Most people traveling between Aswan and Luxor or vice versa take a Nile Cruise. These last between 4-5 days and stops are made at Kom Ombo, Edfu, and Esna Temples. We opted to drive instead and, while not for everyone due to the bumpy, dusty roads, sugar cane trucks, and over 4 hour trek (without stops!) the drive offers a glimpse of rural Egypt – barefoot kids frolicking in sandy streets, women in colorful hijabs manning kiosks, men in long shirts smoking and conversing over tea, and hundreds of overly-loaded sugar cane trucks stalling our progress to Luxor and theirs to the factory!
Our stops enroute to Luxor included the Temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu. Kom Ombo is one of the places Tamir picked my jaw off the ground. Kom Ombo is really a double temple. One is dedicated to Horus and the other to Sobek, the crocodile god. Sobek is associated with Seth, the enemy of Horus and in the Horus myth the allies of Seth made the escape by changing themselves into crocodiles. The crocodiles themselves were actually mummified and are on display at the Temple. Mummified crocs? Really?
The Temple of Edfu is one of the largest and well-preserved in Egypt. The Temple was the center of festivals sacred to Horus. The massive pylon façade of the temple is flanked by a colossal statue of Horus himself and once again my jaw hit dirt. The mammoth temple includes two Hypostyle Halls, Festival Hall, Hall of Offerings, a Sanctuary, inner sanctums, an Offering Hall, a complex system of stairways and chambers, a birth house and a Nilometer from which priest drew holy water – all adorned
with scenes of history and mythology. It’s virtually impossible to pick a “favorite” in Egypt but both Kom Ombo and Edfu would rank high on the list!
After the draining emotional and spiritual highs of Kom Ombo and Edfu, the Winter Palace in Luxor was a welcomed respite. The property is perched on the banks of the Nile and is a luxury 5-star property visited by dignitaries worldwide. After a little R and R we enjoyed shopping the streets of Luxor for infamous Egyptian cotton, jewelry, books and trinket souvenirs. I came away with deliciously soft pillowcases and pajamas – some for me and a little for you! Later in the evening we visited Luxor Temple and no, three temples in one day is not too many! The majesty of lit temples at night is transcendental. There, massive statutes of Ramses II, Amenhotep, and King Tut tower, and the Avenue of the Sphinx, which connects Luxor and Karnak temples, is a breathtaking stretch of almost two miles of sphinx! Some are incredibly preserved while others have succumbed to the antics of playful children and traffic. The history is palpable and the lights make you feel like the procession between the two temples is about to begin! Rebecca
Previous Articles in This Series
- Protecting Traveler Equity Matters - February 1, 2017
- Never Tired of New York - May 16, 2016
- Italy for Spring Break! - October 1, 2015
- A Mother/Daughter New York Trip! - August 25, 2015
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile - May 4, 2015
- Egypt: Hidden Treasures of the World - April 17, 2015
- Egypt: Loving Luxor - April 16, 2015
- Egypt: Luxurious Luxor - April 15, 2015
- Egypt: Amazing Aswan - April 14, 2015
- Egypt: Just the Beginning - April 13, 2015