Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kom Ombo, Edfu & Esna, Saturday, August 11, 2012

Once again, we started our day with a lovely buffet breakfast, great view and the sultry sounds of Kenny G on the saxophone playing in the background music.

We met our fabulous guide, Sayed Salim in the lobby after our boat docked and we walked directly off our boat up to the Temple of Kom Ombo. This temple is equally dedicated to two gods, Horus and Sobek (the crocodile god).

Sayed showed us an ancient Egyptian calendar which he taught us how to read…and tested our knowledge as well. He then showed us carvings of surgical tools, birthing chairs and a guy with a large male member.

The boys enjoyed checking out the Nileometer. In the ancient days, the Egyptians would be taxed by this. If the Nile rose a lot there were be more taxes than if it rose a little. In a way, it made sense, because if it did rise a lot there would be more crops to sell and more money to go around.

Before leaving the site, we went to the indoor, air conditioned crocodile museum. This museum held tons and tons of mummified crocodiles that were found near by. Remember, part of this temple was dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god.

Then it was back on the boat for relaxing, lunch, napping etc. After lunch, we all went up to the sun deck and watched the world go by. Most of the time we passed farms and farming communities, and the odd time we would pass a small city. We would often pass people fishing, bathing their animals, swimming, doing laundry in the Nile. Earlier in the day, we passed some kind of dead small cow or horse floating in the Nile. While reading in front of his suite window, Cameron saw a dead camel float by.

Touring the monuments in Egypt is amazing, but I actually enjoy people watching here just as much.

Edfu is a city. When we arrived at the boat docks, Sayed had a horse and carriage organized for us. It was great to people watch as we trotted through the streets and downtown of Edfu. Once again there was a huge variety of types of traffic. Horses & carriages, motorcycles, cars, vans, and tuktuks.

People were dressed in Galabiyas, black burqhas, hajabs and western wear. The men’s galabiyas were usually in lighter colours but the women’s burqhas and longer sleeved dresses were often in black and dark colours. That would be really uncomfortable in this over 40 degree weather.

Edfu temple is fabulous with its two tall towers. It is one of the best preserved and second largest temple in Egypt. Our family rubbed the wing of Horus for luck here. The boys seemed to enjoy looking for Set in the disguise of a hippo on the walls.

When we returned to the boat we went back up to the top sun deck, swam in the pool and watched the life on the side of the Nile.

I love watching all the Ibis. It is unbelievable how quickly the land moves from lush vegetation to sheer desert. The change is so dramatic that you could draw a line between the green vegetation and the gold sand.

When we passed the farmland just outside of Esna, people would stand on shore and wave to us. Kids would jump into the water and swim towards the boat.

In the duskiness after the sunset, I watched hundreds of Ibis settle in for the night in a small island in the middle of the Nile.

As darkness settled we dressed for dinner and the Galabiya party. My husband and the boys wore Galabiyas with arab headdresses (I don’t know what they are called). I wore the Egyptian Queen outfit that I had purchased in the Cairo Bazaar. For the party after supper my hubby changed into his King Tut outfit.

People were soon dancing to Egyptian music and soon they had us playing party games such as Egyptian versions of hot potato, musical chairs and more. It was actually a lot of fun. Everyone got into it. A total riot.

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