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  • Day4

    It really feels like Ancient Egypt

    January 8 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We’ve said more than once that visiting all of the massive buildings has mostly felt surreal - almost like we got tickets to see the Egypt section of Universal Studios. It feels like it can’t be real because it’s just too good. Well today it felt a bit different.

    Our first site was Edfu Temple. We got there by a horse drawn carriage, but don’t think Queen Victoria out for an afternoon jaunt round the park! Think typical third world country traffic jams with yelling and hand gestures and now add in a rickety carriage, complete with fluro-vested driver. Michelle and Medhat gave us very specific instructions about getting on and off these carriages. If you take the wrong one, you could end up at a totally different site! Thankfully, the whole operation went off smoothly.

    Edfu temple. Wow. Wow. Wow. This has been the MOST impressive thing I’ve seen. The walls were gigantic - walking up to the gates I could really imagine the life this temple would’ve had! It is one of the most well preserved temples in the world. Mostly because 90% of it was covered in sand until fairly recently.

    One of the coolest elements was a stair case that went up and around like a spiral staircase (but this had square turns). Back in the day, you would go up the spiral staircase, make our offering and then head down another ramp to exit. This entry / exit actually inspired the Vatican ascension to the top room!

    I can’t help but wish I’d learnt Hieroglyphs in school! I just want to know what everything means.

    Edfu was built by some of the Ptolemy Pharaohs - who were actually Greek. This means there are lots of mistakes everywhere! Some hands of the figures are the wrong way around, there are empty cartouches and the wrong kilt on the wrong person. To tell the difference between a Pharaoh and a God / Goddess, you have the check out the skirt. A tight fitting one = God / Goddess. But a loose one, or one that sticks out = Pharaoh. I like the feeling of my brain filling up with new information!

    We were back on the boat by 10.30am and kept on sailing!

    Next stop - Kom Ombo, another Greco-Roman temple. Beautiful, majestic and so close to the Nile that we just walked from the boat. From this temple we have information about Egyptian medicine, including labour practices (cp Exodus 1v16) and massage technique - apparently the Egyptians invented cupping.

    This temple was dedicated to Sobek and Horus. Sobek is the crocodile headed God - which is probably why there were mummified crocodiles found here! They are now in a crocodile museum next door. Super gross to look and and kind of creepy!

    We are only have two more days of Egypt. Tomorrow starts at 4.30am! We see Abu Simbel - this is the site I am MOST EXCITED about seeing. Big crush on Rameses II.
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