Drifting on the Nile

Kom Ombo Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 37 › view all entries
Another afternoon not moving much, because the wind was too strong to sail. At night we had a bonfire, some locals came down and played the drums, I gave out izzy wizzies, and had a great time.

Since we didn't get far enough, we returned to Aswan this morning, and took a mini bus to Kom Ombo and Idfu.

Kom Ombo was quite interesting. It is a small temple, and young (~150 BCE, Ptolmic), a double temple dedicated to Sobek (the crocodile God) and Horus (the falcon God). Being sacred to the crocodile God, they mummified crocodiles here, of which we got to see three, which was very interesting. They also had a 20m deep well, connected by underground tunnel to the Nile. The huge (~10m diameter) stone well had stairs carved into the edge, for the priests to walk down. They used it as a Nilometer, measuring the height of the flood each year (used to determine taxes on farms, as a measure for likely productivity).

After Kom Ombo we drove to Idfu, a Ptolomic temple to Horus (~200 BCE). Idfu is the most intact temple in Egypt, since it was buried in sand for so long. Once it was found, they had to remove 400 houses built on the roof and uncover the sand. Inside it is completely intact, showing the full entrance way, courtyard, hypostyle hall with roof, and the inner sanctum. However the temple was lived in by early Christians, who carved off most of the statues of Gods, and lit cooking fires inside, blackening the roof and columns with smoke.

Now we are in Luxour waiting for the overnight train back to Cairo.

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Kom Ombo
photo by: Vikram