of about 100 m, tapering down like a funnel. Exploring the water spaces of one of the cleanest seas in the world, you can find rare specimens of underwater flora and fauna, see bizarre corals, sunken ships. Giant turtles, colorful fish live here, and in July and August octopuses, large barracudas, eagle rays, manta rays come to these waters.
About an hour and a half camel ride along a narrow path along the sea to the north of the Blue Hole, the territory of Ras Abu Galum National Park begins. A camel safari is organized on this route, with an overnight stay in a thatched hut in a coastal Bedouin village, with a dinner cooked on a fire and diving from a reef. Second National Park, Gabr Il Bent located south of the city. This is perhaps the most uninhabited piece of coast in the vicinity of Dahab. Safaris are also organized in the park, and the coast is the best place for a dive safari.