After a long day that began with a bus ride to Philae Temple, then continued with a cruise down the Nile and a visit to the Kom Ombo Temple and the Crocodile Museum, we still had one more temple to visit. We spent a few more hours cruising down the Nile, and when we docked at Edfu . . .
. . . we were hustled off the boat to a line of waiting horse-drawn carriages
|Michael Wilcox feeding one of the very skinny horses an apple.|
Chris and Stan look excited, but I inside I think they were wondering if their driver was up to navigating a horse and cart through the heavy automobile traffic. (Okay, maybe that's what I was thinking):
Whew. Glad the real driver came forward and took over the reins, leaving Bob to focus on photography:
Off we went, trotting along at a pretty good clip for an emaciated horse:
|Note the ever-present videographer on the right|
Built between 237 and 57 BC (Ptolemy III to Ptolemy XII), the Temple of Edfu is dedicated to the falcon god Horus. Among other things, the engravings on the walls describe the drama between Horus and Set, who battled for the throne made vacant by the death of Osiris, a fight eventually won by Horus.
One bit of trivia about this site is that the entrance fee for Egyptians is 2LE (about twenty-six cents) and for foreigners it is 40LE (about five dollars). Given the economy, I would have been happy to see it free for Egyptians and cost three times as much for foreigners.
Our evening visit to the temple was dominated by a highly over-dramatized light and sound show full of eerie music, echoing voices that were hard to understand, dramatic colored light changes, and weird projected images. Honestly, most of the time we couldn't figure out what was going on, but I did get some pretty pictures as we moved, as directed, through the temple.
Parts of it looked like a movie set, a bit fake because of the lights and wiring:
In other places at Edfu, Horus was depicted with a falcon head but a dog (or cat?) body, kind of like the hawk version of a centaur.
The hieroglyphics at Edfu functioned as a kind of Rosetta Stone in the archaeological world, providing information about the construction of this and other temples and historical/mythical details that aren't found anywhere else. I sure wish we could have seen them in daylight:
On the other hand, this high-contrast black-and-white version was pretty spectacular:
I'll end with two shots from the horse carriage ride back to our ship. First, check out this convenience store topped by a giant KitKat bar, which has to be Nestle's biggest selling international product: