The engine cranks to a start, and we wake up to the ship setting sail! After a long and leisurely breakfast, we headed up to the top deck to play musical sunbeds (because we seemed to be the only people interested in sitting up there) which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we had the entire deck to ourselves! We watched the world glide by, with life along the banks of the river carrying on as if this cruise ship didn’t exist – their peace shattered by the humming of our ships engine.
We arrived in Edfu, situated about halfway between Aswan and Luxor after lunch. Sat atop a ‘tuk tuk’ we were carted through the small town to the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the Falcon God Horus. This is considered to be one of the most beautifully preserved temples in Egypt – and the only temple where we saw intricate hieroglyphs and elegant cartouches carved into the walls, depicting the ‘legend of the Gods’. Our guide gave us a good introduction to the Egyptian alphabet, created by the God of writing, Thoth.
Back onto the cruise ship for some more Egyptian wine (as awful as it was, it was the only drink worth having because the ship did not stock well known brands of alcohol) and a dip in the pool, onwards to the Temple of Kom Ombo, a “double” temple because unlike other temples dedicated to just one God, this one is dedicated to the Falcon God Horus and the crocodile God Sobek. The Northern part was dedicated to Horus while the southern part was dedicated to Sobek and the temple has double halls and pylons. They actually do have a museum on site with stuffed crocodiles, or so our guide told us but we didn’t see any…
Kom Ombo was my favourite temple on the tour. It wasn’t any different from any of the others we had seen, but the ambience surrounding it was magical. Perhaps it was the sun’s rays setting on the pylons, or the intricate carvings on the walls of the first medical instruments to perform surgery that caught my attention, but whatever it was, this temple has left a lasting impression.