Aswan Photo Gallery

Aswan is historically famous for its stone quarries, supplying granite to statues, obelisks, and other grand monuments around Egypt. At this ancient quarry, an unfinished obelisk rests after artisans found a flaw with the work.

The city approaches the quarry.

The ancient Egyptians used an ingenious way to carve the rock into various shapes. They made holes in the rock, then stuffed them with pieces of wood, which were then soaked with water to expand.

The Nile divides the desert from the rest of town. Here, the sand shines against the afternoon sun on the west bank.

The Nile is a very peaceful river, and reflects wonderfully in the setting sun.

Money buys a ticket to the High Dam, which has created a huge lake stretching into Sudan. Here, the Nile heads north towards the Mediterranean.

The monument in the distane celebrates Soviet-Egyptian friendship. The Soviets built the dam, which opened in 1971.

On the other side, a vast lake has formed. Lake Nasser is also very serene and blue.

A narrow causeway straddles the border between lake and the Nile.

Further downstream, a smaller dam is located closer to town, offering better views of the Nile contrasting against the desert and settlement.

Abu Simbel is a three-hour drive from Aswan. It's one of the few areas in Egypt where police-escort and convoy are still required. Long before the sunrise, tour buses gathered at the police station in Aswan to get ready for the trip south. The sun slowly rose as the buses journeyed through the barren desert.

The temple at Abu Simbel had to move due to rising waters from the Aswan Dam. It was painstakingly moved to higher ground. Lake Nasser still borders the site today.

The Temple of Ramses II was carved into the rock of the Nile Valley over 3000 years ago. The giant statues of Ramses II guard the entrance.

Not all the statues made it though. One collapsed in an earthquake.

Slaves hard at work ...

The second temple is dedicated Hathor and Ramses II's wife, Nefertari.

Both temples side-by-side

Meanwhile, the vast expanse of Lake Nasser sits just to the south of the temples.

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