Aswan is a relatively small city and you can see a lot on foot. The center is based on the Nile embankment, so the longest hike it's been through 3 Corniche al-Nile km between the block to the North Railway Station and the Ferials Garden, where the road turns off the river and runs past the great Coptic cathedral inland. You must also come to the souk.
This walking avenue stretches for over a mile 3 km. Its charm is not in architecture (most of the buildings date back to the 20th century.), but views of the Nile and the west bank. Felucca floating on the Nile look especially beautiful at sunset, when the sun slowly hides behind a desert ridge decorated with the ruins of a mausoleum, and the water begins to turn into a golden-orange shimmering space. Then everyone hatches on the Corniche. Watching the sunset is part of the local ritual.
The Aswan bazaar is considered the best in the country, right after Cairo, and on top of that, it's a bit cheaper and more exotic. Shari 'as-Suq is the backbone of shops and stalls, which sell African-style carpets and ebony products, baskets and oriental perfumes, spices and herbs, jewelry and all kinds of souvenirs.
It is best to walk around the souk in the evening time. Fresh produce is available near the train station. Morning is the best. The rest is usually bought in the evening, when is the greatest movement and choice of goods. The most interesting part of the bazaar stretches to the north of the shari block 'Abdel Magid Abu Zid. These are wooden souvenir and jewelry stores, where it is not difficult to spot any interesting detail. You should remember this, that the trade in antique items is prohibited in Egypt.
Shopping in Aswan is just as exciting, what's exotic. Most tourists buy a variety of spices, usually cheaper and fresher than those in Europe. In addition to food, tourists often buy souvenirs. In stores, hang alabije and embroidered Nubian robes. They are also long, sometimes hand-woven scarves, colorful nubian skullcaps, camel bone pendants, baskets and trays.
The facility is located in the southern part of the city, not far east of the Old Cataract and Basma hotels, or approx. 30 min walk from the center.
For a cursory look at the exhibition, you should allocate at least 2 at, but it's best to plan a longer stay. Nubian Museum, ranked among the most important Egyptian museums, is the only institution in the world that collects items related to the history and culture of the people, who inhabited the area between Aswan and the 4th Cataract (city of Dabba). The museum does 50 thousand. m2, of which 7 thousand. m2 is the building area, the part – exhibition in the open space. Many exhibits from Egyptian museums have been brought in. Greatly laid out monuments with English inscriptions and detailed information about the culture and history of Nubia make, that you must visit here.
3 thousand. exhibits bring closer the Nubian past, from prehistory to the era of pharaoh domination, Roman period, Coptic to Muslim.
In the exhibition halls there is a colossal statue of Ramses II made of sandstone from the temple of Gerf Hussein, quartzite statue of the priest Amun from the Land of Kush, black granite head of Pharaoh Taharki, rulers of Egypt and Nubia in the 7th century. p.n.e., statue of Amenras, the priestess and divine consort of Amun of Karnak, from the origin of Nubia, horse row from Ballan's tombs, as well as frescoes from Coptic churches in Nubia. There are four mummies of the nobles of Nubian Kashmatch.
Many temples in ancient Egypt were built of Aswan pink or red granite. Most of the stone was mined in quarries in what is now Aswan. The northern quarries are located approx. 500 m from the Nubian Museum. Due to the heat it is hard to stay here at noon. The conditions are not hard to imagine, in which the prisoners worked, cutting blocks of stone using diorite hammer.
Based on the traces left by ancient masons, ways can be recreated, which they used, to tear the stone block off the wall.
They forged a row of holes in the bedrock, and then put dried wooden wedges into them, which were poured with water. The wood swelled and burst the rock, until the block lifted off the ground. Sometimes also fires were used, warming the rock and pouring cold water over the heated stone. The only metal tools, anyway very expensive, there were cold-forged copper chisels.
There is a huge Unfinished Obelisk in the northern quarry, which was almost completely cut off from the ground, but then a crack appeared on it. Further cutting off the rock made no sense and the obelisk was abandoned.
If it had been completed, would measure 42 m in height, would weigh 1267 tons and would be the largest obelisk in the world. It probably came from the times of Queen Hatshepsut (XVI/XV w p.n.e.) and was to form a pair with the obelisk currently standing in Rome on the Lateran (originally in front of the temple of Thotmes III in Karnak). The method of transporting and placing the obelisks is shown in reliefs from the temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari (Dair al-Bahari). To the west of the northern quarries lies the so-called. Fatimid Cemetery, where you can see numerous tombs with domes.
It is the largest inland island of Aswan and one of the earliest inhabited places in Egypt, because artifacts from prehistoric times were found here. Location by the 1st Cataract, natural border for Egyptians moving through the river, gave it importance for the defense of state borders. The fortress on the river developed into a great city. Successive rulers looked after the southern garrison town, they ordered the expansion of temples, often using the previously used building materials. In the Late Period, during the wars with Assyria and Babylon, a military garrison was stationed in Elephantine, Jewish merchants and mercenaries lived. The island delights with its unique beauty and its charm cannot be destroyed even by the Aswan Oberoi hotel surrounded by a fence and another facility under construction.
The name of the island comes from the Greek word for elephant – translations of the original name of Abu (Jabu). Perhaps great, the oval granite rocks protruding from the river current were associated by the first inhabitants of Elephantine with the bodies of elephants. The cult center of the god Khnum was located in Abu, Pana katarakty, and his wife Satet (Satis).
In the central part, behind the palm-grove garden, there are three small Nubian villages (m.in. Siu i Koti).
The tourist will find there colorful pink houses, yellow, white and blue, some are decorated with naive paintings commemorating a pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) and winding dusty streets full of wandering animals. Do Nubian House (Dom Nubian) in the village of Koti there are signs with inscriptions.