We have had poor or no wi-fi for the last week. We are way behind!
After visiting the Temple of Khnum, we boarded the small river yacht Asiya Dehabeya for our 5 night voyage up the Nile. It was a fantasist trip and we could devote many blogs to it, but we are kept so busy we have just time to touch the highlights. Our next temple was at Komo Ombo where we visited the Graeco-Roman Kom Ombo Temple - the twin temples. This temple is split down the middle with both sides looking like mirror images of the other. One side is dedicated to the local crocodile god Sobek. The other side honors the falcon god Haroeris. The entire structure is unusual in that everything is doubled and perfectly symmetrical along the main axis with twin entrances, twin courts, and twin colonnades. Once again we were entranced by the history and stories our guide was able to decipher from the hieroglyphs on the walls and columns.
We cruised on up the Nile to Aswan. Aswan is as far as you can cruse due to what they call cataracts. In bygone days it was the first cataract on the Nile and now there are the dams. The lower dam was built about 1900 and add on to later. The High Dam was built in the 1960ties. There is so much history to try and digest on a trip like this, you do not need to play brain games. Your brain is in high gear all the time. We disembarked the boat and headed south on a bus out through the desert to Abu Smbel 286 K (177 miles) south. It is the farthermost southern town in Egypt just north of Sudan. We were on the way to visit the two great temples built for Ramses, the great builder. We were introduced to two great construction projects. First was the building of the two colossus tombs. The second was the moving of the tombs to save them from the flooding waters of Lake Nasser in the 1960’s. Had two days of history lessons of how the tombs were built and when, and how the tombs were moved and by whom. 800,000 indigenous Nubians were also displaced from their valley by Lake Nesser. In addition, the tombs themselves were outstanding being so large with beautiful paintings-pictographs in the Temple of Hathorn. The four colossal statues of the The Great Ramses II, makes one feel very small and insignificant. We spent the night in Abu Smbel at a Nubian Echo Lodge, ate Nubian food, and heard about the Nubian culture. The next morning we returned to Aswan and visited the Temple of Isis on the Island of Philae. The Temple was under water for 70 years from the construction of the first Aswan Dam. A coffin dam was built around the temple the water drained and the temple was cut up and moved piece by piece up higher on the island. It too was an example of Egyptian craftsmanship and design. One unhappy thing was when Christians were being persecuted by the Romans around 200-300 AD, the they moved into the temple and defaced some of the figures (destroying false gods). More and more history is making sense.