Edfu and Kom Ombo

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River Anuket

We docked while we ate breakfast. At 0800 we departed in carriages to Edfu Temple. Rickety old examples with Anna at risk of falling out. I did not find

Carriage

out until later, but our carriage was also filthy. My fawn shorts were stained black. Nearly every woman in the group took the time to tell me. 

Edfu Temple

At the temple we were greeted by touts aggressively selling tat. The gauntlet ran for at least 300 metres.  Nothing we wanted but they were hugely demanding. At one point we were told what an awful county England is as I refused to respond. Later in the trip I took it telling them I came from New Guinea. This usually came as such a surprise it shut them up. My American friend tried the same thing and they laughed and told her she came from the United States.

The temple of Horus itself is massive but at the same time unimpressive. I don’t know why. 200 years

Horus

ago it was buried by sand and actually part of the village of Edfu which spread over the roof. Excavation began in the mid-19th century.  It is in good order and monumental but somehow not awe inspiring. There were excellent examples of depictions of Horus, his son, his wives and perfect hieroglyphics. Today other tourists were much more evident. Even groups from Uruguay.

Capitol

The entry displays colourful carvings. It is guarded by a 36 metre high gate. Ptolemy and Horus are both depicted. Inside is the court of offerings which is surrounded on three sides by 32 columns, each with a different floral capital.

Inside the black granite core there is second set of Horus statues.

Edfu Town

The inner hypostyle hall has 12 columns and in the top left is the temple laboratory. Here was where they made the necessary perfumes and incenses. Throughout the remaining passages and rooms are very well preserved scenes on the walls including the battle between Horus and Seth. Seth is depicted as a hippopotamus which rendered him less threatening.

After we finished we trekked across the hot open area back to our carriage. So many touts. It was annoying.

The Mosque

The town is more like what I expected. Crowded and dirty. I saw a souk in daytime. It looked just as intimidating as at night.

We enjoyed another tasty lunch and then a relaxing afternoon as we cruised south to Kom Ombo. Anna and I had a swim and then enjoyed a couple of Stella’s while we watched the Nile flow past. We saw some amazing dwellings which I did not realise were habitable with glorious mosques nearby. Priorities are personal I guess.

Kom Ombo Temple

Anna stayed on board for a massage while I went to the Kom Ombo temple. It was just onshore from our ship. It is unusual in that it has two sanctuaries; to the local crocodile god Sobek and Haroeris or Horus the Elder.  The temple has perfect symmetry along the main axis. There were two entries, two hypostyle halls with carvings of the appropriate gods and also two separate priest sanctuaries. They are no longer intact

Kom Omb Temple

and it is easy to see the secret passage between them that allowed the priests to give god’s voice to answer the petitions of the pilgrims.

We then visited the crocodile museum net door. No photographs! Nile crocodiles are a bit bigger than our freshwater crocs but nothing like a big salty.  There was also a display case of a 3000 year old crocodile mummy with three babies.

Tonight we are having oriental food for dinner. I took that to be Chinese but it turns out to be Arabic. I like Middle Eastern food so I am looking forward.

Tomorrow we leave at 2.30am for Abu Simbel.