May 13, 2012

Life on the Nile and Egypt Tourism

Life on the Nile, c. 960
Ebn Haukal

The Nile produces crocodiles, and the fish sekenkour; and there is also a species of fish, called raadah, which if any person take it in hand while it is alive, that person will be affected by a trembling of his body; when dead, this fish resembles other fish. The crocodile’s head is very long, so long as to be one half of his whole form, and he has such teeth, that, if a lion were to come within their hold, he would be destroyed.


Life on the Nile
It sometimes happens that the crocodile comes out of the water on dry ground; but he has not then the same powers as when in the water. His skin is so hard that it resists the blows of all weapons when stricken on the back; they then wound him where the forelegs join the body, and between the thighs. The sekenkour is a species of the crocodile, but the crocodile has hands and feet; and they use the sekenkour in medical and culinary preparations. This creature is not found anywhere but in the River Nile.

Doing Business at Aswan, 1879
Villiers Stuart

Aswan Egypt
On awaking, and taking a bird’s eye view from our cabin window of the outer world, a very amusing scene occupied the foreground. A number of Nubian men, women and children were squatting on the sandy shore with their wares arranged on mats before them, patiently awaiting our appearance, smoking and chatting with our crew the while; but no sooner did we step forth, than the greatest excitement prevailed, they started up with one accord and took to brandishing their merchandize over their heads, advertising them by power of lung, and deafening us with a perfect Babel of sounds.

They held out towards us: ostrich eggs, Nubian spears, armlets, necklaces, bracelets, porcupine quills, bows and arrows, ebony clubs, daggers, ostrich feathers, leopard skins, hippopotamus-hide whips, cunningly made baskets, and Egyptian antiquities. Our dragoman took very good care not to let them come on board. Their wares were handed in for our inspection; they themselves were made to keep their distance; and when we went on shore, we landed under escort of a body-guard of our crew, who kept the Nubian merchants off with their sticks.

A little higher up the beach were the goods of a caravan, bound for Khartoum; boxes and bales arranged in a circle formed a sort of camp; their saloon, reception- room, and dining-room was the home of the travellers by day, and their dormitory by night. We visited them at the hour of breakfast; their wants were being ministered to by a number of Nubian girls, some having milk to sell, others cheese, butter, new-baked cakes, cucumbers, buttermilk, and other delicacies. Some were smoking, some were cooking, some were bargaining with the vendors of the eatables; in the middle was a sort of trophy supported on three poles, and consisting of water skins; jars covered with goats’ hide with the shaggy hair still on, lanterns, pots, and other camp equipage. Outside the magic circle squatted some camels; it was a very picturesque and amusing scene.

When the Cataract Hotel, high above the pool of the Nile that lay below the First Cataract, was officially opened in 1900, it brought a surge of tourists to Aswan a new kind of traveler in Egypt.

Related Web Search :
  • Nile River
  • Nile
  • The Nile
  • Nile Cruise
  • The Nile River
  • Nile Cruises
  • Nile Crocodile
  • The River Nile
  • Nile River Facts
  • Nile River Map
  • Nile Valley
  • Egypt Tourism

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