On Monday, November 13 we checked in to our Nile Cruiser....the 72 cabin
Domina Prestige M/S Emilio. The ship was very nice and our cabin was quite
One of the really fascinating things about these ships is how they dock.
Because of a shortage of dock space, the ships line up side by side and
you have to walk through the other ships to get to the dock. Watching
the captains manuever these ships is amazing.
After days of touring, we were looking forward to a few quiet days of
sailing the Nile and watching the beautiful scenery.
We set sail from Luxor on Tuesday morning just as the sun was rising.
On Wednesday, November 15 we docked at Edfu and took a horse drawn carriage
ride with Hossam to Horus Temple. This is not only the best preserved
ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. It was believed
that the temple was built on the site of the great battle between Horus
and Seth. There are numerous reliefs, including a depiction of the Feast
of the Beautiful Meeting, the annual reunion between Horus and his wife
Hathor. The reliefs spiritually connect this temple with Hathor’s
Temple at the Dendera complex.
During the third month of summer (June-July), the priests at the Dendera
complex would place the statue of Hathor on her barque (a ceremonial barge)
and would bring the statue to the Edfu Temple, where it was believed that
Horus and Hathor shared a conjugal visit. Each night, the god and goddess
would retire to the mamissi, or birthing house.
We sailed on to Kom Ombo and visited Sobek Temple just as the sun was
setting. This temple is unique because it is a double temple, dedicated
to Sobek, the crocodile god, and Horus, the falcon-headed god. The layout
combines two temples in one with each side having its own gateways and
chapels. There are two entrances, two courts, two colonades, two hypostyle
halls and two sanctuaries.
Sobek is associated with the wicked god Seth, the enemy of Horus. In the
Horus myth the allies of Seth made their escape by changing themselves
On Thursday, we docked in Aswan where we spent the night.
Our Nile cruise was coming to an end. At 2:45 in the morning we got our
wake up call. We needed to be packed and in the lobby of the ship by 3:30
am to head off with our convoy to Abu Simbel.
At each docking point in the river, vendors would row out to the ships
and try to sell their goods. Cotton Scarves and Galabeyas (Egyptian robes)
wrapped in plastic bags would be thrown up to the top deck of the ship
for passengers to look at. If you liked what you saw, negotiations on
price would be shouted back and forth. The purchase would be concluded
with the passenger throwing Egyptian pounds down to the vendor. It was
a truly amazing site.