February 1, 2012
Monday, January 23: Edfu to Aswan
Sailing on the River Nile is a truly extraordinary experience, akin to sailing through a National Geographic magazine. Seamless sensational views of villages and agricultural scenes, the pace is relaxing with tea time on the top deck. Navigating the river cruise ships is remarkable act of maritime art. The boats are four decks tall, and slide gently into locks and along docksides.
At Edfu in Middle Egypt, transportation to the temple is provided by horse carriages that carry you back to the 19th century atmosphere through modern and busy traffic. Understanding Egypt requires a steady mixture of seeing construction and destruction and a yin-yang contradiction of enduring ancient traditions and unstoppable innovations. Edfu temple is one of the most complete, massive and impressive structures built during the Ptolemaic times to honor the falcon god Horus and his mother Isis. Crowds were light so it was easy to move about. Back on our “flying carpet” Lotus boat, we had still more delicious food and motored on to the Ptolemaic temple of Kom Ombo at a loop in the Nile where crocodiles once sunned themselves. Kom Ombo is a double temple with sacred places for two Greco-Egyptian deities as well as intriguing inscriptions about calendars, medical instruments and even some original colors tucked away in protected places. Motoring on further upstream we arrived in Aswan for still one more peaceful night on board.