more photos

site details

E£5 to cross
occasionally, a passport
is required

a taxi from aswan, E£40

relevant links

travelogue 2/10
travelogue 2/11
travelogue 2/12


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high dam memorial
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High Dam

The impact of the high dam is honestly much more interesting than the dam itself, although a drive across the High Dam seems to be an integral part of a visit to Aswan.

looking towards Lake Nasser from the top of the dam

There are actually two Aswan dams - the original one built in 1902 and the High Dam which created Lake Nasser, the world's largest reservoir. The High Dam is enormous -- 111m high, 3830 m long and nearly a kilometer wide at the base. The dam is quite different than other huge dams -- instead of a monolithic wall of concrete arced across a river, the High Dam is more of a giant pyramid stretched across the water. Much of the dam is compacted silt and soil from the river.

a schematic of the dam

Lake Nasser, of course, is the result of the dam -- and it has been a mixed blessing. It prevents the horrific flooding of the Nile -- but it also prevents the yearly inundations that laid down silt into the field, rendering the Nile valley some of the richest farmland in the world. The Dam does provide electricity for much of Egypt, however.

There are no longer any crocodiles in the Nile below the dam -- they were all moved up into Lake Nasser. One of the guidebooks, Rough Guide, says that there is a colony just upriver from Aswan, but they are leery of people. Considering that they easily got big enough to eat people, it's probably good that they are scarce.

the downstream side of the dam, with the power station

January 15 is Aswan Dam Day, with a parade and festival along the Corniche in Aswan.

amarna Previous Monument riding camels
dome of winds

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