Abu SimbelMay 12, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ 🌙 30 °C
Today we had one thing planned - the trip to Abu Simbel. We were collected by our driver, Ramon, a young man of few words, but very efficient. The drive to Abu Simbel is 3 hours and 280km through the desert. There are a number of military checkpoints to cross, and it was only until recently that you had to get a military escort to get there. Most tourists leave at 4.30 am to go on the drive. Given we only arrived to Aswan after midnight, we opted to leave at 9am, and it was a brilliant decision because there were only about 6 other tourists the whole time we were there!
The drive was long, through the Nubian desert and Paul & I both dozed. We got to the temple just before 12, and purchased our tickets. 200 Egyptian pounds each for us, and 300 pounds extra to take photos inside the tomb. The site is on the edge of Lake Nasser, and when you consider the whole site was relocated several hundred metres vertically in 1964 to 1968 when they were creating the dam, it is an amazing engineering feat.
They created to rock face to mount the temple, and proceeded to carve it up, with 4mm slices. It was then relocated piece by piece high above the water.
The temple was built by Pharoah Rameses II and his wife Nefertari in 1264 BC. It depicts his victories, and it is believed that the size of his likenesses was to ward away the enemies from the north. It is very interesting, as we saw the mummified remains of Rameses II at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo!