Aswan - Egitalloyd Travel Egypt Aswan
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Aswan

Aswan is the southernmost city in Egypt, and had the name Abu ("elephant") in Ancient Egypt. In Coptic the city was named Sawan which later has become today's name Aswan. Here in Aswan the first cataracts in the Nile is found when coming from north and up the river, and this formed the borderland to the Nubian kingdom.

Today's Aswan is by many considered one of the most beautiful places on earth, as did late Aga Khan who chose Aswan as his winter resort and burial pla...

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Aswan
Aswan is the southernmost city in Egypt, and had the name Abu ("elephant") in Ancient Egypt. In Coptic the city was named Sawan which later has become today's name Aswan. Here in Aswan the first cataracts in the Nile is found when coming from north and up the river, and this formed the borderland to the Nubian kingdom.

Today's Aswan is by many considered one of the most beautiful places on earth, as did late Aga Khan who chose Aswan as his winter resort and burial place. The high dam is along with tourism the most important resource for the area, and the gigantic Lake Nasser starts in Aswan, created by the second dam that was built in the late sixties.

The city was during Pharaonic times located on the island Elephantine while today's Aswan is on the east bank of the Nile.

Aswan (210 Km from Luxor, 886 km from Cairo) is where the valley closes upon the river. At this point the Nile is only 87m above sea level. The layer of sandstone covering Upper Egypt from Edfu south-wards is ruptured here by the thrust of underlying granite which the river has hewn into the rocks and islands of the first cataract. Even before construction of the British dam at the turn of the century and the giant hydro-electric dam in the 1960, this was where traffic on the Nile stopped. Camels transported cargoes round the rocks while lightened boats took their chances through the granite passage.

Long favored as a winter resort with daytime temperatures around 23-30C, the increase and changing style of tourism in Egypt has led greater numbers of travelers to challenge the summer heat which usually ranges from 38-42C during the day, though it can climb much higher. Air conditioning and a siesta during early afternoon, and the low humidity, make even the hottest July and August days bearable.

Following the day's fierce sun and dry desert heat, there is the beauty at evening of sand, sky and water fading imperceptibly through deepening violet, a lift of breeze on the Nile, a movement of palms, a fight of hoopoes , and the graceful glide of swallow –tailed feluccas. The final pleasure is to know that when morning comes at Aswan there is so little to do. Frontier Outpost Aswan is where Egypt ends. Beyond lie Nubia and the Sudan, and the traditional routes of invasion and trade.

The ancient Egyptians garrisoned the 500 km stretch of river to the third cataract, and the fleet patrolled the Nile between the first cataract and the second at Wadi Halfa. An uprising or an attack on a caravan, and signal flies relayed the summons for help to Aswan. Two thousand years more later, Aswan marked the southernmost margin of the Roman world, and when Juvenal fell into disfavour at Rome for writing satirical verses against the emperor's court, it was to Aswan that he was posted, to guard the empire he had mocked. It is the High dam that accounts for the modern military presence: its beach would send a tidal wave down the whole length of the Nile Valley and inundate half of Cairo. But that presence and the object of its protection lie out of sight some kilometers south of the town, which for all of its growth and the influx of workers in recent years retains an atmosphere of remoteness and tranquility.
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