Up extra early to catch the pre-dawn and sunrise. Stretching, throwing, working it.
As we finish breakfast we dock next to the temple at Kom Ombo. This is a split temple where two triads of gods can be worshipped together. Horus and family on the one hand, plus Sobek and his family. Extensive explanations by Ahmed our knowledgeable guide.
If the Egyptians found something to be evil or scary then they would set out to worship that thing in an effort to make it more friendly. Before the dams were in place crocodiles roamed these waters and made it even more of an adventure to cross the Nile. Hence, Sobek the Crocodile God.
Particularly impressive Nileometer. This was the taxation calculator in the days before online filing of tax returns. Life in Egypt revolved around the Nile. In years when there was a good flood and the water was high, that meant that lots of crops were growing in the newly fertile soil, and lots of trade was carried out as goods could be freely moved up and down the river. So taxes were high. And vice versa.
The mummified crocodiles in the museum still looked fearsome. Adorable baby crocodilette mummified in its egg.
Back on the boat to drift down the Nile for hours to the next learning opportunity. Spotted ospreys or some type of fishing bird of prey swooping casually down to the water and picking up a fish. Must be nearly lunchtime.
Carry on up the Nile doing nothing in particular for a bit too long. Get restless so train in the aircon – baking outside. Everyone in various stages of decomposition.
Being a bit too relaxed for our own good, a long discussion over lunch about the origins of disco becomes a bit heated. Why? Don’t know but we googled the points of contention (I was right of course) and then chilled out listening to Boney M and Baccara.. The sound system is set to play on the deck outside so to hear it in the dining room it was really blasting out. Sorry if you live along that bit of the Nile and were having a siesta (but hope you enjoyed the music choice).
Afternoon is a visit to Philae Temple near Aswan. Because its original site was flooded all 40,000 blocks of the temple were disassembled and moved to the current location. There were a few spare blocks lying around but it was an impressive feat. Amongst the hieroglyphs and Greco-roman carving there is an inscription commemorating the French pursuit and slaughter of the Mamluks in the 7th Year of the Republic. Plenty more hierograffitti
High security around the football stadium A team from Cairo, Zemalek, are coming to play Aswan FC. Much excitement that these demi-gods of the beautiful game have deigned to come and play. Although there is hydro-electricity from the Aswan dams there is not enough to light the stadium for a 3 hour game. So the local team wanted to kick-of at noon (3pm here) but the visitors held our for a 5pm kick-off as it’s up to 45 degrees in the afternoon. Roll on the Qatar World Cup!
So after the visit to Philae temple a few of us head off to the airport to pick up my luggage. We take a boat upstream through the river in sparkling moonlight. As everyone we left behind has started training we climbed up on the roof and had a go. After a while the driver yelled up – “Can you sit down please at the back of the boat! We’re coming to the cataracts and you’re rocking the boat all over the place!” So chilled out by moonlight until we hit a rock.
Have my bag and looking forward to a nice biscuit – no biscuits. So someone somewhere is enjoying some Walkers shortbread whilst reading the interesting tin with illustrations of the Highland Games. If I come back to Aswan next year and male kilts are in….I wonder what they’ll make of the sporrans?
Delicious dinner of roast turkey with gravy – applaud the chef. The food on this boat has been great. And so to bed.