Hannah- Day 10
Before I start this blog, I just want to give another Happy Birthday shout out to my fellow traveler and good friend Luqman. Although he was suffering from a terrible stomach bug on his birthday, he was truly a trooper and made it through. I'm so glad that he got better towards the end and I know this was a memorable birthday for him because how many of us ******ers' as the Brits say, celebrate their birthday on a Nile cruise in Egypt?
We started Day 5 of our Egyptian journey with the usual early wake up call. We got off the boat and made our way to the Kom Ombo Temple. This temple is a temple dedicated to Sobek, the local crocodile god, and Haroeris. It was built during the Ptolemaic times and has many Roman architectural influences. In particular, like another famous Roman building, the Pantheon, Kom Ombo has unusually symmetrical architectural features. It is symmetrical along the main axis of the temple. Like the other ancient temples, I was taken aback by the many beautiful carvings and paintings that adorn the temple walls. The most interesting part of this temple to me was the small shrine to Hathor that became a storage space for mummified crocodiles. I can't really say that I've seen a mummified crocodile before and I don't know if I ever will again, so I was thankful that visiting Kom Ombo allowed me this opportunity.
After we boarded back on the boat, we had some rare free time and all of my mates and I decided to head up to the deck to get some sun. Thankfully, Ra was blessing us with warmer weather and sunny rays. We all decided to lay out and tan a bit and get some color, but some of us took better to the rays than others, despite everyone's efforts to wear sun screen.
We ate another great buffet style lunch on board aka Atkins Diet Person's worst nightmare aka CARBS CARBS CARBS, and then docked to go to the Temple of Horus in Edfu. Let me take a moment to talk about Edfu. This town was founded on a rise above the river valley in order to escape the disastrous floods that occurred when the Nile River rose too high. Today, it is a place for sugar and pottery and known place for endless tourist bazaars. We found this out when we were accosted by endless bazaar owners. In fact, one shop owner even offered to buy Eleanor from us for 200 camels.
The Temple of Horus is a very well preserved dedication to the falcon god. Like Kom Ombo, it was built during the Ptolemaic period in the smaller New Kingdom structure. The most impressive aspect of the temple to me was the massive entrance to the temple that stands more than 36 meters high and it guarded by two huge granite falcon statues. Inside the temple, there are many great etchings and drawings of the time including some of the famed Cleopatra who lived during the Ptolemaic era.
We headed back to the ship in time for dinner. Viktor informed us that there would be an Egyptian style dance/party later on in the evening and that all of us were encouraged to wear our best "Egyptian outfits." Some people in the group had actually bought traditional outfits, but I myself, only had a scarf. However I felt good knowing that I wasn't the only one in this situation. Some of the other group members didn't have much either. We ate dinner and then were entertained for about 30 minutes afterwards by the crew who made creatures and animals out of the dinner napkins.
So now we move on to the party…. Let's just say that I think I set my hopes too high because it really was not all that it was cracked up to be. Nobody was really dancing and the music was a bit odd. They played traditional Egyptian music but then switched to random American pop songs like "Mambo No. 5." This would have been fine, if it was still 1996 and this song was popular. However the night wasn't totally lost because the Brits were the saving grace and thoroughly entertained us with their lively dancing skills. Jenny in particular was amazing with her aerobics dance to the techno songs they kept playing over and over again.
We all went to bed on a pretty tame note since the party wasn't as wild and crazy as we thought it was gonna be cracked up to be. However, I probably was a bit ahead of myself because I woke up around 3 AM to the boat shaking and loud noises. I thought that the Egyptian god Set, the god of chaos and destruction, was on a rampage. Later on I found out it was because our boat and another cruise ship got in a slight fender bender (I don't know the nautical term for this). Nobody got hurt and there was minimal damage done, so I was grateful to Horus for protecting us and hoped that he would continue to protect us for the remainder of our Egyptian journey.