My friends and I decided to travel to the south of Egypt for 2 reasons; 1) to take a Nile sailing trip and 2) to visit the archaeological site at Abu Simbel. Planning this itinerary means one thing: that you need to head due south to Aswan.
How did I arrive to Aswan? By 18 hour train ride from Cairo of course! You have 2 options on the train, 2nd or 1st class. The second class is something like 7 bucks and the first class is 14. Take it from me...Egyptian trains are not the place to start getting frugal. Take the first class!
While Aswan is a great launching point for these two adventures, the city itself offers quite a bit to do for the curious traveler. The Tombs of the Nobles and Elephantine Island are two of the biggest sites to see. Also, I would recommend a few hours walking around their local market. It's really a great way to get to know the people and pick up some cheap eats!