The Monastery of Simeon had been one of the biggest in Egypt. It was founded in the 8th century, but had to be left after several attacks by the Nomads.
The ticket costs 20 EGP (December 2005). A guided tour is great: the waiter does not only explain, the building is his stage, he should be awarded for the next Oscar in Hollywood. He knots his (imaginary long hair) up into a hole in the ceiling - to show in case any monk would fall asleep during prayer and his head drop down - the pain of his fastened hair would wake him up. He is acting passionately inside this beautiful surrounding and letting me guess what he is doing: baptising, baking bread, eating, making wine - just to mention a few. He shows me the sleeping rooms for the (Koptic / Christian) monks, the guest rooms for Muslim pilgrims on their way to Mecca, the "garage of the camels" and many more amazing places. He was worth the tip I gave him after the tour.
There is more to see
on the westbanks of the Nile. If you are already there, think about visiting
Tombs of the Nobles as well.
Mustafa suggests to take
his felucca from Elephantine and to ride with a camel to the
Monastery and from there to the Tombs of the Nobles where he will meet you to bring you back to Aswan.
Boat to bring you to the westbanks,
boat to get you (after you finished), to continue sailing or back to Aswan (tickets are not included)
9 USD each hour.
(10 USD if motorboat).
Tickets are not included
Camelrides are not included but must be negotiated and paid from you.
It is possible to ask the captain for advice about current prices, what to negotiate for. Please note that they expect also a tip after the tour (for the camel :o).