Nile Cruise Day 1: Aswan and kom Ombo

We began our cruise adventure in Aswan, home of the deliciously sweet hibiscus tea.  Our first tourist destination was the highly controversial High Dam.  While many debate the environmental and cultural impacts of the dam, well, it still exists… as Natalya said, “I’ve seen better.”

We then took a boat to Agilika Island where the Philae Temple is housed.  The entire temple was dismantled and reassembled from its original location on Philae Island 500m away, which was flooded from the construction of the dam.  The Philae Temple is especially beautiful as you approach it across the water, as it appears untouched, standing alone on this small island.

The temple is primarily dedicated to Isis, but images of her son Horus (falcon) and the goddess Hathor (cow) are seen throughout the temple.

Also, I must take a moment to introduce someone very special to our travel group: Petey the Travel Penguin!   Adopted from a McDonald’s in Santa Barbara, our own version of travelocity’s gnome, Petey had already traveled through Hong Kong and Dubai before beginning his Egyptian adventure!

After departing from Aswan, we traveled to Kom Ombo.  Cruise boat parking on the Nile is a very intriguing procedure: Ships would align themselves side by side with ships and passengers essentially walk through multiple ships before reaching shore.  This was the primary way we discovered just how cheap our boat was as we passed through other ships’ marble lobbies, golden railings and elaborate chandeliers…

The main attraction at Kom Ombo is the Temple of Sobek (crocodile god) and Horus the Elder (falcon god).  Our guide said it was dedicated to the balance of good (Horus) vs. evil (Sobek) which you can see all over the reliefs on the walls.   Apparently, there used to be 300 crocodile mummies here but no longer.


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