Nowadays you have to buy a ticket to visit the small dome at the top of the hill (Qubbet el-Hawa) even if you don't want to visit the Thombs. The guards of the Thombs are very unfriendly, so after visiting one thomb we said goodbye to him (without giving extra money) and walked to the small dome on top of the hill. From there the view very beautiful and spectacular. If you want to make a nice walk, you can continu to the Monastry of St. Simeon.
To get to the other side of the Nile, just take a public ferry that leaves opposite the railway station (200 meter walk or so). Be alert that all the men sit on one part of the boat and all the women sit on the other part of the boat.
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