Kom Ombo – Nile River Cruise
This afternoon we set sail up river for Kom Ombo, about 45 km north of Aswan, to visit the Temple of Kom Ombo. The boat moored right at the river entrance to the village which makes it so convenient for visitors. The path up to the Temple is lined with beautiful gardens, trees and stalls selling local arts and craft. As all the passengers disgorge from the river cruisers, there was a frenzy of activity as vendors were excited at the prospects of making some sales. If you were templed-out, there are also nice garden cafes where you could sit and have a drink or some food.
Built during Ptolemaic period on a high dune, Kom Ombo enjoys spectacular views of the river and its surroundings. Kom Ombo is really made up of two temples, the Temple of Sorbek and the Temple of Haroeris. The crocodile-headed Sobek is the god of fertility and creator of the world, whereas Haroeris the falcon-headed Horus is the solar war god. It is believed that in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the river bank near here. In one of the chapels, you’ll see various sacophargi of crocodiles that were found during excavations.
As Mohammed guided us around, he explained that everything is duplicated along the main axis, i.e. there are two entrances, two courts, two colonades, two hypostyle halls, two sanctuaries etc. The decoration of the hall and remaining parts of the temple is also divided between the two gods, with scenes of Sobek on the east and Haroeris on the west. Engravings and hieroglyphs on the temple walls and columns depict daily life in the temples during the time of the pharoahs. Some of these are still in excellent condition. In one scene we also saw pictures of medical implements that looked like the prototype of scapels that are used today.
As the sun was setting, and more importantly, our cruiser was getting ready to leave, we scambled down and dashed back to our boat, leaving no time to see what was on offer in the stalls. Never mind, we’ve been promised shopping time back in Luxor.