Two Weeks in Egypt - October 2012

Day Ten: Temple of Horus then life on the Nile to Kom Ombo

We had moored overnight at Edfu. Next morning we were greeted on the riverbank by long lines of horse-drawn buggies - our transport to Temple of Horus. We spent a very interesting morning there and then continued on the Nile. It was a pleasant time, nice warm weather and the chance to cool off in the swimming pool on the main deck of the boat. Late in the day we arrived at Edfu, together with several other large cruise ships, and then we walked around the riverside Temple of Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile.

The Temple of Horus

After the usual breakfast of fresh rolls, fruits and eggs cooked to order we headed off the boat to board the waiting buggies. Each buggy driver had a number than we needed to remember for our return trip. But the number was in his head (don't be silly, why write it on the buggy itself???). Apparently the local authorities agreed to ban cars and buses from carrying tourists so that the buggy drivers could maintain their monopoly. But they did provide an interesting service.

The Temple of Horus is a major complex and is particularly well preserved - except for the damage and wilful destruction caused by the Coptic Christian monks who moved into the area and lived inside the temple for some time. Their fires and lights have blackened the ceilings and their hate for the facial images of people, and even animals, saw them chisel out all features. Despite the damage the carvings and other work are outstanding.

Looking out from our boat in the early morning
Watching the horse and buggies driving past.
Even here there are lots of unfinished buildings
Then we departed our boat and ....
hopped into one of those buggies.
Through the streets....
Past the cafes....
and the lorries full of goods....
passing other carts.
Then the market in the early morning.
Heading out of town
past others on the road
then around the fence enclosing the Temple...,
cleaning up the road.
and into the buggy park..
What number did he tell us again??.
We joined the crowds heading to the entrance,
Agreed that we were not commercial video people and in we went.
Walking stick?
No, not that sort....
Then the first of the pylons come into view.
And so do more buggies racing past that fence...,
The pylons get closer...
Until we are up close
and can see the images.
Horus, to whom the Temple was dedicated is waiting for us.
But we wait in the cool shade
before heading through the entrance and into the first gallery of columns.
Horus, looking severe
but well preserved.
Inside the temple bulding and the huge carved columns.
The ceiling is blackened from the fires of the Coptics who lived in the buildings for a while.
Carved relief panels
tell the story of the Pharaoh.
The inner sanctum with the boat.
And carved panels.
Sets of steps allow access to the tops of the pylons, but visitors can no longer climb them.
On the outer wall is a rain head to allow drainage of the roof.
And a small opening. The eyes indicagte this is a place that the population could use to look inside.
The outer wall is also richly carved with scenes from the theatre.
Our group examining the scenes.
Then it was time to walk back out through the columns.
Through the pylons.
Past Horus again.
A last look at the figures on the pylons.
And into the buggy park.
What was that buggy number, again??.
This would be ours - home time!.
back through the streets and the markets.
Then back down the valley, passing the dry limestone walls.
I think the horse got the better deal here!
And another small shop. But wait, look at the size of those bolt-cutters!!!

More of life on the Nile

After our morning at the Temple of Horus we returned to the ship for a welcome drink and lunch. The ship pulled out into the river again and we headed upstream for the afternoon. It was a pleasant time sitting in the shade on the top deck, watching the river and life on the Nile drift past.

The Temple at Kom Ombo

The Egyptians who lived beside the Nile always feared the crocodile. This creature would hide in the reeds and appear, as if by magic to snatch a child or even a grown person. The people eventually decided that crocodiles were not being adequately revered, so they set up a large temple complex dedicated to the crocodile in order to pacify them. Whether it worked is doubtful, but it did give rise to a thriving industry in embalming. Many of these preserved crocodiles remain.

Approaching as the last of the sun hit the temple.
The large entrance.
With the Sun over the lintel.
Carved pillars.
and quite a crows in the late sun.
Pillars with carving inlaid
and in relief
Looking back towards the entrance
The story....
and the calendar
People in all the corners.
The last of the sun on the carvings
Outside an example of how the stone blocks were keyed together.
Suddenly it was dark.
And Abdel our wonderful guide was having trouble with the light
A light in the sky.....
was the moon.
Nearby, the well was actually a Nilometer, a devise to measure water levels
Lastly, we entered the Crocodile Museum.
Full of mummified crocodiles.
Finally, a walk back past the shops to the boat.

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Last updated: 02/07/2017