Apparently, Ramses II liked himself quite well, as he dedicated several temples and monuments to himself. Yesterday, we flew from Cairo to Abu Simbel, 25 miles north of the Sudan border to see his temple there. The temple itself is amazing with its colossal statues cut into the side of the stone hill, proclaiming Ramses to be a god. Just as inspiring is the story of how the world united to move this entire structure, threatened to be lost underwater by the construction of the Aswan dam. The temple at Abu Simbel is beautifully reconstructed and I am grateful that this amazing site was preserved for all to see.
Aswan, called the “last city” in Egypt, is laid back and relaxing. I could easily imagine coming to Egypt to vacation in Aswan. Much of the movie “Death on the Nile” was filmed here.
Nile River Cruise. This morning I awoke to the sound of the Nile lapping on the side of the boat and found we were docked right in front of the Kom Ombo temple. We got off the boat and walked up the steps of the temple at 7 am to see the light of the rising sun illuminate the stories being told through hieroglyphics. Kom Ombo was home to many crocodiles in ancient times and I have confirmed and reconfirmed that THERE ARE NO CROCODILES IN THE NILE north of the Aswan Dam.
This afternoon, I was able to verify that drivers behind the reigns of a horse carriage are just as daring as those behind the wheel of a car. The carriage in which we were riding this afternoon exhibited the same driving characteristics of the cars we have ridden in so far. Did I mention that I am glad that we did not rent a car in Cairo?