Today we flew to Abu Simbel, an incredible temple built by Ramses II to show an overglorified win in a battle with Nubians who inhabited this land at the far south of modern Egypt. He placed the temple here as a sign of power to remind the Nubians who Pharoh was. Many scenes depict Ramses in battle slaying or enslaving his enemy. The 4th photo shows Ramses unifying the northern (lower) and southern (upper) empires into one. Outside are 4 large colossi of Ramses seated on his throne and protected by the ancient god Ra. At his feet are either his wives or daughters. In 1968 the entire site was threatened by the Aswan dam project. It would have been covered by the flood waters from the dammed Nile if it weren't for UNESCO and a team of European and Egyptian engineers. The entire mountain was cut-up, marker identified, cataloged, and rebuilt on a new man-made plateau 210 meters away from the water and 65 meters higher than its original location. At a cost of over $40 million, the temple was cut into 10-40 ton blocks and reassembled on its new location.
6. Cartouche (Royal signature) of Ramses II, 7. Ramses Statues inside main hall, 8. Ramses II slaying the enemy, 9. Ramses on chariott pursuing the enemy,
10. Another cartouche of Ramses II, 11. More statues of Ramses in main hall, 12. Inner sanctuary showing l-r, Ptah (creator of Memphis, and unlighted), Amun (Earth god, king of the egyptian gods and father of pharoh), Ramses II, Ra (Sun god)
Our trip from Abu Simbel was an uneventful 1 hour hop to Awsan. We were all tired from the intense heat and were looking forward to a couple of days on the river cruser, Ramadis. The boat is operated by the Movenpic resort company. The ship was showing signs of age but had very nice staterooms. After unpacking our luggage and setting up house we all met on the main deck for a sail boat ride around Kitchner's Island. This was a relaxing ride around the quiet waters around Aswan city. Our boat operators were locals who make such tours on a regular basis. The captian's mate was a young boy about 13 years old. During our ride he went around offering to sell us necklaces for a couple of pounds each. I thought they were hand made at first but discovered that similar necklaces were being sold by others down river a few days later. One of the better parts of our boat ride was when a group of Nubian's were going down river. Their music and drum beats were very uplifting and inspiring. Later, after dinner Margie and I went to the bazaar. Aswan bazaar is one of the largest in Egypt. Although the vendors were a little more aggressive than in Cairo, it was all in good fun. We tried speaking in French, Spanish, and Japaneese to throw them off but its amazing how much they understand from picking up the languages from other tourists. On fooling a good salesman. Afterward we joined Sharon in the lounge for a birthday celebration.
13. After AbuSimbel, we flew back to Aswan to meet our Nile Cruiser, the H.S. Radamis and 14.,15. enjoyed an afternoon Feleccua boat ride. 16. an evening at Aswan market, largest bazaar in Egypt. 17. Tonight was also Sharon's birthday - Happy Birthday, Sharon!
1 - Arrival in Cairo
Day 2 - Tour of the Citadel, Egyptian Museum, Coptic Cairo, and the Bazaar
Day 3 - Visit to Giza Plateau to view the Pyramids, and Sphinx. To Memphis and Saqqara
Day 4 - Flight to Abu Simbel, Aswan city, Felucca ride around Kitchners Island
Day 5 - Tour of Aswan, Cruse down Nile to Kom Ombo and Edfu
Day 6 - Tour of Edfu, Esna Lock and on to Luxor
Day 7 - Tour Valley of the Kings, Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Colossi of Memnon
Day 8 - Tour Luxor, Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple