CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

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CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:05 pm

Our discussion about coffee, on another thread, led me to mention some coffee experiences in Aswan during a brief visit in 2010. That set my mind wandering and remembering that trip which followed 10 nights in Luxor.
Searching on the internet I found this review that I posted on 12 May 2010.

"Hi Petra
We just want to let you know how much we enjoyed spending some time with Mustafa last week.
On Thursday 6 May there was no wind but as we had asked to go on the coffee tour, Mustafa suggested that he take us around the islands of The Cateract in his small motor boat and then go to the coffee making before return to our hotel. We spent a very relaxed three hours cruising slowly around the islands seeing the wildlife then sitting under a shady awning while coffee was prepared for us in the traditional way with freshly roasted beans and added spices...very, very nice indeed.
On Saturday Mustafa collected us from the hotel in his motor boat in the early evening and took us along elephantine island to his village. He proudly showed us his very comfortable house with accommodation to let and made us tea. He then took us on a walking tour of his village which was very enjoyable. People were friendly and the houses are brightly painted, with lovely old antique front doors. At his mothers house his sister prepared a very tasty dinner for us served in a room set aside for such entertaining.
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 19-28-11.JPG
He then returned us safely back in his boat. He must have x-ray eyes because it was quite dark and no boats on the water were using any lights.
Mustafa is a wonderful host and a really nice guy and we were very comfortable in his company and thank him most sincerely for showing us some aspects of Nubian life.
Please extend our thanks to him and we hope to meet again, inshahla
With best wishes to Aswan Individual
From Annette and John Jordan"


Then back to my photo albums to find my record of that trip. As it is a dismal rainy afternoon today, I shall sort out some pictures and recount our experience of that trip.
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:05 pm

CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN
We first visited Aswan in May 1998. This was just 6 months after the terrorist massacre at Deir el-Bahari, in November of the previous year, when 62 tourists were murdered. That event resulted in an immediate drop in tourism to Egypt and even in May of the following year we were told that The Oberoi hotel had just 22 guests when we stayed there.

On that occasion it was a short stopover before joining our boat for the Lake Nasser trip to Abu Simbel. Happy to say that by our next visit in May 2010 the hotel was busy and tourists had returned to the lovely city of Aswan. I find Aswan very different to Luxor which has a largely tourist economy. Aswan is more of a working city with tourism secondary to other activities in the city. It has its tourist sites and attractions and a very good museum but, in my opinion, it is far more southern Egyptian with influences from Sudan to the south.

Through the travel company Aswan-Individual.com we pre arranged a couple of private outings hosted by Mustafa who lives in a village on the island just south of The Oberoi. First 'Coffee on the Banks of the Nile'
This is an outing normally done by Felucca but with no wind, Mustafa suggested a trip around the islands of the cataract in his motor boat before the coffee experience.

The Oberoi has some steps at the rear for 'private pickups'. I don't think they like 'private pickups' from the front ;)
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-04-031.JPG
It would be easy to get lost around all the small islands of The Cataract. There are many birds but herons dominate
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 10-38-12.JPG
Many islands have interesting rock formations
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 10-22-11.JPG
There are surprises around many bends, these men were fishing
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 10-39-45.JPG
And who would expect to find a canal narrow boat on the cataract. Must have taken a wrong turn somewhere :lol: :lol:
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 10-37-47_edited-1.JPG
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:12 pm

Very interesting memories @Grandad Thanks for sharing.

Those rock formations are interesting. Makes me wonder if they were something else at another much earlier time in history?

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:38 pm

A TASTE OF REAL COFFEE
After our relaxed tour of the islands we moored our boat for the coffee experience. For this an awning is set up over matting on the sand. A young man then does the whole coffee procedure from roasting and grinding the beans to adding spices and making really nice coffee the traditional way.
A most enjoyable, friendly and relaxed experience....
Mustafa then returned us to 'The Tradesmans Entrance' of The Oberoi :lol: :lol:

Mustafa's small boat moored at the bank
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 11-09-49.JPG
Preparing the ingredients for the coffee
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 11-19-29.JPG
Grinding the beans
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan Making the coffee.JPG
Enjoying the coffee
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 11-45-45.JPG
Comfortable location under a tree
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 06-05-2010 11-49-40.JPG
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:48 pm

Lovely photos and lovely memories. Wonder if they're still doing this today?

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:47 pm

@LovelyLadyLux
They still seem to be operating LLL.
You can check them out at aswan-individual.com
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Mad Dilys » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:06 pm

The first time I went to Aswan was in 1989 with the delegation of veterinary surgeons and their wives supporting the Brooke Horse Charity.

We went to the lovely Kitchener's Island botanical gardens and were a little late leaving, by boat of course back to the Old Cataract Hotel. Sunset is pretty quick, the small boats had no lights as they officially aren't allowed on the river after sunset.

Unfortunately the boat I was in went aground in the darkness and along with a few others I could not swim. I have a well developed sense of the ridiculous and thought it was hilarious - as I usually do in dangerous situations - but couldn't show it. Happy days :lol:
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:46 am

Geez MD - you could have come face to face with the Nile Crocodile if you'd taken a late night swim getting off the boat gone aground.

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Kiya » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:20 am

Thanks for sharing your memories Grandad, an enjoyable read/pictures to start my day .. :) :)

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Mad Dilys » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:46 am

@LLL We were quite safe as we couldn't swim so didn't go in the water. :up

The other boatmen delivered their passengers and came back to pull us off the offending rock. I remember it was very dark, no sign of a moon. All part of life's rich tapestry :lol:
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:49 am

AN EVENING IN MUSTAFAS VILLAGE
On the evening that we had dinner at Mustafas mothers house, prepared by his sister, he walked us around his village.
Narrow alleys, painted walls, and an amazing array of front doors. These were much better village houses than we tended to find in the villages around Luxor. Posting with pictures on here, I prefer to drag and drop but that is limited to 5 pictures per post so here is a small selection from our walk around the village.

My wife with Mustafa
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-55-09.JPG
Mustafa
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-57-45.JPG
One of the many interesting front doors
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-55-29.JPG
More doors and painted walls
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 19-06-59.JPG
Young entrepreneurs :lol:
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-59-31.JPG
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Ruby Slippers » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:18 am

Now you're really tugging at my heart-strings, Grandad! :cry:

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:48 pm

Loving your photos @Grandad especially the doors. I love door and love taking pictures of them myself ;)

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:10 am

@Ruby Slippers
@LovelyLadyLux
So RS, I take it that you like getting away from the tourist spots and meeting the locals. We try to do that wherever we have traveled. And people are so friendly and welcoming. :up
And LLL, here are a few more doors and scenes along the village alleyways.
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-57-34.JPG
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 18-59-21.JPG
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 19-01-57.JPG
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 19-02-22.JPG
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 07-05-2010 19-07-29.JPG
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Ruby Slippers » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:58 pm

Grandad, I have spent most of my Egyptian holidays in Aswan. Not just a few days here and there but two weeks at a time. Our friends there were local people and I have had the good fortune to visit lots of their homes and families in the villages. I think we have probably eaten more home- cooked meals in their houses than restaurant meals!

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:16 pm

Love the doors and windows pictures ;)

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Kiya » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:25 am

Thanks for sharing Grandad, some lovely doors there :)

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Mad Dilys » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:42 am

My favourite is the little girl standing on tip-toe to peek through the shutter. :up
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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Ruby Slippers » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:09 pm

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Post by Ruby Slippers » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:26 pm

Aswan is beautiful, and the Nubian people are a race apart! So friendly! Time to go - well, October is still very warm at all times; November, the heat is beginning to abate but it's still warm; December is lovely during the day although sometimes you could do with a light jacket or cardigan, but the nighttime can be quite cold, especially if you are staying on one of the islands and travel back and forth by ferry; January can be bitterly cold in the early morning and evenings!

Places to see: The Sound and Light at Philae is well worth a trip. The Tombs of the Nobles ditto. San Simeon's Monastery is worthwhile too - even if it's just to have it all to yourself with no other tourists around! Kalabsha is also somewhere to go for a half day visit. Abu Simbel is a must!!! It is awesome! I've seen it 3 times and it never fails to excite me! :)

Places to eat: One particular floating resaurant on the Corniche is the Aswan Moon. Good food; friendly staff and very cheap. Chef Kalil is a great (but small) fish restaurant in the souk. Highly recommended! :D El Masry (behind the Corniche, approx. the 3rd street behind) is good for local food but gets packed when the tour boats dock. The Nubian Restaurant on Essa Island is excellent. Catch the free ferry opposite Egyptair. The other Nubian Restaurant is up the hill near the Basma. Great views over the first cataract.

Places to stay: The Isis Island (not to be confused with the Isis on the Corniche!) is fine but the service is diabolical and very slow. The Basma has great views but always seems a bit dark to me, although it's quite a poular hotel. The Cataract is closed for refurbishment. The Movenpick on Elephantine Island is the best hotel in town IMHO! Quite pricey but worth it for the comfort level.

I hope this info. helps a little, LLL. :)

Just found the above post that I wrote on here in 2010!

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Re: CHATTING ABOUT ASWAN

Post by Grandad » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:58 pm

@Ruby Slippers
RS, I actually remember that post which was shortly after our visit. You obviously know Aswan very well. As I often say, something mentioned by another member can trigger memories in my own mind.
Aswan Moon is an example. I can't remember why I took this snap, it is probably the front of the menu, but I remember the restaurant so well
20100427 - 0508 Luxor and Aswan 08-05-2010 19-58-52.JPG

Another memory of that trip was my purchase of a very nice soft leather suit fold, in the market. It was not expensive but I did not have enough cash with me. The vendor was quite happy to come back to the Oberoi to make his sale. As I didn't use the case very often I sold it on ebay, like you do ;)
Suit Fold Case 1.JPG
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