Edfu to Kom Ombo, Egypt

Up the River Nile, through the Upper Ptolemaic Egypt

Security Forces
Spartan uniformed police during an election period in Edfu.
Police at the Door
Keeping a business with little to do.
Rowing Generations
Farmers cross the Nile in a small rowboat loaded with grass.
Nile Transport
Transport boat sails along the Nile River.
Train on the Nile
Train advances along a high bank of the Nile.
Chating Shepherds and Herd
Cowboys chat along a bank of the Nile, while a herd grazes.
Egyptian sunset
Sun sets west of the Nile River.
Cormorant Formation
Flock of cormorants fly over the Nile River.
Nile faluca
Faluca about to moor on the bank of the Nile River.
Jilaba Fashion
Clothing seller in front of his shop on the Kom Ombo dock.
Ferries on the Nile
Ferries sail on the blue waters of the Nile River.
Faluca on a Verdant Nile
Faluca on a green bank of the Nile.
The Temple of Edfu
Main facade of the Ptolemaic Temple of Edfu.
Edfu Temple Guardian
Watcher in front of the facade of the Temple of Edfu.
Framed Temple Watcher
Guardian warmed up in a sunspot at the temple of Edfu.
Edfu Temple Watcher
Guide explains hieroglyphs
Guide helps visitors decipher inscriptions on a wall of Edfu's temple.
Egyptian family at Kom Ombo
Nile Sailors
Sailors at the bow of one of the ferries that run along the Nile River.
Kom Ombo Engravings
Having accomplished the unmissable embassy to Luxor, to old Thebes and to the Valley of the Kings, we proceed against the current of the Nile. In Edfu and Kom Ombo, we surrender to the historic magnificence bequeathed by successive Ptolemy monarchs.

It's almost eight in the morning. The sun has been soaring up into the blue sky for a long time.

The ship had docked overnight. When we woke up, 110 km south of luxor, we have as a view the riverside area of ​​Edfu and the carriage station that serves it. We installed ourselves in one of them. Eid, the guide, gives the order of departure.

To the rhythm of his Arabized Spanish and the trot of the equine team, we walked through the streets of the city.

It is polluted by an uncharacteristic assortment of banners and other electoral formats, from dozens of hopeful rivals. In times of democratic anxiety and diminished influx of tourists, Edfu protected himself with special measures.

We pass by two large cell trucks, separated by elements of some security force.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, security forces

Spartan uniformed police during an election period in Edfu.

They were distinguished by a uniform crowned with a cap, black from head to toe, dark as the niqabs of the traditionalist Islamic women who passed by, next to the base of buildings with worn-out facades filled with business signs.

Citrus sellers promoted their fruit, this one, in vivid natural tones, next to a jillaba shop, dresses and other clothing, displayed in a high window above the entrance.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu a Kom Ombo, Nile above, Jilaba fashion

Clothing seller in front of his shop on the Kom Ombo dock.

Edfu was fully involved in its contemporary bustle when, a few hundred meters to the west, the labyrinth of alleys opens onto the ancient and sandy redoubt of the Ptolemaic Egyptian era.

Temple of Edfu: the Majestic Gateway to the Ptolemaic Dynasty

Even at that hour, we found the Temple of Edfu almost deserted, befitting the Sahara around. Intact, like few other buildings erected in Ancient Egypt and monumental at the time.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, Temple of Edfu

Main facade of the Ptolemaic Temple of Edfu.

Thirty-six meters, to be more exact, the impressive measure of the adobe façade that leaves us in awe, with its fallen and broken lines, a reflection of a creativity and architectural richness that only powerful leaders could aspire to.

In this case, they were all of Macedonian origin. From the first to the eighth king of the Dynasty, they all called themselves Ptolemy.

We admired the building from the beginning of the boulevard, somewhat incredulous.

Even at this distance, we can distinguish the figures inscribed on the façade, perceive the diversity of characters and their actions, added on both sides of the portico known as a pylon.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, visitors at Edfu temple

Visitors try to decipher a map under the eye of an Edfu temple guardian.

The Long and Profitable Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt

Edfu's temple began to be built in the 237th century BC, in the middle of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, founded by Ptolemy I Soter following the intriguing death of Alexander the Great.

At just 32 years old, Alexander perished in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, from malaria, typhoid fever, alcohol intoxication or poisoning, an undisputed motive remains to be determined.

Against the gradual disintegration of the empire bequeathed by Alexander, one of the most vast in history, Ptolemy I Soter seized Egypt, declared himself Pharaoh's successor and expanded the territories dominated by his Dynasty to far-off Nubia, south of Aswan. The capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom fell to Alexandria.

Over the years, Macedonians have assimilated much of Egyptian ethnicity, culture, and manners. They began to praise the Egyptian gods as always.

Ptolemaic Egypt, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, engravings by Kom Ombo

Detail of one of the many engravings that illustrate the temple of Kom Ombo.

The temple of Edfu was just one of several that were dedicated to them in an unconditional and persistent way, as evidenced by the fact that its construction lasted until 57 BC

Edfu Temple. the Great Egyptian Sanctuary of the god Horus

We approach the entrance. It is housed by two statues of crowned falcons, one on each side, below other images that show humanized versions of the bird. In any case, they represent Horus, the Egyptian god of the sky and royalty, son of Osiris and Isis.

Edfu, or the ancient city of Nekhen that once stood there, has always been the main cult center of Horus. Coincidence or not, the temple of Edfu is one of the best preserved in all of Egypt.

We entered. The first sight we see is of a temple guardian, dressed in a jilaba, with a turban wrapped around his head. We found him sitting at the base of a column, absorbing the sun's rays that highlighted him from the dimness.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, another guardian

Guardian warmed up in a sunspot at the temple of Edfu.

The watchman welcomes us. Then give us a photograph. For five Egyptian pounds, of course, we didn't even expect it to be any other way.

We progressed towards the interior of the sanctuary, through the chapels that surround it, through corridors with electric lighting and others exposed to sunlight, full of shadow play, with the hieroglyphics that filled the walls and large columns with more or less relief and definition , depending on the angle at which the light falls on them.

Ptolemaic Egypt, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, guide explains hieroglyphics

Guide helps visitors decipher inscriptions on a wall of Edfu's temple.

Preserved as they remain, these inscriptions provided Egyptologists with clues and data crucial to the knowledge of the Egyptian civilization, language, religion and mythology on which it was based, including the Sacred Drama, the divine conflict between Horus and Seth, the latter, the god of chaos, war and drought.

The inscriptions and engravings also tell relevant episodes from the building of the temple itself. We continue with your discovery.

Soon, in an adjoining and open section, divided by incomplete walls and columns that could not withstand the weight of history and the aridity of the desert.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, guardian at the temple of Edfu

Watcher in front of the facade of the Temple of Edfu.

The Navigation Between Edfu and Kom Ombo

After midday, with the sun at its peak and inclement, we crossed Edfu again, heading for the Nile. We reboard.

Shortly thereafter, we resumed navigation through the aorta artery of the Egyptian civilization, upstream.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, felucca on the Nile

Faluca on a green bank of the Nile.

Far from the time of the desired and fruitful floods, the flow of the great African river also flows safely from the drought generated by Seth that the peasants have always feared.

It turns out to be large enough to admit three or four boats side by side.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, Nile ferries

Ferries sail on the blue waters of the Nile River.

Three of them navigate this way. They furrow the intense blue of the Nile, between palm forests, banks and islands of papyrus, grass and other types of reeds and vegetation grazed by successive herds of cows.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, herd and herdsmen

Cowboys chat along a bank of the Nile, while a herd grazes.

We passed traditional falucas, with a shallow deck, two masts and the same number of white sails.

And by smaller boats, rowing. In one of them, a teenager plays a fife, sitting against a bunch of freshly cut grass, rocked by the swell of ferries.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, rowboat

Farmers cross the Nile in a small rowboat loaded with grass.

Flocks of black cormorants, with yellow beaks, fly over us, indifferent to the river traffic and the grainy delight of the passengers lounging around the pools.

Kom Ombo and the Temple of Horus and the Crocodile God Sobek

At about four o'clock in the afternoon, we docked at a stairway and shop-lined dock, on a meander of the Nile accented by the island of Nagaa Al Jami.

The Temple of Kom Ombo loomed high, with its array of columns towering above the riverside trees.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, couple in the Temple of Kom Ombo


Upon disembarkation, the pedestrian path to the monument immediately follows. the big star Frog it was about to disappear below the horizon.

In the last light of day, Kom Ombo had a redoubled charm that we wanted to live as long as possible.

Even if, two millennia after its construction during the reign of Ptolemy IV, it had deteriorated more than that of Edfu, damaged by the floods of the Nile, it is said also by earthquakes and by the imposition of the Coptic Christians who, at one time, they adapted the church and damaged several of its hieroglyphs.

What is known today is that the Kom Ombo temple was only completed in the last years of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, some additions and improvements carried out since the Romans were owners and lords of these parts of Egypt.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, watchman leaning back

Watcher of the Kom Ombo temple installed against a column.

Its halls, courts, shrines, atriums and chambers, in this case, erected following a double entrance on opposite sides, arranged in praise of an improbable divine duo, the one formed by Horus and by the crocodile god of fertility and creation, Sobek.

We wander among the columns, determined to decipher, on our own, at least one or two of the intricate illustrations.

The Sun God Ra and the Lush Sunset over Upper Egypt

We walked through these works when we realized that Ra was dissolving in a drama of color, behind the Nile, the palm grove and the endless Sahara desert to the west.

Visitors from all over, including several Egyptian families, sense the magical transition from day to night.

They position themselves to appreciate it, from lay people to almost Salafi Muslims, each in their own ways and preparations, in a frantic coming and going that we capture like curious photographic drags.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above,

Visitors walk through a golden corridor of the Kom Ombo temple.

Moments later, Ra enters the Duat underworld aboard the double solar barge Mesektet.

Also according to Egyptian mythology, already with the head of a ram, in the company of other deities, Sia, Hu and Heka and safe from the shadow monsters by Enead and by the unusual and far-fetched Seth.

Egypt Ptolemaic, Edfu to Kom Ombo, Nile above, sunset

Sun sets west of the Nile River.

Kom Ombo took a short twilight turn, with the sky giving up its blue. When darkness finally abducted Egypt, we returned to the earthly boat we were following.

There we recharge our energies, waiting for Ra's transshipment to his morning vessel and the renewal of his divine dawn.

luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

1200km upstream of its delta, the Nile is no longer navigable. The last of the great Egyptian cities marks the fusion between Arab and Nubian territory. Since its origins in Lake Victoria, the river has given life to countless African peoples with dark complexions.
Mount Sinai, Egypt

Strength in the Legs, Faith in God

Moses received the Ten Commandments on the summit of Mount Sinai and revealed them to the people of Israel. Today, hundreds of pilgrims climb, every night, the 4000 steps of that painful but mystical ascent.
White Desert, Egypt

The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

At a time when conquering the solar system's neighbor has become an obsession, an eastern section of the Sahara Desert is home to a vast related landscape. Instead of the estimated 150 to 300 days to reach Mars, we took off from Cairo and, in just over three hours, we took our first steps into the Oasis of Bahariya. All around, almost everything makes us feel about the longed-for Red Planet.
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.

Hampi, India

Voyage to the Ancient Kingdom of Bisnaga

In 1565, the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar succumbed to enemy attacks. 45 years before, he had already been the victim of the Portugueseization of his name by two Portuguese adventurers who revealed him to the West.

Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

Ibo Island, Mozambique

Island of a Gone Mozambique

It was fortified in 1791 by the Portuguese who expelled the Arabs from the Quirimbas and seized their trade routes. It became the 2nd Portuguese outpost on the east coast of Africa and later the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. With the end of the slave trade at the turn of the XNUMXth century and the passage from the capital to Porto Amélia, Ibo Island found itself in the fascinating backwater in which it is located.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Ceremonies and Festivities

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Meeting of the waters, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Manaus, Brazil

Meeting the Meeting of the Waters

The phenomenon is not unique, but in Manaus it has a special beauty and solemnity. At a certain point, the Negro and Solimões rivers converge on the same Amazonas bed, but instead of immediately mixing, both flows continue side by side. As we explore these parts of the Amazon, we witness the unusual confrontation of the Encontro das Águas.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
Roça Bombaim, Roça Monte Café, São Tomé island, flag
Center São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

From Roça to Roça, Towards the Tropical Heart of São Tomé

On the way between Trindade and Santa Clara, we come across the terrifying colonial past of Batepá. Passing through the Bombaim and Monte Café roças, the island's history seems to have been diluted in time and in the chlorophyll atmosphere of the Santomean jungle.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Cahuita, Costa Rica, Caribbean, beach
Cahuita, Costa Rica

An Adult Return to Cahuita

During a backpacking tour of Costa Rica in 2003, the Caribbean warmth of Cahuita delights us. In 2021, after 18 years, we return. In addition to an expected, but contained modernization and hispanization of the town, little else had changed.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Natural Parks
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
San Juan, Old Town, Puerto Rico, Reggaeton, Flag on Gate
UNESCO World Heritage
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Part 2)

To the Rhythm of Reggaeton

Restless and inventive Puerto Ricans have made San Juan the reggaeton capital of the world. At the preferred beat of the nation, they filled their “Walled City” with other arts, color and life.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
New South Wales Australia, Beach walk
Batemans Bay to Jervis Bay, Australia

New South Wales, from Bay to Bay

With Sydney behind us, we indulged in the Australian “South Coast”. Along 150km, in the company of pelicans, kangaroos and other peculiar creatures aussie, we let ourselves get lost on a coastline cut between stunning beaches and endless eucalyptus groves.
Passage, Tanna, Vanuatu to the West, Meet the Natives
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Rottnest Island, Wadjemup, Australia, Quokkas
Wadjemup, Rottnest Island, Australia

Among Quokkas and other Aboriginal Spirits

In the XNUMXth century, a Dutch captain nicknamed this island surrounded by a turquoise Indian Ocean, “Rottnest, a rat's nest”. The quokkas that eluded him were, however, marsupials, considered sacred by the Whadjuk Noongar aborigines of Western Australia. Like the Edenic island on which the British colonists martyred them.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.