David Brider (davidbrider) wrote,
David Brider

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Wednesday 28th April 2010.

Today got off to a later start than yesterday, as we had a 6:00am alarm call and a 7:00am start. Breakfast was okay, but the toast is still not warm, and toast and croissants were fairly dry. And we're getting through a small fortune in bottles of mineral water...

On the bright side, my eye seems to have cleared up, so it was only a temporary thing.

This morning we went to the Temple of Horus in Edfu. I won't make all the obvious Pyramids of Mars references, having used them all up on Sarah. The temple was, I think, smaller than Hatshepshut's one that we saw yesterday, but on the other hand we were able to see more of it, passing through from the courtyard into the temple itself and ultimately the sanctuary area. Sadly, although the temple itself appears pretty intact, almost all of the paintwork has been washed away over time (the periodic Nile floods can't have helped), leaving just the bare stone walls. Also, the images were vandalised by the Romans, who took exception to the Egyptian religion and so defaced many (although thankfully not all) of the images of the gods.The advantage of an early start was an early finish; although it was starting to get uncomfortably hot by the time we left the Temple, we avoided the excesses of the Egyptian sun, and the coach was back at the boat by 9:30am, after which we headed off for Kom Ombo.

Approaching the temple.

Carvings on the temple wall.

Inside the sanctuary.

Standing Osprey, Grumpy Falcon. (Well, he doesn't look very cheerful, anyway. Sarah reckoned he looks a bit like Sam the American Eagle from the Muppet Show...)

I do have to wonder whether Egypt is a desperately safe place to drive in. The approach to which side of the road one should drive in seems to be rather vague - nominally driving is on the right, but more often than not it's a case of just get in whatever lane doesn't have anything else in our way. Indicating also seems to be an optional extra. We were sharing much of the journey with some rather quaint horse-drawn carriages and, frankly, I'm amazed our coach driver didn't bump a few of them off...

Back at the boat, Sarah went up onto the sun deck, whilst I opened our outside door and slept for a while, then when I'd woken up, lay on the bed listening to the gentle hum of the motors and the sound of the Nile washing against the side of the boat, watching the beautiful scenery as we made our way steadily to Kom Ombo. This was, I felt, everything a holiday should be.

After lunch we went back up to our room, but Sarah slept while I lay awake playing Sudoku on my iPhone. I woke Sarah up when we reached Kom Ombo on the assumption that she'd want to visit the temple. Which she did, so that was okay.

The temple was only about five minutes walk down the road from where the boat had moored, although as it was 3:00pm it was pretty hot, and I was starting to feel rather exhausted, but nevertheless it was an interesting visit. Unlike the other two temples we've visited, this one was in ruins. Our guide said that over time, people would have used the stones to build houses. Which, as the religion died out, was fair enough, but it still seems a crying shame that such impressive buildings were destroyed.

A pillar with some paintwork still visible...

...and me in front of the pillar.

The Temple ruins, more paintwork faintly visible. I think it must have looked beautiful in its day.

A large block of carved temple. We reckoned it might have originally been a lintel or something like that, but don't know for certain.

Sarah standing in front of the lintel (?).

Back at the boat (after some confusion where we, and another couple, were convinced we'd been told to meet at a gate near where the boat had moored, but everyone else thought we'd been told to meet on the boat itself), Sarah went out to fetch a Sprite from the bar and to buy a Galabaya for herself for tonight's party, whilst the boat set off for Aswan (oh, dam). After a while, I started to wonder where she 'd got to, and wandered down the corridor to find her having only just bought her Galabaya - she'd been behind Mr Video Camera man from last night and his talkative indecisive wife.

Somehow Sarah and the shopkeeper managed to persuade me that actually, yes, I *would* like a Galabaya for the party tonight. Erm.

We headed up on deck, too late for afternoon tea, but had a relaxing lounge, Sarah working on some Man from U.N.C.L.E. fic whilst I read a Being Human novel. After it got dark, I went back to our room, and Sarah joined me later to get ready for the Egyptian Dinner and Galabaya party.

Sadly, the Egyptian dinner was just that - Egyptian. Sarah was happy (she's used to the cuisine having been introduced to it by her workmates, not to mention last time she was in Egypt) but all I could find was bread and water. !!! Fortunately one of our number took pity on me, and gave me some chocolate biscuits she'd brought over from England.

What I need right now is some decent salt & vinegar crisps. Hoping I might be able to find some when we get to Cairo.

After that was the Galabaya party. One of the groups of tourists (the Dutch group, I think) were very much into it, having all come dressed in their Egyptian finery and energetically dancing away to what sounded like the Egyptian equivalent of '80s europop. Us Brits, meanwhile, sat in the corner sipping our Sprites and Coca Colas and occasionally being photographed by the official tour photographer until we eventually decided, in light of the fact that we had an early start tomorrow (6:00am breakfast, 6:45pm coach departure), that bed at 9:30pm wouldn't be a bad idea at all. We are Such Wimps.

Sarah in her Galabaya.

Back at our room, we discovered that one of the room service guys had made us a towel crocodile, towel sculpture being something they evidently take very seriously (it will be the subject of a picture-intensive entry all to itself...). However, as the hour was late and we were eager for bed and - crucially - the crocodile was on Sarah's bed, it didn't survive long before being dismantled.
Tags: diary

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