Edfu – Nile River Cruise
As our boat sailed towards Edfu, many small row boats started to approach our cruiser. No doubt they’re hoping to cash in on the arrival of the tourist boats, however these guys had an unusual way of plying their trade. Plastic bags filled with garments were hurled onto the cruiser, and they seemed to do it quite well as none landed in the water. If you liked whatever was in the bag, you’d throw the money back to them in the plastic bag. It was quite hilarious seeing all the bags of goods landing on the deck.
Once we were onshore, we were transferred by horse and carriage to the Temple of Horus. Edfu is an important sacred site to the Egyptians . According to ancient legends, it was here that the falcon god Horus fought a fierce battle with his uncle Seth. So, on arrival here, it is fitting that the first thing you will hear of from your guide is the legend of Osiris and Isis, but beware as very often the myth itself gets exagerated. As the abbrieviated version of this myth goes, King Osiris was much loved by the Egyptians and he taught them how to live, worship and grow corn. His brother Seth was jealous and therefore he murdered Osiris. Seth chopped up his brother’s body into 14 pieces (and this is where the exageration takes place), scattering it all over Egypt. Isis, Osiris’ beloved wife and her sister Nephthys, collected all the pieces and with the help of the gods, they put Osiris together as the first mummy. Using her magical powers, Isis was able to revive Osiris and also to conceive a son, Horus. Horus then sets about to avenge his father. As Mohammed finished telling the tale, we heard another guide beginning to tell the story to his group. He told them that Osiris was chopped up into 15 bits and yet someone else mentioned 17 pieces!
It is believed that the Temple of Horus is the best preserved and largest Ptolemaic temple in Egypt and when you see the giant 36 metre pylon, you wouldn’t dispute this. On the pylon wall are scenes of pharoah Ptolemy XII defeating his enemies in front of Horus and Hathor. We walked through the entrance to a large colonnaded courtyard and to the first hypostyle hall. On the walls and columns can be seen very clear engravings depicting events during the days of the pharoahs. Further on was a smaller hypostyle hall with chambers to the side. Gifts for the gods were stored in these chambers before being taken into the hall of offerings. Beyond the hall of offerings is the santuary of Horus and in it was a black granite shine.
Before leaving, we did a group shot in front of the granite statue of Horus. Then it was back to our boat to continue our journey to Aswan.