Monday, October 09, 2023

Israel/Egypt/Jordan 2023 - Day #13 - Abel Simbel

The Temples at Abu Simbel

Architectural Marvel on the Shores of Lake Nasser

Step into Egypt’s storied past during a visit to the monolithic temples at Abu Simbel.

The temples were constructed in the 13th century BC during the reign of Ramses II. Rediscovered only in the early 19th century, these UNESCO World Heritage Sites were moved from their original location in 1968 during the construction of the Aswan Dam. Marvel at the imposing statues of Ramses II that adorn the facade of the Great Temple and the bas-relief sculptures found inside depicting the pharaoh’s military victories and connection to the gods. Then, visit the Small Temple, dedicated to Queen Nefertari; the temple’s facade is a rare example in Egyptian art. Inside, you will find sculptures honoring the pharaoh, many of them including Nefertari.
A long day.

Up before 5 am, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and were on the bus before 6 am. The Gainsleys, Leclaires and Larkins didn't choose this excursion so we were on our own.

We had a 8 am flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel. It took off after 8:30 am. We were on the ground at the temples by 9:30 am.

We spent just over two hours at the site. We explored the Great and Small Temples built by Ramesses II in the 13th Century BC. The temples were moved up a couple hundred feet from their original location in the 1960s to keep them from being covered by Lake Nassar.

We caught a noon flight back to Aswan. After a short stop on top of the High Dam, we were back at the boat just after 2:30 pm.

We had a late lunch with Mark and Evelyn. They had also done the Abu Simbel trip. We had an extended discussion about the whether or not the trip to Abu Simbel was worth it. For me, it was...

For dinner, I had Corn Chowder [whiskey sabayon] and Seared Diver Scallops [sunchoke mousseline, pine nut gremolata, asparagus, radish confit].

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