(October 18, 2011) Nile cruise: Kom Ombo and Edfu
As cruise’s program explains, this day we set sail early to
Kom Ombo, where we will visit the unusual double Temple of Sobek, the
crocodile god, and Haroeris. After lunching on board, we will be able
of admire the beautiful scenery of Nile while sailing to Edfu, where
we will explore the huge temple dedicated to god Horus. We will visit
the colorful local bazaars just before dinner and sleep.
On despite all I’ve read about it, we’re sleeping
great in the boat: no problem with noises. Our guide gave us a little
paper with today’s plan written on it and it says clear our first visit
is at 9:30, so we’re getting the breakfast at 8:30 where we can see
through the window, which is showing half below water surface and half
above it, we’re sailing to our first destination: Kom Ombo.
Our guide – what strange is being for me this “our
guide” thing as I use to take this role -, Ayman, is getting his
breakfast here too and he will wait patiently for us to be ready. I
wait with him, smoking a cigarette. What strange is for me too this
smoking in a boat thing!
What is not strange is being chased by vendors of…
anything. Temple is just there, on quay, so we start with our photos
immediately. I’m surprised about the parts of the temple, usually the
higher, where you can still see the original colors. This helps to
imagination on creating the pictures of how the temples were when they
were used for other tasks but touristic, with white as main color.
The guide is offering his rehearsed explanations
about specific hieroglyphics at walls. It’s clear they’re the same for
all the people here as the guide for other languages have the same
route and stop in the same spots in a row. We’re the last ones and are
following them in their itinerary but, at least, we’ve got a guide
exclusively for the four of us. When they’ve finished their well-worn,
but interesting, speech we are free to explore this small symmetric
temple by our own. There is a Nilometer here which we can watch in
detail. Its importance is more historical than esthetic as it is
basically a well with stairs. Since Aswan High Dam was built, the Nile
has completely changed: the annual floods disappeared as well as the
utility of this Nilometers. The famous crocodiles are gone too; Ayman
explains they kept on the other side of the Dam.
After a well-spent hour, we come back to the boat and,
finally, we get spare time for swimming, reading or simply laying on
deckchairs for a sunbath or a nap. We take some time watching the
particular Nile riversides, with lush, but only limited to the very
shore, because, as a magical cut, the huge desert seems to be kept
after that imaginary border as the wizard drawing a line in floor that
beast cannot cross.
Rooms are ready and they’ve set a couple of swans made by
towels. We’ve seen this before, but it is always a nice touch.
downstairs for lunching knowing we will have the second and last visit
of the day when finishing: Edfu temple. I already know it is a big
temple dedicated to Horus, the god represented by the falcon, and
therefore, we will find several stone hawks in there. Ayman interrupted
his explanation of the mythological legend of Osiris, his brother Seth,
his wife Osiris and their son Horus with a “to be continued in Horus’
temple of Edfu”.
Just after the after-lunch cigarette the ship
starts the maneuver for tying up and we’re getting ready for the tour.
On disembarking, our guide has already got a
calash for going to Edfu temple across the city. This temple is one of
the best preserved in the country.
In our way we could see misery. Edfu, which is
the name of the city too, has looked poor and we’ve been touched by the
state of the calash’s horse: an absolute skeleton with bleeding ulcers
in its skin
For some reason I don’t understand we’re completely
alone. I would expect to see, at least, the rest of the tourists in our
boat here. The temple is huge and we go round its courtyards, halls and
rooms after hearing the end of Osiris legend: I cannot see it’s a happy
ending, but it’s not bad either.
We first make our pictures with the big falcons
flanking the entrance, but Ayman states there are better sculptures
inside, and he is right
There are lights for the halls and rooms inside and, in one
them, we can find the divine boat, which we could see before on the
images in the walls, although Egyptians had exaggerated a little bit
with its real size (or they were really tiny, which is the other
We’re plenty of time exploring every corner of the temple
when leaving, sun is quite down telling us night is close. When we’re
back at boat, our guide receives some complaints from the staff about
the arrival time. It seems they’ve been waiting for us to sail off. I
keep wondering what has the rest of the people done as it’s been a
complete – and very appreciated - loneliness in the temple. Our room’s
big window let us enjoy the sunset from bed.
Tonight is the most typical party of these kinds
cruises: galabia party. This was the reason we bought a galabia for
each of us in Khan el Kalili, so we are more than ready for it.
Somehow, I read it was an abuse on boats for the price of galabia rents
being even more expensive than buying a new one outside in some market.
I haven’t found this in Nile Style, prices were fair.
It’s clear for us the party starts after dinner, at 21:00, but we start
doubting when seeing almost all the people already dressed up at
restaurant. When we go downstairs in costumes later, we’re received by
a group picture and join the party. Ayman is here and explains the
details to us. The party consists in some group games in a row which,
in most of the cases, are played by countries. Therefore, we
participate a lot as we’re just four persons for Spain. First is a
dancing game, similar to musical chairs, only with no chairs. Then, Eva
competes against the other countries (German, Holland …) in a belly
dance demonstration. I play a strange game with one potato hanging in
my crotch where I don’t understand what I must do until I see the
others. I finish the last and with my legs hurting.
Our guide accompanies during the whole evening and makes his
for we enjoy the party. He helps me too dancing with my wife.
When games end you can going on with the disco,
but we go to our rooms for rest.