Originally carved out of the rock on the banks of The Nile during the reign of Ramses ll to glorify “himself”, with the slightly smaller adjacent temple dedicated to his favorite wife Nefertari. Built 3000 years ago it is an incredible feat of construction and engineering. The main facade with its four statues of – yes you’ve got it – Ramses, is 38 meters wide and 31 meters high. Apart from the inevitable tomb robbers it lay virtually undisturbed until it was “rediscovered” by a Swiss historian in 1813 virtually buried by a thick blanket of sand.
It was excavated by a series of European Archaeologists during the 19th century exposing its amazing carvings, hieroglyphs and inscriptions.
What makes it even more extraordinary, is that when threatened by the rising waters of Lake Nasser, following the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, and after a global campaign, it was dismantled and reconstructed in all its former glory, at a site 90 meters higher to where it is today.
Back on the bus for the trip back to Aswan where we were back on the boat in time for lunch (yes we had to get up extremely early to avoid the midday sun etc !). Even so the temperature and humidity inside the temples made for a very soggy bunch of tourists !! That’s me holding the key of life which appears everywhere…….
After lunch we finally set sail downstream towards the riverside Temple at Kom Ombo:
Spot the stacks of mothballed or abandoned cruise ships !
The ancient Egyptian believed firmly in the afterlife and it it moved they mummified and buried it ! Kom Ombo was the center of the cult dedicated to Sobek, a man with the head of a crocodile, so a lot of mummified crocs……..
There was also a confrontation in front of the temple with 3 slithery Cobras who were definitely not mummified, and completely freaked me out so no photos I’m afraid !!!
Back to the boat for a soothing bottle of red and then we headed down river towards Luxor.