Abu Simbel Travel Blog› entry 36 of 40 › view all entries
Although we did arrive in Aswan late in the evening (after we were asleep), we left at 3 in the morning for Abu Simbel. This was an optional part of our tour, and we had to pay a little extra for it, but it was well worth it. After all when are we going to be in Egypt again? Since no trains run to Abu Simbel (Abu Simbel, by the way, is not a town...it is just a site), we had to take a private car to the site. The only way to get there is by police convoy, and those leave only at certain times of the day. Hence, 3 AM. The other nice thing about leaving so early was that when we got there it wouldn't be crazy hot yet.
We did arrive at 6AM, and the place was already full of people. It was overcast, so the weather was very nice. There are two temples on this site, the temple of Ramses II and the temple of Nefertari, his wife. Unlike other temples in Egypt, these temples were built by Ramses II for himself and his wife, not for any god. Each of these temples was carved out of the side of the rock (much like Petra). We walked through the temples and learned about Ramses II and the temples.
Behind the temples is Lake Nasser, a lake created by the building of the Aswan High Dam in the 1970's. The dam caused the Nile River to flood, creating the lake. Truth be told, the temples of Abu Simbel were moved from their original locations to avoid being lost underwater when the dam was built. After we were finished at Abu Simbel, we took the private car back to Aswan and spent the rest of the day relaxing.