Thursday, November 06, 2008

Egypt - day 6 : Edfu & Kom Ombo : on the way to Aswan

Up early for our 6.30 departure we were off with the convoy at 7. Our 1st stop of the day was the Temple of Horus at Edfu - it is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt, also being quite large, the great open court having 32 columns 15m high and then the Hypostyle hall having 12. Horus is the falcon god of the ski, son of Isis and Osiris - he could appear as a falcon or a human with a falcon head. The focus of the temple is the chapel which comprises 13 offering chambers and the central sanctuary, which also contains a small wooden boat. The whole temple got a greek wall added by Ptolemy, we can tell this as the carvings all have belly buttons, not permitted during the pharoic times!


The convoys next stop was Kom Ombo which means the hill of sand, it is the only temple which is dedicated to 2 gods: Sobek (the mean crocodile) & Haroeris (Horus the elder). The temple is on the banks of the Nile, and they found 9 crocodile mummies (3 of which are on display!) The temple is infact totally symetrical and is one of the few places where an egyptian calendar is preserved - their year comprised 365 days, 12 months, each with 30 days and then 5 days of festivals - the change of year was 14th July with 3 seasons; the flooding, the planting and the harvesting seasons. The Kom Ombo temple was used a sanitarium, and there is infact a carving of a woman giving birth, with a post natal bathing pool! There is also a "Nile-ometer" which measures the height of the Nile - used to decide the taxes - if the depth was greater then 14 arms (52cm) then the people would have to pay taxes! Also unique to this temple is a scene of a lion - most likely because the pharoh at this time was greek. Again a short stop to keep in line with the convoy!


Arriving in Aswan, we stopped in for lunch, although our tummies were still not up to much - D had a coffee strong enough to keep an army awake, with a density of about 1.6sg!! Our hotel (the Pyramisa Isis) was on an island and hence we hopped on a boat to get across. We found the hotel room rather pink - our barbie room!! But we did find time for a swim and a fruit cocktail next to the pool - but still no cocktail umbrellas...

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