Abu Simbel

Trip Start Nov 19, 2007
Trip End Dec 03, 2007

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Monday, December 17, 2007

3am. Good grief, not even the birds are up yet. Once again, we chose the easiest option, we went with the organized tour. 77euros. Going by bus, it was really the only option, as we didn't have any time to organize it when we were in Luxor. Others may choose to fly from Luxor or Aswan. OK the bus trip is a bit tiring, did manage to nod off for a little time.
sunrise in the Nubian desert came as a surprise, I've never before realized just how fast the sun moves at these latitudes. Suddenly it was in full view, in less than a minute.
looking at the desert, one wonders about the ingenuity of man, because even here, with a massive irrigation project, they are slowly but surely bringing life to this arid area.
arriving at Abu Simbel, you have to walk about 5/600 metros to the ticket office, once through the security check, (they do check your bags here), your tour rep takes you to the main viewing area. Gives you a quick spiel on the temple and its layout, you are then left to your own devices for the next couple of hours. It is really excellent to be away from the group, no vying with other groups, to see who can outdo each other in volume, it really is reminiscent of the tower of Babel on these tours.
Anyway, Ramses 2, was not a guy to hide his light under a bushel, everything is on an unbelievable scale, IMMENSE doesn't even come close. If the Greeks had found this place earlier, it would surely have ranked as the 8th wonder of the ancient world., the sheer enormity and idea of hollowing out two temples from the living bedrock, well, someone was on mind expanding drugs.
It should of course rank as a wonder of the modern world as well. being as they moved the whole thing 90 metros to higher ground, to avoid the rising waters of Lake Nasser.
I'm so glad that they managed to rescue this temple, this was down as one of the two main highlights of the holiday.
If there are only two places you have a chance to visit in Egypt, then your choice should be the Pyramids and Abu Simbel.
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The two temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction was an historic event in itself. The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, which took about twenty years to build, was completed around year 24 of the reign of Rameses the Great.
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