Kom Ombo Temple
An enigmatic ruin, Kom Ombo rises from the banks of the Nile. Once a major pilgrimage site for Ancient Egyptians, she is a dedication to Sobek the crocodile God and Horus, the Falcon God. Surrounded by walls protecting her from the flooding river, the site dates to the Ptolemaic dynasty, some 2,300 years ago. Its history and theology chiselled in the walls include images of surgical instruments and a woman on a birthing chair.
Its southern temple is dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, of love and joy, and Khonsu, the Moon God. Visions of Hathor dancing in Khonsu’s moonlight sparks my imagination as I get leisurely lost in the labyrinth of this magnificent ruin and let it lift my soul. Only last month did they uncover a sandstone sphinx statue here.
More ‘Made in China’ trinkets are hawked on banks of the Nile as we meander back to Amwaj. My Egyptian morning greetings and other words of banter are meet by smiles and laughter. ‘Bokra, bokra’ I say to the men approaching with shirts, skirts and galabeya, ‘tomorrow, tomorrow,’ I smile and walk past.
Many more cruise ships, just like ours, are now docked around us. The Captain reverses and makes a perfect turn before sailing towards Eduf. We snooze in the sun by the pool until lunch is served at 12, and when the gangplank hits the banks of Eduf we disembark to a waiting horse-drawn carriage.
Dedicated to the gods, Horus and Set, Edfu Temple embodies the principles of self-mastery and resurrection. Balancing the forces of dark and light it empowers the Falcon God within us. Light shafts in the ceiling, some 20 meters above us were design to light specific carvings on the columns supporting the temple’s stone roof, as the sun travels across the sky. How, I marvel, did they know where exactly to let the light through?
Our discussion moves on to who were the culprits and what was their motives, for scraping away the human forms from the petroglyphs covering the massive exterior walls. There’s not enough scientific, theologic, historic or archeologic evidence to give any clear answers at all.
Ahmed, our guide, doesn’t much like the people here. ‘They are brash and rude’ he says and he’s against the government decree that made local horse-drawn carriage the only mode of tourist transport to the sacred site. I pity the small skinny horses whipped by their coachmen.
Sunset Cruice and Esna Lock
We continue our sail and are graced by the most magnificent sunset. Later, as I’m falling asleep, submerged in a warm bubble bath, reception calls to let us know we have come to the lock at Esna. We gather with the rest of the passenger at the front of the upper deck to watch a trader in a small rowboat tossing galebeyas and tablecloths, wrapped in plastic bags, up to us to buy. A most entertaining spectacle ensue as bags of cloth is thrown between cruise-deck and rowboat, to great sheers every time the bag lands in either boat and not in the river. Captains of all the ships passing through the lock this night great each other with load blows of the horn. A sense of celebration is in the air.
We arrive at dinner, dressed for galebeya night, but only Peter and Silvia, at the table next to us, are wearing the Egyptian costume, amidst high heals matching cocktail or casual summer dresses. We linger till the staff starts clearing the buffet, then stop for a quick glance into the Tanya Lounge, where a gathering of 8 seems to be doing some sort of Egyptian line dancing on the dance floor. Someone from the entertainment crew calls after us as we climb the spiral stairs. ‘We’ll be right back’ I tell him, before moving on to our cabin suite, not to be seen again.
Gina is doing her Egyptian Luxury Tour in November 2018. Visit Egypt Luxury Tour on Facebook to book and find out more.
Much Love and Light
I’d love to keep in touch, don’t you? Pop your details in below and every few weeks, or so, I’ll send you my musings on writing, life and #TRUTH.