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Aswan


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After a night flight to Aswan and a good night sleep we started a new day. Today it was on to the Aswan High Dam and the temple of Philae. The Aswan dam was nice, you passed the friendship monument between Egypt and what was still the Sovjet Union back then and you ended on the High Dam which gave a nice view over the Nile on one side and Nassar Lake on the other.
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We went down to the lake by bus and by boat we went to visit the temple of Philae in Lake Nassar. It is an amazing temple, very different, so if you have the chance you should visit. It is part Egyptian, part Roman. And mostly known because it was cut to pieces and replaced and rebuild on the island of Philae piece by piece, because the temple was partly under water because of the building of the Aswan Dam, but was on the edge of disappearing completely.
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We had lunch at a place called Aswan Moon. Good food for a reasonable price and the fresh juices are really nice as well.

In the evening we visited a Nubian village, it was about 45 minutes by boat to get there. It is partly rebuild, the oldest and smallest cottages were abandoned and the people live in larger houses now. We had dinner with one of the families (i think it was the best dinner we had all trip) and were invited to taste the famous hibiscus tea. It was very sour, and in this case cold.
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Posted by Astreia 09:57 Archived in Egypt Tagged temple aswan dam nubia philae Comments (0)

First day in Taipei City

semi-overcast 35 °C
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We landed early in the morning, around 6.30 am, on Taipei Airport. Our choice for Taiwan was questioned a few times, because it's not a very well known place to go for Europeans on a holiday, instead of for example Vietnam or Thailand. We love trips to SE Asia, and after reading up on this and seeing a few pictures we decided to go.

Anyway we landed very early. So early that the rooms in the hotel weren't ready yet. They would be ready around 3 pm. First stop was Lin An Tai Old House. Long ago it was the house of a wealthy family and it is now open to visitors and a sort of museum. It is a very decorated beautiful old house with an immense garden and a pond and a teahouse next to it. It also has a very nice terrace behind it.
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Next we went to the botanical garden in Taipei. It is a very nice, huge, beautiful park with different 'sections', there is a lotus pond, but sadly we were too late too see the lotuses, we only saw a few, and there is a part with flowers that respond to the chinese zodiac signs, a bamboo garden and so on.

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Next stop was Xingtian (or Hsing Tian Kong) Temple, one of the larger temple complexes in Taipei. It is build in honor of Guan Di, a famous general. It is a beautiful temple where a lot of people still visit every day. A lot of decorations, on the walls and ceilings as well as the roofs and rooftops. There are two doors, the dragon door and the tiger door. A long time ago important people went in through the dragon door and came out through the tiger door. For other people it was the other way.

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After this visit we stopped somewhere for lunch and had our first Taiwanese meal. It was different kinds of vegetables, meat and fish.

After that it was on to the hotel as the rooms were finally ready. After a short stop it was on to probably the most well known building in Taipei (at least internationally), Taipei101. The building is 101 floors high, and has shops, offices, restaurants and an observation platform outside and one inside. You can't always go to the outside observation platform (on the 91st floor), it depends on the wind. If it's too windy the platform is closed. We were lucky. The inside observation floor is on the 89th. There is a superspeedy elevator to get you there.

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Needless to say the view is amazing. You can see all over Taipei. There also is a short film about how the tower was built etc, and more information. Don't miss the massive gold-colored iron wind damper that keeps the tower stable through typhoons and earthquakes. After that we went to Xinzhuang Old Street Night Market. There also was a temple near the market. The Night market itself is one of the smaller ones in Taipei but still very nice and lovely to see and walk through. We had our dinner there, made up from sausages, black pepper pork buns, a wrap with veggies and veggie dumplings. Besides that there were different stalls with fresh fruits and fresh fruit shakes, gadget stalls, souvenirs, clothing, everything. A good end of the day.

Posted by Astreia 10:35 Archived in Taiwan Tagged temple taipei taipei101 Comments (0)

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