I forgot to mention that on the way back from Queen Hapshetshut's temple, we took a quick stop to King Imhotep's unfinished temple. Nothing major here, just a couple of erected statues and some broken walls and stuff.
Before we began our journey to Aswan via train, we went on a fallouka (a yacht) in the Nile river. Again, nothing special here, we made a pointless stop to a small island in the middle of the river, took a few photos and rushed our ways to the train station. Yes we did, we actually ran back to the hotel, quickly took our bags and hopped on the bus because the fallouka thing took too much time. All in all, we managed to arrive at the train station on time.
Unlike the train from Cairo, this train was disgusting. The floor was full with plastic bags, nutshells and bottles, I even found a junkie needle. It was embarrassing just to be on board. More embarrassing when we met with a Korean guy backpacking across Egypt with his mother, I was embarrassed because Egypt is a celebrated muslim country, and a public transportation such as the train could taint the image of the muslims.
I hope he understand that just like any other country, Egypt has her rural village part, along with its people.
At first we were unsure how to begin a conversation with him, but in the end as we found out that he speaks fluent English, we started to get to know each other. His name was Im, he was fresh from his two-year military training. Her mother assumed us to be non-Egyptians because we looked 'smart'. It was very flattering, thank you omma. She even invited us to Korea, so according to the 'alims, when you got an invitation, you must fulfill it so here I come South Korea :)
Anyway, when we arrived in Aswan, we found out that the guide was not as good as the one in Luxor, he was very, very unfriendly. We were brought to a restaurant which served us bad food, and we were taken to a motel that from the outside could be mistaken as a brothel. Maybe it was just me, but for a tourist spot Aswan was not tourist-friendly.
We took a short rest in the hotel because we need to be travel by bus to Abu Simbel for three hours before subuh. Now, Abu Simbel is that temple that has statues of King Ramses II and his wife (Queen Nefertari?) sitting at the temple's entrance. There were two temples each for the king and queen. It is surprisingly cold here, even though we were just before Sudan.
The temple was built according to the solstice, where the sun was supposed to shine straight to the holy shrine located at the end of the temple complex. This is a brilliant feat of careful engineering, especially since it was done three thousands years ago with no satellites or telescopes, they were able to map the stars and to understand to the sun's yearly position.
By the way, here was not the original location of the temple, it was moved here by pieces because the original location was now sunk in the water of Nasser Dam, along with most of the Nubian civilisation. It was really sad to know that hundreds of temples are now deep in the artificial lake.
Oh well, until next time :)