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Published: July 17th 2012
Same guy, a nice older man, drove me down to Aswan today, which is about 4 hours away. We stopped at two places along the way. First in Edfu (2 hours from Luxor) at the absolutely incredible Temple of Horus. This is so far my favorite temple in Egypt. While the other temples I've been to are truly open-air, the Temple of Horus actually has a roof, and the play of light and shadow on the columns in the main hypostyle hall was truly spectacular. Also at Edfu there are chambers that wander off into the shadows, secret rooms, and a pair of stairs that lead nowhere. This is the type of place that was made for exploring, Indiana Jones style.
This is all straight down the Nile by the way; never really lost sight of the water the entire day. After Edfu we continued down the river another hour or so to Kom Ombo, and the incredible Temple of Kom Ombo that sits perched above the Nile on a small bluff. My God tourism is down. I was the only person at the place. This temple is small and actually the product of Greek pharaohs (the Ptolmely's) building for
Detail of the Reliefs
That's the pharaoh just about ready to smash in a head he's holding by the hair. Classic Egyptian propaganda - don't mess with the pharaoh basically.
one last time on the grand scale of the good old days of the Old Kingdom, and the Pyramids. A fascinating place, especially since the crocodile was the one of the sacred animals worshipped here.
Then another hour down to Aswan. The Nile in this most southern part of Egypt is the most beautiful in the entire country. It moves out more among the desert, and has more developed agriculture growing alongside it. And in Aswan you truly get the feel for this very different place. Historically, this was Nubia and Ancient Kush, and was home to a country completely separate from Ancient Egypt. Aswan, they say, is the true gateway to Africa, and the markets sells spices, camels, and African masks and goods. I'm starting to feel less in Egypt and more in say, Kenya, or a country somewhere more in the interior. And the Nubians are so nice, and look far less Arabian, and more genuinely African - with very dark skin.
I'm actually staying on in island in the Nile, Elephantine Island - the oldest part of Aswan. This is where all the great history of the place happened. Tomorrow I just hang out in
Statue of Horus
The sacred falcon god, and protector of the pharaoh.
town, before, on Thursday, going to my last major site, the Temple of Abu Simbel, all the way down by the border with Sudan. A highlight of any tour of Egypt.
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