Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Wheels on fire...

With one final trip to Luxor museum (one of the most accessible and well-designed museums I've ever been in - fewer exhibits, but well displayed, cool and uncrowded), it was off to our final destination - Aswan.

We decided to hop on a train for the two hour journey down to Aswan, and after finally getting hold of some 2nd class tickets, we settled down at the station and prepared ourselves for the inevitable long delay. But lo and behold, just ten minutes later the train rolled in, with second class carriages that were air-con, clean and more spacious than many trains in the UK. We jumped on, not quite believing our luck, and settled in, stopping occasionally at a station, but otherwise enjoying the ride.

At one such stop, I began to realise that we had been sitting there for quite a while. A few minutes turned into thirty, then forty-five, and we began to get a little concerned. Suddenly, a conductor (at least we guessed he was a conductor), came strolling down the aisle, saying 'no need to worry, just one of the carriages has a fire, be over soon'. An Egyptian man opposite me sighed, pulled his hat further over his face and went back to sleep, suggesting this was not an uncommon occurrence!

We sat, thinking about how we were going to get to Aswan if told to leave the train, when around 10 minutes later, our carriage jolted back into life and we were on our way once more. It seems that fires are just a minor service interruption, nothing to disturb the day too much...

And so, just one hour late, we arrived in Aswan, the site of a stunningly beautiful part of the Nile.

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