Edit Blog Post
Published: September 11th 2019
Never in my life have I ever imagined I would see the Sahara desert. It is something you only see in the movies. Yet here I am!
We were up at 6am today, to drive 4 hrs to Abu Simbel. Once you are out of the city all you see is sand and this one newly paved road. We stopped at the one and only rest stop between Aswan and Abu Simbel. I did also see a gas station and a police station on that road. The government has started to build new developments in the desert to encourage people to move out of Cairo as it is overpopulated. In order to get water to these developments the government is building canals.
The town of Abu Simbel has a population of about 3,000. The main attractions are the Abu Simbel temples.
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments", which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh
Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari, (not to be confused with Nefertiti) and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic. Abu Simbel temples: The Great Temple of Ramesses II (left) and the Small Temple of Hathor and Nefertari (right).
The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968 under the supervision of a Polish archaeologist, Kazimierz Michałowski, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary or they would have been submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the River Nile.
Between 1964 and 1968, the entire site was carefully cut into large blocks (up to 30 tons, averaging 20 tons), dismantled, lifted and reassembled in a new location 65 metres higher and 200 metres back from the river, in one of the greatest challenges of archaeological engineering in history
In oder to build the Aswan dam 90,000 Nubians were displaced. Nubiansare an ethnolinguistic group of Africans indigenous to
You can see the double pool with Lake Nasser in the back and the desert on the other side of the lake.
present-day Sudan and southern Egypt who originate from the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley, believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilisation. They speak Nubian languages. Today, Africans of Nubian descent primarily live in southern Egypt, especially in the Luxor and Aswan area, and in northern Sudan.
After our visit to the temples we had lunch at a really beautiful resort. I have included photos of the pool area overlooking lake Nasser and the desert on the other side of the lake. (Can’t remember the name of the place).
When we learned about the desert in school we also learned that you can find oasis and mirages. On the way back to Aswan I saw a mirage. (Actually several). Definition: « an optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, especially the appearance of a sheet of water in a desert or on a hot road caused by the refraction of light from the sky by heated air. ». It had gotten very hot by the afternoon. (When we left the temples around 11:30 it was already 40 degrees.) I took pictures from the bus. I hope you can see it.
Tonight we enjoyed a
performance by Nubian performers. Another great day in Egypt.
Tot: 0.081s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 7; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0139s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb