Egypt Day 7 by Maia Coen

security guard with group Well here we are at day seven.  One week through the trip.  We have done so much in one week and everything has been wonderful.  Since I’ve been here I have felt completely safe.  It’s just a general feeling you get from being here.  The people are friendly and the security is tight.  When we go to sites there are at least one and almost always two security checks before you are able to enter.  There are security around with guns everywhere you go and they are clearly attentively looking out for the people.  Every security guard we’ve had escorting us has made sure that everyone was there and they would hang back if there were people lagging.  They were all very good about looking after us.  Every once in a while I do feel a little nervous being here but it is no fault of Egypt or its people, whenever I feel this way it is always due to my preconceived notions and never things I am seeing here.  Egypt feels as safe a place as any I’ve visited.

IMG_9853This morning we departed at 7:30.  Way too early!  We hopped into horse carriages and went to the Temple of Horus in Edfu.  Just like Karnak, the temple had monstrous gates.  Besides a small chunk missing from the top left side these are in perfect condition.  The color was gone but it still stands tall and imposing.  Immense relief sculptures of Horus and the gang adorn the massive walls.  IMG_9855Inside the walls and columns are covered in the story of Horus, the falcon god.  He was the son of Osiris and Isis and seemed to have spent a lot of his time and energy battling against his evil uncle Seth. This temple shows him first as a boy being taken advantage of and later as an adult getting revenge on the Seth.  Seth is depicted as a donkey or a hippo and Horus is shown thrusting a spear through him.IMG_9862IMG_9871IMG_9848

IMG_9999We returned to the boat and it began to sail again.  After our busy days of tour activities, drifting lazily along the Nile has been a welcome relief.  The scenery is lovely as there have been mountains to the east and desert dunes to the west.  The cruise serves tea and cake on the sun deck each afternoon at 4PM and it adds to the restful ambiance.

IMG_9895Our boat docked a bit late at Kom Ombo and we hurried to get to the famous temple before the sun was gone. This temple is unique in that it was dedicated to two gods – Horus and Sobek the crocodile god.  Hoda, always thinking of the group, set us loose as soon as we arrived to allow the photographers to get their shots of the golden temple.  We were fortunate to have so thoughtful a guide because the light was soon gone.  IMG_9903But as the sun went down the artificial lights of the temple came on.  Seeing the temple in the dark was very cool and very different from what we had been seeing.  At this point in the tour it is easy to become “templed out” so having this new perspective added interest. The artificial light made the relief sculptures more dramatic making our night excursion a big success.IMG_9897