Blogs from Abu Simbel, Upper Egypt, Egypt, Africa


Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel March 28th 2019

We passed through a lock yesterday after being entertained by local traders trying to sell us outfits to wear for tonight’s party as well as tablecloths and towels. Many of us had already purchased an outfit on board or at a local market but they continued to throw things to the guests, haggle over prices and then either return the goods or send money. Some goods eneed up in the water but I think they did OK. The galabyea party on board that night is where everyone dressed up “like an Egyptian”. An early night for us though as we had to get up early for our trip to Abu Simbel. We listened though as the bass thumped through the boat. Up at 4am for our trip to Abu Simbel. It is a 3 hour road ... read more
they even followed us into the lock
the lock fits two boats

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel October 21st 2018

Un chapitre assez court cette fois-ci pour vous parler de l'endroit que j'ai préféré de tout ce voyage, mais également d'un sentiment d'humilité auquel j'ai souvent été confronté en Egypte. Engoncé dans le bus qui cahote dans la nuit noire du désert, je me force à me réveiller à 5:30 pour assister au lever du soleil. Le ciel commence déjà à s'éclaircir à l'Est, et le bleu fait place à des nuances de vert, rose, orange, jaune, alors que le sable, encore ébène, est tapi dans l'obscurité. Un croissant orange finit enfin par déchirer l'horizon, foudroyant les alentours de toute sa puissance. Quelques secondes plus tard, le dieu scarabée Khepri a tôt fait de le pousser entièrement jusque dans le ciel. Il n'est pas encore six heures, mais la puissance de l'astre solaire dardant ses rayons ... read more
Western Saharien
Le temple d'une vie : Ramses adulte à gauche, et vieillard à droite
Ramses II, assis d'égal à égal avec le dieu suprême Amon

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel November 25th 2017

A brief Stay in the town of Abu Simbel Turning the narrative back to Egypt. Day 5 of my journey. Mohammed my driver is taking me overland from Aswan to Abu Simbel. A journey of many hours. He speaks little English so we can't chat but he stopped driving in the middle of nowhere (this perfectly describes being in the desert) to point at what looked like a very large lake near the horizon. A mirage! A huge one. I remember hearing tales of thirsty ancient travelers being deceived by mirages and losing their lives, dying while trying to reach the water that doesn't exist, always in the distance. We stopped, again in the middle of nowhere, at a shady hut festively decorated with flags of many nations ,a llittle oasis in the desert. This was ... read more
A curious sight, natural pyramid shapes are scattered across the sand
Our Rest stop in mid Sahara, flying international flags. It was a welcome break for my driver.
Arched entrance from the desert to the rest stop

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel November 20th 2017

The Ramsis and Hathor Temples at Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel is a Nubian town in Southern Egypt near the Sudan. There is no way to avoid one simple fact - Abu Simbel is all about Pharaoh Ramsis II. Born 1303 BC died 1213 BC at the age of 91. He ruled for 69 years. His colossal figures tower above his wife in the temple he built to honour her, even over the God Horus of whom he was the living representation. The Temples took 20 years to be carved into the sandstone cliffs on the banks of the Nile. That was 3,300 years ago. Today they are a UNESCO World Heritage SITE. RAMSIS II carved two Temples in the cliff face. The Great Temple of Ramsis II and the lesser Temple of Hathor to his wife ... read more
In the far distance are the two colossal Temples now set in a duplicated cliff face at Abu Simbel
The Temple of  Ramsis II dominates the site
Nearby is the lesser Hathor Temple dedicated to his favorite wife Nefertari by Ramsis II

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel October 11th 2017

Still trying to understand why my two posts don't seem to have been sent to my email list of friends. It happened so smoothly last time I did the blog in South Africa. This time, nothing. If anyone gets this message please let me know so I know the problem is resolved. Otherwise I'm spinning top in mud and that's frustrating. Fingers crossed.... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel October 5th 2016

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign. - Robert Louis Stevenson I hope my last few blog entries were posted ok, the internet connection is very slow on the riverboat and it took a long time for the photos to upload. This afternoon we arrived in Kom Ombo about 3:30 pm. The scenery from Luxor is really pretty. The land is cultivated on both sides of the Nile in a thin strip, and beyond is desert and rocky hills. There are lots of palm trees here too. The temple of Kom Ombo is a short walk from where our river boat was docked. We left at 4:30 pm and it was still very hot outside. We ran the usual gauntlet of vendors and then entered the site. The difference between ... read more
Kom Ombo temple
Susan at Kom Ombo Temple
Hypostyle Hall at Kom Ombo Temple

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel August 7th 2016

Travelling all the way from NZ to Egypt meant we needed to make the most of every minute there due to the costs involved and the fact we would probably never make it back there again. One of the problems was balancing taking photos with actually just standing and taking everything in. By the time we got to Abu Simbel, I had almost stopped trying to take good photos as there were always tourists in the way (and yes, I am sure I am in many of their photos too), we were always being rushed along by our tour guide and many places (such as temples) wouldn't allow photos to be taken inside (although there was usually a guard or two present who would let photos be taken if they were paid). I decided that my ... read more
Tourists in every photo
The desert on the way to Abu Simbel

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel March 12th 2016

So we stopped at Kom Ombo….a pretty sweet temple built to honor Haroeris and Sobek…the latter of which represented in hieroglyphs as a dude with a crocodile head and holds crocodiles to be sacred…so there were mummified crocs on display as well. This place had a lot of images of gods and pharos which early Christians hacked out of existence. They literally chipped away the face, arms, legs, anything exposed of these images but not the clothes or any of the hieroglyphics…weird. I guess the peeps didn’t know how to read so they didn’t know the glyphs were words so they didn’t erase them from the temples…also….not all images were erased and I was told that no one knows why they decided to erase some over the others…Ha! Silly Christians….At this place I ran into two ... read more
Mohammed. one of the 10%
Kom Ombo
pretty good hieroglyph showing the double crown

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel March 10th 2016

So I was supposed to be in the lobby at 03:15 but at 02:50 I get a knock on my door that woke me up. The worker said I needed to be there at 03:30 instead. I asked 3 times and he seemed to understand me so I went back to bed and set my alarm for a lil later. Another knock on the door at 03:15 and the same worker says the bus is here now. Mother Fucker….If there is one thing I hate more than almost anything else its being woken up unnecessarily….since childhood…goddamnit. Whatever. The 3 hour ride to Abu Simbel only took 3.5 hours so I think that’s a positive? Anyways, the temple of Ramesses II is a very iconic Egyptian piece of work. The HUGE statues out front are an artist’s ... read more
one for his wife Nefertari
got to sneak in and take pics when no one was there
nice face

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel February 22nd 2016

Our return from the White Desert found us at the train station in Giza, which is on the west side of the Nile from Cairo. This was good, bad and good. Good in that it made the drive back from the White Desert a little shorter, bad in that we arrived some five hours before our train was scheduled to leave, and good in that Mohamed realized that without his guidance, we most likely would have missed our overnight train to the south. Hard to believe, but quite true. At this point, we were just coming off a night sleeping on the ground in the white desert, hadn’t seen a bathroom since we had lunch at Yasser’s house in Bahariya Oasis, and were in need of a shower, desperately in need of a shower. And we ... read more
Pharaoh Ramses II Temple
Wee hours of the night

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