Posts Tagged With: Temples

Temple of Horus at Edfu

8/3/11

I woke up exhausted. This morning we were heading to the Temple of Horus aka Temple of Hours at Edfu aka Temple of Edfu. We had to have an early start to beat the heat and make it to Luxor on time. There was no time for breakfast so I ate my cereal in the lobby. We grabbed water bottles and walked to our horse and buggies, which are called calashes. Mike, Sonja, Nicole, and I got into #54 because it had a plastic seat. Mike sat by the driver because Sherif had told us girls we shouldn’t. As we rode we got to see typical Egyptian life. Lots of people were waiting in line for bread for dinner.

Edfu from my window

Edfu from my window

Edfu from my window

Calash

Calash

We pulled into an area in front of the Temple of Horus. We were the first ones into the complex and we actually had to wait a minute or two until the temple opened. Paul, Sonja, and I walked in front with Sherif. It was great because we were able to get pictures without anyone being in our way. We all took pictures for a while and then Sherif talked to us about the temple and the outside. It was a shame that people cut holes into the entrance wall because they were living there.

I spy the Temple of Horus

Temple of Horus

Temple of Horus

We then went into the main courtyard where there were statues of falcons. We went further back into a dark room that was somewhat destroyed due to the fires of the Christian squatters. Sherif had me read the part before the cartouches aka Sa Ra (son of Ra/Re) and Nisut Bati (King of Upper and Lower Egypt). In addition, he asked me to the read the name Ptolemis aka Ptolemy. We went further back into the sanctuary where there was a boat used for ceremonies. To the right there was a great image of Nut on the ceiling. A room close by had images of the gods going up the stairs. When we went to the left of the sanctuary there were images of the gods embracing Ptolemy. There was also another staircase showing the gods coming down the stairs. We went into a hall where Sherif showed us the glyphs for 100 (a spiral) and for a village. We came across my favorite image, which is Ptolemy being crowned King of Upper and Lower Egypt. I couldn’t believe I was finally seeing this image in person! He also showed us where the Egyptians used to tie up their animals to the temple walls. That was pretty cool.

Ptolemis aka Ptolemy

Life and Dominion

Nut

Heading upstairs

King of Upper and Lower Egypt

Heading downstairs

Horus and Ptolemy

Being crowned King of Upper and Lower Egypt

Next we moved to another hall, which records the first play about Osiris, Isis, Horus, and Seth. In the end Horus is victorious. My favorite image was of all the “actors” holding hands and bowing. Before we left Sherif pointed out the huge images of the pharaoh participating in ceremonies. These images acted like a big screen TV for people who came to see the ceremonies. He then took us to the side and walked us through the rest of our day. He explained to us about the guys throwing stuff on the boat near the Esna locks so they can sell it to us. I already knew about this so I didn’t really listen.

Final scene. That’s Horus and Seth (he’s being harpooned)

Gods/Actors about to take a bow

Ramadan Lamps

We boarded our calash and by accident I dropped Michael’s water into the street. O well! We board the boat and it was time to sail to Esna and Luxor.

Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching the Sun Set at Kom Ombo

8/2/11
We took a shuttle from the plane to the airport and then a bus back to our boat. Once we were all aboard we set sail.

My luggage still didn’t arrive. 😦 I went to lunch because I felt ill and wanted real food. I had super yummy mashed potatoes and some bread. I went back to my room to get cold for a bit. I watched MTV cribs. I also watched the Nile from my bed.

About 3 hrs later it was time to meet Sherif to see Kom Ombo. Sonja, Paul, Michael, and I were the only ones going. Sherif took Sonja and I outside to a tiny ledge so we could watch us pull into Kom Ombo. One false step and we would be in the Nile. We disembarked and walked to the temple.

Sunset was coming and the temple looked beautiful. There were still remnants of color in spots and the hues were brilliant. Sherif showed us a scene that contained images of medical supplies and one where a woman was giving birth. The temple was dedicated to Sobek and Haroeris (Horus the elder). It’s rare for two gods to share a temple. People used to wait to get treated here and you could still see the games and drawings they carved into the floor while they waited. There was an image on the temple wall of a lion biting the hands of its enemies. There was a picture of Cleopatra since the temple dates from the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Sherif kept saying, “Come I show you the best picture.” This kept cracking us up.

Cleopatra

The sun started to set and the place became magical. We took pictures holding the sun. Mike started not to feel well and was looking pale. Sherif sent him back to the boat because he’s had people faint in this temple before, which is strange because it wasn’t hot. I didn’t want to leave because it was like stepping back in time. It was so quiet and peaceful. Sherif showed us the Nilometer and where they kept the alligator.

It was time to break Ramadan for the day so we walked back to the boat. We saw a museum they were building. I asked Sherif what his favorite Egyptian site was and he said Abydos. That’s where Osiris’ head is supposedly buried. Random strangers offered Sherif food and water. He accepted the water.

We went back on the ship and Sherif went straight to dinner with the crew. I went to the top deck and watched Kom Ombo slip away. Everyone on the deck said they didn’t go because they felt they saw it from the boat. All they could see was the top part sticking out from the trees. They really missed out. The four of us who went loved it.

Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day I was Mistaken for an Egyptian Queen’s Soul

8/2/13

Surprisingly we did not have to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a plane to Abu Simbel like all the other Contiki tours had to. I skipped the cruise’s breakfast and ate my cereal on the bus. We drove to the airport in Aswan. We went through security which was a metal detector and xray machine. Our waters were allowed in. Sherif showed us a picture of Nefertari that we would see in the temple. He also complimented my dress. He had us sit down and he gave us some background info on the temples. I wanted to look around at the shops in the airport, but he said we didn’t have time. So I chose the bathroom instead as did some of the other girls. We ran straight from the bathroom to our gate. We were boarding!

Once on the plane I realized that I was on the wrong side of the plane to see Abu Simbel. I needed to be on the left side. Sitting to the right of me was an Arab man who didn’t seem very nice. To the left of me was Janelle. Then Sherif calls me and asks me to move. He has me take an empty seat in the row behind him on the left side of the plane. He moved me so I could see Abu Simbel. Lexi moves and sits next to me. The plane ride was smooth. They offered us water. I got a great picture of Abu Simbel from the air. I played some American music for Lexi. We landed after what felt like only 15 minutes, but was really over 30 minutes.

Abu Simbel from the air

We got on a shuttle bus to take us to the main airport. Then a bunch of us ran to the ladies room. We boarded a coach bus which we shared with the Trafalgar group. We drove to a little food area and had to walk from there. The walk to the temples was hot and grueling. I felt like I was melting. So I joked around and prayed to Shu (the wind god) and at that moment a gust of wind hit my dress. The light breeze stayed with us! I turned a corner and there was Ramesses’ Temple. I was in awe. It was so incredible! We took some pictures then we went to a “shaded” area with a bench to listen to Sherif. He talked to us about the moving of the temples and the alligator that walked right up to people at night during the light and sound show. He asked us who wanted to buy the Abu Simbel pictures for 20 LE. I told him that I wanted them. Then he let us wander around for an hour.

The girls and I headed to the right aka Nefertari’s Temple first. It was breathtaking. We took a lot of pictures of the outside. We wandered around the inside of the temple and examined all the glyphs. Everyone was trying to sneak pictures, but I was too scared to. I finally worked up enough courage to do so and right when I went to grab my camera I saw the guy coming. Scott got caught and the temple guy deleted the pictures. See the pic below of him getting caught. Towards the entrance I started to read the hieroglyphs to Janelle. The temple guy’s face lit up when he heard me. He asked me if I could read them and I said yes. Then he went on and on in Arabic about me. He took my arm and guided me to the famous image of Nefertari and made me rub her lotus flower a couple of times. You are not supposed to touch anything so I was shocked he wanted me to touch the walls. On our way out he asked if I wanted a picture with the ankh. I did, but didn’t want him to ask me for money. I thanked him in Arabic and he wished me blessings in both languages while bowing his head towards me. The little Arabic I could understand, his behavior, and what I wound up finding out from others made me realize that he thought I was Nefertari’s Ka. A Ka is an Egyptian’s double. There are stories about people’s Ka’s tricking people into believing they are the original. Maybe that would make sense as to why the gods granted me wind when I asked for it. 😉

Picture from Sonja

We then headed to Ramesses’ Temple. We took more pictures and I looked at some of the glyphs on the outside. The entrance way had Ramesses statues/pillars that were made to look like Osiris. We looked at all the famous scenes like Ramesses on the chariot shooting an arrow and smiting his enemies. There were back rooms as well that were covered in glyphs from floor to ceiling. Some of the back rooms smelled like something died in them. We started to get hot and dehydrated so we decided to head back.

Fallen head

Usermaatre Setepenre

The walk back was uphill and was torture. At that point it was the middle of the day and the sun was beaming. We finally made it to the rest area and were so happy to see water and food even if it was overpriced. I bought a water and a kit kat. We took seats with Sherif and filled him in on our temple experience. We then went to the bathroom where we had to pay. We waited a while for Paul and Mike. We eventually gave up. We walked through a row of vendors who liked my galabiya and didn’t try to sell me stuff when I told them no thank you in Arabic. At the top of the hill was Paul and Mike. Sherif got into a bit of a tiff with Paul. We boarded the bus and headed to the airport.

Security was a joke this time. We got our tickets and used the bathroom. This time I was on the left side of the plane. I was between Meg and Mat. Aussie sandwich. They gave us water again. Meg, Mat, and I spent most of the time talking about Australian politics and how it is compulsory to vote in Australia. The conversation was interesting, but the 3 of us were scared because the plane was experiencing extreme turbulence for the entire flight. The plane couldn’t land soon enough for the 3 of us. It was because of the intensity of the heat. We were all so thankful to land. We all felt a bit queasy.

*The picture below was sent to me by Contiki because when I came back from Egypt I sent Sherif a NY Yankees shirt. He’s wearing it in Abu Simbel below.

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Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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