El Shallal -
between Old and New Highdam

El Shallal means "waterfall" in English and is a reminder of the time before the New High Dam was built. Ships were coming from Sudan, bringing all kinds of merchandises from Africa to be unloaded and changed to trains waiting to get the goods past the Old Highdam and across Egypt.
Today one can still see the old warehouses around the former marina, bollards, deserted stairs to board ships (see photos left and right), the trainstation building ...

This tour is for "advanced" visitors - people who have seen the "usual sights" and are looking for something special.
It starts with a visit at Shallal trainstation
- abandoned today, but some movies from the 50s still show the once pulsating place.
For people like me - who dont have much access to old Egyptian movies - phantasy must do - passing the old post office and drinking well - it is easy to imagine business men, ladies, workers, men in different uniforms all bustling about.

When I was there taking photos about the stairs (photo above), 3 villagers came and asked me why I was taking pictures. I explained to them I want to show photos from Egypt - which I love so much - to my friends. In consequence they called the police who came and checked the photos I had taken. Two pictures on my digital camera showed oil pipes running along the rails, which they asked to delete because of security reasons. As said, this is not a really touristic excursion, so please be careful not to offend anyone. Some locals there are not used to tourists and are not interested as most dont have a share in tourism.

From there your driver and guide will take you past the village Shallal to a path that leads to a beach with a nice view across the Nile to Philae Temple on Agilika-Island and you can also see iron still sticking out of the water, where the temple was originally located on Philae Island (second picture below).

The third destination on this tour is a mountain on the way back - used as an exhibition area for modern skulptures - from where you also have a wonderful view across the area between the Old and New Highdam (see top picture and pictures in the right column).

Aswan International Sculpture Symposium was first launched by the culture ministry, in cooperation with Aswan governorate in 1996. Until today every year a new symposium is taking place. If you are interested, please see more informations:
http://www.cdf-eg.org/English/Symposium/index_eng.htm

or find more with google searching for
Aswan International Sculpture symposium
(there are also other places in Aswan where sculputres have been erected)

The guide who will be with you has studied history and is able to answer any question about Ancient Egypt. Please understand he will not have knowledge about modern artists or their sculptures.
Please see the link given above for further informations and click -> Sessions behind where all artists (except 5th session) are listed.
Or note the names written on brass signs and google them later.

 

 

Prviate guide, driver and car (1-2 persons):
600 EGP

Private guide, driver and microbus (3-8 persons):
750 EGP

Count half a day
(3-4 hours).

 

 

Fotos: Petra Dressler

 

Aswan International Sculpture Symposium