Today I set my alarm for 5am, because we are supposed to get a head start. It’s so peaceful waking up on the Nile, and I had a pretty amazing sleep. We are all awake, but our guides are still sleeping! And one of them is making this really annoying sound that’s not like a snore; I’d describe it more like a sleep honk.
I’m not sure which one it is, so we won’t incriminate either of them. At this point Ryan needs his coffee and is frantically searching for a lighter to get the fire going to heat up the water. He’s getting a bit cranky, and this is where the nickname Gargoyle is given. We also learn that Ryan is not a morning person. Haha. When the felucca guys and the guides finally wake up, we have a simple breakfast of ful (stewed fava beans), phyllo bread, eggs, cheese and this stuff called halawa. It looks really unappealing and no one is touching it so I ask Ramez what it is. He tells me it is a sweet dessert…so I’m the first one to give it a go and it is so tasty! It’s made from tahini or sometimes semolina, and it just melts in your mouth.
Back on the bus and the first stop of the day is at the Temple of Kom Ombo, one of the more unique ones here in Egypt.
It is a double design, meaning it was made for two sets of Gods – the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon god Haroeris.
It was originally built in the New Kingdom, but the current structure seen today was built by Ptolemy VI.
Over the years it has been destroyed by flooding, earthquakes, and builders who took the stone from the temple. It was restored in the late 1800’s.
It is exceptionally hot today, so we explore while trying to keep in the shade. The decorated columns are really beautiful.
One significant image on the walls is one with medical instruments which is thought to be the first representation of that.
And so many more amazing stories on these walls.
Another cool thing discovered here is a collection of mummified crocodiles, and they are on display at the Crocodile Museum next to the temple.
After leaving the museum, I am followed by two young boys that are trying to give me a bracelet as a “gift”. The trick is they want you to take it, and then they harass you for money until you feel bad and pay them for it. They picked the wrong girl, as I don’t fall for that nonsense and I make sure I tell them it’s not very nice. Haha.
The next stop on today’s temple tour is the Temple of Edfu. It is regarded to be the best-preserved shrine in all of Egypt, and even though it’s one of the “newer” temples, it was built way back in the Ptolemaic Kingdom as far back as 57 BC.
The inscriptions on these walls provided so much information about language and religion during this period and the giant hieroglyphics make you feel small. We walk through the Great Pylon, where there are statues of Horus guarding the gates.
Then into the open courtyard, where there are more Horus statues.
Standing in the hall of the temple and looking up at the ceiling, it’s evident that there was a fire here. Historians believe it was deliberately set to destroy religious imagery that was considered pagan.
And as Ramez points out…Egyptians also had the first known WiFi…haha.
We have a look in the Room of the Gods, where a golden statue of Horus once sat in the shrine. There is also a replica of the wooden barque (sailing ship) that would have held the golden statue of Horus during special occasions.
Following a good explore of the temple, it’s back to the bus. After spending a few days in Egypt, I am catching on to a popular thing that Egyptian men like to say when they hear where I’m from. It goes like this:
Them: “Hey Shakira/Barbie, where are you from”
Them: “Canada Dry”
Every time. So now I just start saying Canada Dry right off the bat. It takes away from their “clever joke” but now I get to have some fun too. Haha.