As our Egyptian tour continued, we stop in Edfu for a few hours to see the Temple of Horus.  After cruising overnight, we finally arrive for hopping around Aswan.  We visit the Temple of Kom Ombo and its nearby Crocodile Museum.  There were over 20 mummified crocodiles, as well as carvings showing them.  The temple is dedicated to two gods worshipped: the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and Haroeris.  The temple was in decent condition and the museum was interesting.

Temple of Horus

Crocodile Museum

Temple Kom Ombo

For me, the highlight of hopping around Aswan was visiting a Nubian village and the Abu-Simbel Temples.  Per our guide, the Nubian people are original Egyptians.  Their DNA can actually trace back to pharaohs.  They are a very proud people, who openly share their way of life.  They leave the doors of their homes open, so that visitors can come in.  You just need to announce yourself as your are coming in.  They want us to see how they live, have some tea, and possible purchase craft or two (no pressure though).

As we walked by an open air market, we women bartered for the day’s food.  Homes had vibrant colors and seemed quite large.  In the one we visited, I’m not sure how many family members lived there.  As a way to remember their past way of life as fisherman working on the river, they have pet crocodiles in their homes.  There was a cage in the middle of the living room with a huge crocodile in it.  I nervously held a much younger one. 

After taking a tour of their home, we graciously left a donation for the homeowner.  The Nubian people looked like they could easily be in my family, not foreigners at all, but like an uncle, brother or cousin – with the same brown skin and features as me. 

On the next stop to visit the Abu Simbel Temples, we departed at 4:30 am on a 4-hour car journey.  Once arriving, we paid our entry fee and walked up a hill.  Once reaching the top, the view is amazing.  There are huge temples.  One is for Ramesses II and worship of the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte.  He built a smaller one for his wife, Nefertari and the worship of the goddess Hathor.  Even though it was for her, he still put statues of himself in it (no surprise).  What’s more amazing is that the temples were originally a few meters away, in the Nile River.  Archeologists separated it in pieces and reassembled on land, adding a mountainous barrier around it.  It looks as if the temples were always there. 

They had huge statues at the entrances, with smaller ones representing the children.  Inside were ornate columns, with many rooms within rooms.  I would definitely say this was my favorite temple of all I had seen in Egypt and worth the drive at the crack of dawn to visit it!

inside Abu Simbel Temple for Ramesses II

inside Abu Simbel Temple for Nefertari

Have you been hopping around Aswan, Egypt?  If so, what was your favorite spot to visit?  If not, is it somewhere you’d like to go?  Before researching things to do and putting together our Egypt/Kenya itinerary, I had never even heard of Aswan.  That’s what I love most about travel, learning something new and exploring.  The world is so much bigger than where we currently live!  I want to get out and see as much as possible.  How about you?