June 04, 2011

Philae Temple & the Aswan Dam - 16 September 2010

It's been a while since I blogged about the tour but now that I am gainfully unemployed again (at least for a little while) I'm going to try and get through the rest of this journal. Just a reminder, this is taken directly from my journal, with very little editing and I haven't gone on to research anything I was unsure of when I initially wrote the journal. Gives you all something to do if you should want to know more.


I was a little bit excited this morning. The first stop of the day was Philae Temple - dedicated to the Goddess Isis.

The temple has been moved to its current location because of the building of the dam. It hasn't lost anything of its splendour. Getting to the temple was an adventure in itself, as the first ferry we boarded had its engine burn out so we all had to get off and find another one. The men steering the ferries have a lot of confidence in what the ferry can take as they crash into one another with little sympathy.

Image via ACP
Joel - Image via ACP
Our guide told us the story of Philae Temple.

The two gods, Isis and Osiris, had a son, Horus. One day, Osiris' brother Set, killed Osiris and spreak his body over fourteen parts of Egypt. As Horus grew up his mother taught him this history and instructed him on how to kill his uncle.

Eventually the time came. Horus held a party and invited Set (the god of evil). As the party went on Horus made his attempt but decided against following through. Isis didn't understand the change of heart in her son and asked why he had allowed his uncle to live. Horus replied that for the good in the world to be truely appreciated, evil must also exist. This is how Horus became the god of protection.

Inside the temple

Inside the temple
Cleopatra also has a temple at Philae. The guide didn't tell us her story and I can't really remember it. The temple itself was closed off for refurbishment so we couldn't go in.

Bruno and Ange in front of Cleopatra's Temple - Image via ACP
Image via ACP

From the temple we went up to the Dam itself. It's a massive superstructure. Egypt got the funding for it from the Russians forty years ago and they're still paying it off.

The Aswan Dam - this picture doesn't do it justice size wise

The heat is so incredible that these are the only two places we visited today. The heat is such that our guide told us in his 28-29 years he had never seen rain. Bruno and I aren't sure if this is right though as Bruno and I were having our own conversation.

Spent the rest of the day hanging out. Exchanged some money then had ice cream on a boat on the Nile with Ange, Helen, Bruno and Glenn.

In the evening, Teegan and Drew took us to a little 'restaurant' that serves Kushari. It's delicious though. It's made up primarily of lentils, pasta, and veggies of some sort. You add different dressings and chillies to it to make it taste how you want.

The genders split up after dinner to go shopping for fancy dress costumes on the fellucas. If you've never been to be a souq before it can be an intimidating experience. You cannot simply

Aswan Souq at night**
Everyone sings out at you. They all want to know where you're from and they all think its funny when they start shouting kangaroo and Captain Cook.

Ange found a galabaya to try on but the price the guy was asking was to much, so she took it off and gave it back to him. At this point, things got a tad hairy. The guy was so desperate for a sale he kept dropping the price. He bagged it up and kept thrusting it in Ange's face. He got so bad he wouldn't let her out of the shop. I walked over while this was happening and I was ready to put him on his arse cause it had been going for about five minutes. We finally got away from him and he made to follow us. I yelled at him that we was a "very rude man". Lame I know. Thankfully no one else was as irritating as this.

In almost the last shop we visited, we all found our dresses and head scarves. By this point it was after 11pm and we were starting to feel a bit the worse for wear. That and we were all aware of the really early start tomorrow for Abu Simbel.


1 comment:

  1. Hey! We did the sound and light show at philae temple only weeks before. It was one of my favorite moments in Egypt. There was only about 30 people there and in some places I was alone, amongst the glowing lights and columns, incredible. They told the story of Isis and Osiris over the speakers and it was all very dramatic. So amazing. As we were leaving in the ferry I remember thinking nothing could top that experience.

    I'm loving reading your blog!!