Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kom Ombu - 29 December 2007

Kom Ombu TempleThis cruise seems to specialize in early morning wake-up calls - not the most desired addition to a relaxing holiday - and this morning it was 0600 so that we could be at the Kom Ombu Temple, in front of which we had moored during the night, when it opened at 0700. Unfortunately this temple was used as a source of building blocks for a sugar cane processing factory so is nowhere near as complete as the others we have visited. The unique features here include mummified crocodiles; a Nilemeter, used for gauging the height of the annual flood and thus Kom Ombu Templelevying the taxes for the year; depictions of the King with two left hands, a practical joke by the workmen carving the reliefs; and a relief showing the various medical instruments in use 2000 years ago for such operations as brain surgery and caesarean sections.

EdfuLeaving Kom Ombu it was a race down the Nile to Edfu, the MS Serenade seemed to get overtaken by every other boat, leaving us trailing the twelve or so line-astern ahead of us. At Edfu, those who had joined the Serenade at Aswan were taken for their tour of the temple and we had some free time to wander around ashore. EdfuUnfortunately it was not all that pleasant: the quay is lined with carriages touting for tourist trade drawn by the most mangy collection of smelly, scrawny, under-nourished horses you could ever have the misfortune to meet. The water-sellers, bazaar owners, carriage drivers and walking 'cambio' men were all vying to catch your attention and, naturally, your 'tourist dollar'. On the whole this trip has been reasonably free of this harassment but the short time ashore reminded us quite forcibly that we were in Egypt.

Back on the boat we cruised into the night heading for the Esna lock and Luxor. Twin masted Felucca at sunset

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