Our last day visiting sites. We left for the trip to the Temple Island of Philae, this involved crossing the old dam and then catching a tourist boat to the Island. The Temple of Philae was flooded when the dam was built. In 1979 UNESCO designated Philae, Abu Simbel and other ruins as world heritage sites. Back in 1960, UNESCO started a project to try to save Philae, a cofferdam of steel plates was built around the site. The monuments were then cleaned, photographed and dismantled into 40,000 units before being transported and reconstructed on the Island of Agilkia about 500 meters away. The temple was reopened in 1980.
The boat trip was short. I was allowed a go on the helm! We were soon assembling for our walk around the temple. The first time we saw so many cats posing to be photographed. When we left the site, Rosemary was privileged to be able to feed some of the animals from a ham sandwich proffered by a German tourist. (It was his packed lunch. R envious of tourists who were allowed such things rather than have to go to back their boat/hotel for lunch.) Back on the tourist boat, some vendors were allowed onboard to sell items. This was the first place we had seen Black Africans, Nubians, in Egypt.
On the coach, we travelled to the Aswan High Dam and parked in the visitor centre in the middle of the dam. This dam is huge, with the largest man-made lake in the world. It is not a high tech looking dam. All the previous ones we had seen were tall concrete structures. This dam is made of rubble and clay and has a very gentle slope. It was built by Russian expertise in the 1960s. The dam is able to control the flooding of the Nile downstream.
Back on the Misr, we had lunch and then went for our optional bird watching trip on the Nile amidst the cataracts. A few bird pictures were taken (1000, cut down to just a few).
Finally, we had a trip to the Nubian Museum. The museum, a new one, opened in 1997 has materials recovered from the tombs and temples of Nubia and tells the history of the area. Apparently, there were also some lovely gardens to look around, but as always on these trips, there is never enough time.
Finally back on the boat our final cocktails, dinner and farewell from the crew along with instructions for the morning.