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  • Aswan and the Cataract hotel, Egypt

    Thu, Jul 22, 2010


    Aswan is a city is the south of Egypt and it is the capital of the Aswan governorate.

    Aswan ha a busy market atmosphere with a big tourist center. The city sued to be smaller but now it has been expanded. The city includes the previously separated community from the elephantine island.

    Most of the Nubian settlement people who have settled here; do not even roof their houses, because there is almost no rainfall.

    The city of Aswan used to be called swenet. This is a frontier town that was in the south of ancient Egypt.  Swenet got its name from the goddess that was patron to the city.  The name is also said to have been kept because it could be an Egyptian word and symbol for ‘trade’.

    The place was also famous because navigation was possible from here to the delta without encountering any barriers from this location.

    Egypt has many stone quarries.  The places are known for their quality and availability of the rock syenite.

    Swenet was also important because it was a strategic location for the military to establish station and run operations from here. The local navy also kept a check and collected toll from the trade ships passing through this region.

    In about the year three hundred and thirty, Alexandrias bishop got stationed here and this place became the Coptic diocese of syene. Many writers have mentioned this place in their writings like Herodotus, strabo, Ptolemy, pliny the elder. It is also mention in the scriptures of the bible in the book of Isaiah.

    Aswan lying toward the south of Egypt. Almost at the Sudanese border. With serest on one side and islands that are beautifully covered in palm trees with great big boulders. All these give off a naturally beautiful sense of being and harmony in Aswan, the southern most town of Egypt.  Aswan used to be a very strategic trade location and it was very famous for its ivory, gold and slave trade throughout the years. . The souk here is amazing. It is filled with spices, perfumes, and produce.  After Cairo’s, this is Egypt’s most active market places even today.

    The town of Aswan has been well known to tourists especially during the winters.  People here are quite laid back. And being laid back and the sightseeing tradition of the place go well hand in hand. Get yourself into one of the many tradition feluccas and go sailing. It is also preferable to go sailing downstream to Luxor.

    It doesn’t matter what else you do; however you have to book into the old cataract hotel at Aswan. This is where Agatha Christie visited and she was she captivated and inspired that she write her book, death on the Nile, right here. Later on when the movie adaptation was made, the cataract hotel is present in many scenes throughout the movie and a lot of filming had been done with the hotel as well. The hotel gives off a very Edwardian feel which very calmly and stylishly blends into oriental elegance.  It was this that got aga khan the third to get completely mesmerized about this place. He made this place his honeymoon destination and he also visited back quite regularly. In fact, before he died he chose to be buried in this place as well. And so it was. Aga khans body lies in the in the mausoleum here and his tomb is one of the most visited sites here in the city.  You may as well go on and book any of the many suites in the hotel. However, if you are looking for some drama and history then make sure you book into one of the special suites.

    Gather Christies quite has a small balcony from where she would watch the sunset and then go back to a small writing room whenever she would wish to write down her thoughts and her novel.  Also there is a suite of thousand and one nights, in which Winston Churchill spends a lot of time. If you could manage getting the Winston Churchill suite then you would probably want to live there for one thousand and one nights as well.

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