Thursday, December 16, 2010

An adventure to the Middle East ( Part 7 ) Kom Ombo- The City of Gold

Kom Ombo was a stunning sight to see from the Nile River. Located 45 kms. north of Aswan. Kom Ombo means " collection of gold ". On the grounds of the temple is the Nile-O-Mete, a well like structure used to measure the height of the Nile.

It was built in 150 BC. It is a dual temple dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god and Horus the falcon god. Their temples have identical, massive twin doors, pillars, courts and sanctuaries.

What I liked most about Kom Ombo was seeing color on the underside of giant doorways, ceilings and pillars. They are still very visible after a thousand years.

Its colors are faint red, more brilliant blues and blacks are well preserved in the ceilings hidden from the glaring sun. This was the first temple that I have seen with color on the exterior. It must have been a sight to behold seeing it how it was in the olden days when all the hieroglyphic images were adorned in color!

A lot of carvings are very deep to have stood up to this day. Look at all the remaining carvings on the walls you would think it was only carved yesterday.

Randa taught us how to read the hieroglyphics....  you have to look for the bird ( see the first column ) --- the bird is looking to the right..  so this hieroglyphic carving is to be read from up to down.... left to right... some ancient Egyptians would carve their hieroglyphics from right to left....

The inner courtyard

I suggest that you visit this temple late in the afternoon. The early evening visit will give you a completely different perspective to this temple. By the time we were leaving this temple..... the lights were slowly turned on.... and it was really awesome just looking at it....

It was nearly dusk when we walked back to our ship... and this was what I saw just as I was about to leave the temple.

That evening we also passed through one of the locks on the Nile. There were several dams on the river and when we passed through one at Esna. We were on the lower side of the Nile, where the water was lower. So we went through the giant steel doors in front of us, then the water was  released through a small door on the other doors in front of us..... slowly we were rising.... what an eerie scene.... This was my first time to watch this. When the water level in the lock was at the same level as the water on the other side, those  huge steel doors slowly opened and we sailed out.

After sailing a hundred meters away from the locks...... I heard some people screaming.... it was coming from below the boat.... since I was on the deck at that time I went to see what it was all about.. I saw a lot of small boats carrying merchants... trying to sell their wares to us. If you would like to see what they were selling, these merchants would toss it up to you wrapped in plastic bags ---- you inspect the merchandise and if you are not happy with it.... just toss it back down to them again.... That was a funny sight to see!!!

My typical night aboard the ship would be chatting with my friends, Lulu and Ernie, Sam and Ted at the roof deck under one of the umbrellas..... I was all bundled up like an eskimo ( it gets really cold at night )... and they were just dressed in their cotton shirts and shorts.... a typical attire for people living in the States -- they were used to this kind of temperature. It was pure bonding time with these people!!! I simply loved it!

We would be staring at the moon or taking photos of the moon under star-less skies....  I would be busy taking action shots of the locals on the streets.

It's getting late... I have to go to bed now and get ready for our early morning flight to Abu Simbel. Hope you enjoyed the photos....


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