The Best Way to Cruise the Nile: Part 3

After an incredibly restful sail & swim day, we were ready for more sightseeing. We had spent the night docked at the floodlit Temple of Gebel Silsileh and now it was time to see it up close.

Less impressive than the tombs of El Kab, I didn’t snap many photos, but I did have a love/hate relationship with the sand we climbed through to make it to another nearby temple – Horemheb’s.

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This tiny little temple was the smallest we’d come across so far, but the area all around had been one of the most productive quarries and there were carvings all along our walk.

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It was hard to make up my mind whether to pay more attention to the engravings on my right or the Nile River on my left, both offered impressive views:

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And the quarry was impressive in its own right. Larger than I had imagined, much of it was off limits and posted “No entry” signs for safety. But at one time, this quarry was filled with workers and well-known for its incredible sculptures – including the sphinxes that line the streets in Luxor.

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It was a great morning hike and by the time we came back to boat I was already sweating despite the cool winter air – that sun is no joke! And I don’t help matters by my refusal to wear a hat : ) Don’t worry, sunscreen also does the trick.

That afternoon we got to see an “unscheduled” sight on Nour El Nil‘s itinerary. Another cruise boat: The Sudan. A steam ship built between 1911-1921, it is perhaps most famous for it’s 1933 passenger, Agatha Christie, who writes Death on the Nile after her time there.

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The next day we stopped at the Temple of Kom Ombo, our last big site of the trip. This temple is known for its symmetry. Dedicated to two gods: the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world in the southern half and the falcon god Horus in the northern half. Everything about the temple is perfectly symmetrical along its main axis to show equality between the gods.

Over three hundred crocodile mummies were discovered in the vicinity of the temple and some are now on display in the Crocodile Museum next door.

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A much busier site than the previous day, it was still large enough to find some places to rest. And like many of the temples we had visited over the previous week, there were plenty of shady places.

In addition to beautiful columns that all my favorite temples seemed to have in common, this temple also had some incredibly gorgeous framework.

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And I am still amazed by the reliefs that have survived despite the weather conditions and sand:

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The framing in Kom Ombo was stunning and it was hard to put my camera down and remind myself to just enjoy the space with my eyes. I’m sure I was also feeling nostalgic, knowing our time on this voyage was coming to a close.

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The next day we disembarked in Aswan and made our way to the Movënpick Hotel, located on its own private island in the Nile River. It was time to say goodbye to Egypt, at least for the next week, as we continued our journey to Jordan and our Christmas in Petra.

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