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

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Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

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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.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
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

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Mountains of Fire

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Ceremonies and Festivities
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Naghol: Bungee Jumping without Modern Touches

At Pentecost, in their late teens, young people launch themselves from a tower with only lianas tied to their ankles. Bungee cords and harnesses are inappropriate fussiness from initiation to adulthood.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

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Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.

The World on Stage

All over the world, each nation, region or town and even neighborhood has its own culture. When traveling, nothing is more rewarding than admiring, live and in loco, which makes them unique.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

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Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

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Coin return
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

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Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

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Brava Cape Verde Island, Macaronesia
Brava, Cape Verde

Cape Verde Brave Island

During colonization, the Portuguese came across a moist and lush island, something rare in Cape Verde. Brava, the smallest of the inhabited islands and one of the least visited of the archipelago, preserves the authenticity of its somewhat elusive Atlantic and volcanic nature.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

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View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

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Chã das Caldeiras to Mosteiros, Fogo Island, Cape Verde
Chã das Caldeiras a Mosteiros, Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Chã das Caldeiras to Mosteiros: descent through the Ends of Fogo

With the Cape Verde summit conquered, we sleep and recover in Chã das Caldeiras, in communion with some of the lives at the mercy of the volcano. The next morning, we started the return to the capital São Filipe, 11 km down the road to Mosteiros.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Cable car connecting Puerto Plata to the top of PN Isabel de Torres
Natural Parks
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

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Embassy, ​​Nikko, Spring Festival Shunki-Reitaisai, Toshogu Tokugawa Procession, Japan
UNESCO World Heritage
Nikko, Japan

The Tokugawa Shogun Final Procession

In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa inaugurated a shogunate that united Japan for 250 years. In her honor, Nikko re-enacts the general's medieval relocation to Toshogu's grandiose mausoleum every year.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

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Glamor vs Faith
Goa, India

The Last Gasp of the Goan Portugality

The prominent city of Goa already justified the title of “rome of the east” when, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, epidemics of malaria and cholera led to its abandonment. The New Goa (Pangim) for which it was exchanged became the administrative seat of Portuguese India but was annexed by the Indian Union of post-independence. In both, time and neglect are ailments that now make the Portuguese colonial legacy wither.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
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.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.