Tuesday 4 September 2018
We set off early today (3.30am!) for the 3 and a half hour drive down to Abu Simbel to see the fantastic complex of Ramses II. This 20m high by 50m high four figurines of the mighty Ramses had to be moved in the 1970s due to the building of the Aswan Dam. This was an international engineering feat that cost 40million (300 million in today’s money) to complete. The figurines guard the entry to the temple which is also striking and awe-inspiring. It stands next to the temple dedicated to Ramses II favourite wife – Nefer -tare. (Nefer means beautiful)
In the afternoon we sailed upstream to Kom Ombo to see the Sobeck (crocodile) and Horus (Falcon) Temple. It was temple dedicated to the pair of Gods built by Ptolemy 5th and his son Ptolemy 6th and used from 205BC to 146BC. It was interesting to see that the Ptolemy dynasty completely copied in perfect detail the Egyptian style. The Crocodile museum had several mummified crocodiles on display. The belief being that some part of the God Sobeck inhabits the animal and therefore it becomes sacred. An interesting feature was a sound channel where the priests could speak at one end and their disembodied voices would be heard to great effect in another part of the Temple (Bit like Wizard of Oz)
The drive to Abu Simbel – long stretches of desert – beautiful as the Sun rose
The hardy nine in front of the impressive Ramses II statue
Temple of Sobeck and Horus – divided down the middle column – One God on one side and one worshipped on the other.
A scene of the purification of the King – Beak face God on the left – (Noth) and falcon face God on right – (Horus) – shown washing new king – Ptolemy 5th