Sail Away with Me

Sail away! Sail away! Sail away!

Cruising along the Nile river was idle and relaxing. We spent 3 days on the Nile Ritz and did a lot of temple-hopping when the ferry stopped at certain ports.

We slept on the lowest deck (sigh… reminds me of Titanic that if anything happens, we would be the first to get drowned) and when we woke up, we were surrounded by water, and we could see some hot air balloons!

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View of the West Bank while we were cruising along the River Nile, Luxor (17 July 2005)

Boat people flexed their arm muscles to race to our ferry peddling all kinds of goods. They will throw plastic bags with their goods in it and if someone wants to buy something, they will start bargaining and once the prices are agreed upon, they will throw the money with the plastic bag back to the boat people.

We crossed a very big dam and sailed towards Edfu where we visited the Temple of Horus. Horus has a falcon head, and is the son of Isis and Osiris. The temple was still grand, but there were traces of Greco-Roman inspired pillars. The temple was also set ablaze by Christians during the Roman invasion.

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Majestic Temple of Horus, Edfu (18 July 2005)

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Deep Carvings on the walls in Temple of Horus, Edfu (18 July 2005)

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Ray of light, Temple of Horus, Edfu (18 July 2005)

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Greco-Roman Pillars at the entrance to the Temple of Horus, Edfu (18 July 2005)

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Burnt ceilings inside Temple of Horus, Edfu (18 July 2005)

Temple of Kom Ombo was dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile God. “Kom Ombo” means “pot of gold” and used to be a place where there were a lot of merchants. Crocodiles also infested this area, killing fishermen, hence they built this temple to provide offerings to the God “Haroeris”, to prevent more deaths.

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Temple of Kom Ombo (18 July 2005)

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First Egyptian Calendar carved onto the walls of the Kom Ombo Temple (18 July 2005)

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See the crocodile? Temple of Kom Ombo (18 July 2005)

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This is the bathtub, believed to be used by Cleopatra, Kom Ombo (18 July 2005)

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According to my guide, this is the cartouche of Cleopatra, Kom Ombo (18 July 2005)

The most magnificent temple to visit in Egypt is the Abu Simbel Temple! We had to wake up very early so that we could be ‘escorted’ by a convoy taking our bus into the desert. There was a huge project to move the entire temple in 1968 due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Take a look at how they made this massive move in the youtube video below:

 

One of the stories my guide told us about Abu Simbel was particularly interesting. There were 4 statue inside the temple and every year, there would be 2 miracles – during King Ramesses’ birthday, the sun will shine through the Holy of Holies chamber and his face will lit! Ramesses II was the only king who declared himself as GOD and worshiped himself, that’s why you see his statues with his cartouche everywhere!

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The Great Temple of Ramesses II (on the left) and the Small Temple of Nefertari (on the right), Abu Simbel (19 July 2005)

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Slightly defaced Ramesses II, Abu Simbel Temple (19 July 2005)

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The Great Temple of Ramesses II, Abu Simbel (19 July 2005)

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The Small Temple of Nefatari, Abu Simbel (19 July 2005)

Too bad we were not allowed to take any photographs inside the Abu Simbel temples 😦

Our last temple visit was Temple of Philae. Frankly speaking, by now, we have “temple-fatigue”. All the temples looked almost similar by now, and the awe of Abu Simbel just killed all those we’ve seen earlier. Click here if you wish to find out more about the Temple of Philae

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Entrance to Temple of Philae (19 July 2005)

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Neat Greco-Roman Pillars at Temple of Philae (19 July 2005)

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Pillars defaced by Christians in Temple of Philae (19 July 2005)

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Felucca – a traditional sailing boat used on the River Nile 

We kept sailing till we reached Aswan, and there, we took an overnight train back to Cairo!

I’m sure the train ride will be a different experience!

 

 

 

 

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