We were all treated to sleep in today, with our train pulling in at 11am. Getting off the train at Aswan, we boarded a bus (we always seem to be commuting!!) and toured some of the highlights of the town, including the Old and New Dams, the quarry that has the "Unfinished Obelisk"- a giant single granite stone pillar that broke while it was being made- since the obelisk had to be only one piece of stone, they left it where it was, and in traditional Egyptian style, they charge you money to go and look at it. Here in Aswan, it is much warmer than in Cairo- it was about 42 degrees at this point, and it wasn't even lunch time.
Next stop was our home for the next three days- a beautiful, luxurious cruise ship on the Nile River- a big step up from the previous night accommodation. We all voted to have the afternoon free time to get some rest, and showered. The ship has 3 floors of rooms, a restaurant below deck, and a sun deck with a small pool, lots of deck chairs and sun beds. I managed to have a good sleep, as well as have a chance to wander around the shops on the shore (our ship is docked until tomorrow afternoon) and spend some time on the sun deck with people.
We met up later in the evening for dinner. The chefs here really know how to feed 40 young people- there was so much food, so many varieties of local foods and international favourites. After dinner, we all met at the bar and were treated to a number of dances. One was called the Spinning Man, and once he starts spinning, he does not stop. Next up we had a belly dancer come up and shake her thing. In one of the dances, she called a few people up to dance- unfortunately, I was one of those, but since I was on holidays, I figured it was ok to look like a total idiot on the dance floor. She did a number of dances, and that was the end of our entertainment.
Later in the evening, we went back to Aswan, and visited a local Bazaar. Because of the heat of the town, most people sleep during the middle of the day, and open their shops and market stalls in the late evening. Haggling with these people is so tiring, because you want to get things, and you know they're going to charge you more than the item is worth. Although they do have limited English, they are yet to learn the word "No" and what it means. I bought an Egyptian outfit and a head scarf, which I plan to wear to our party tomorrow night. Once we got back to the ship, it was time for bed, to prepare for what will be one of the greatest birthdays ever!!!