Friday, December 27, 2019

Abu Simbel and More Towelcraft

I forgot to mention yesterday that at Kom Ombo temple there’s also a crocodile museum, because the ancient Egyptians revered the crocodile. These are crocodile mummies, thousands of years old! Of course, being from Florida, I loved this. Our guide tells us there are no more crocodiles in the Nile north of the Aswan High Dam, but apparently they’re still in Lake Nasser and farther south.

Yesterday was super-busy. I got up at 3:30 a.m. to catch a bus down to Abu Simbel, about three hours south of Aswan by road through a virtually featureless desert landscape. It’s a temple complex that’s testament not only to ancient Egyptian engineering, but modern engineering too. When the Aswan High Dam was built across the Nile in the 1960s, creating the gigantic Lake Nasser, this temple and many others were due to be flooded. UNESCO helped move it to higher ground, building an artificial mountain, carving the temple and rock face up and transporting it block by block. It’s a remarkable temple.

Dave didn’t go to Abu Simbel. He preferred to sleep in. He’s on temple overload.

Oh, and remember how I said yesterday I’m almost in Sudan? Abu Simbel is just 60 km from the border, according to our guide.

And look! It’s Marlo Thomas!

I found some really scraggly looking skinny dogs in the parking lot at Abu Simbel. Since they’re distant cousins of Olga, I tried to share my breakfast with them. I tossed them some cheese rolls. Unfortunately in the Middle East when you throw something to a dog, the dog thinks it’s a rock and runs away. I saw them circle back once they got a whiff of the bread, though. I hope I made their morning.

Then it was back on the bus and back to Aswan, where we visited the dam and a rock quarry that served as the source of granite for ancient Egyptian obelisks.

In the evening I went with a group of Spanish tourists to a Nubian village — again sans the exhausted Dave — where there was the inevitable camel ride. I’ve always scoffed at these cheesy camel rides, which no self-respecting Morocco Peace Corps volunteer would ever take. But I have to admit it was pretty fun. My camel did not like me. I don’t think it likes anyone.

We also did a sailboat outing on the Nile.

Oh, and remember the towel baboon? Well, look what greeted us in our room next...

His body is made from the pillows on our beds.

“What’s next?” I asked Dave. “An elephant made of 47 towels and a mattress?”


  1. Egyptian royalty certainly had a narcissistic streak. They surely weren't going to let history forget them!
    Or their crocodiles.
    That towel art is bizarre. I loved your comment about what tomorrow's will be.
    Marlo Thomas! Heh-heh. Yep! It was That Girl!

  2. Mummified crocodiles! I had no idea that the Egyptians revered the crocodile. I love learning something new like this. Interesting towel art.

  3. Your journeys in Egypt have made for fascinating reading. Thank you!

  4. amazing that they moved that temple. ancient Egyptian religion was pretty strange with all their animal gods. and those poor camels, probably like the rented horse stables or pony rides, all they want is to be back in the stable without hauling around a bunch of strange people.

  5. That IS Marlo Thomas! I love that your camel didn't like you - they seem to be so cranky at all times.

  6. I can see a couple of towel swans on the bed, but this making of jungle animals and people seems over the top! I wonder how long it takes to make a person. Thank heavens and the Egyptian gods that UNESCO moved those statues before they were lost forever.

  7. The engineering and artistic abilities in the ancient world are simply mind boggling. And the modern day engineering to rebuild that temple is equally amazing. But it is a wonderful thing that it was done. What a loss it would have been.
    Is that towel animal wearing one of your shirts? I remember when I went on a cruise all those years ago, they kept putting my reading glasses on the animals they made.

  8. I actually laughed out loud at your last line!

    I don't think I'd like the towel inventions - I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to be reminded that there are people in my room when I'm gone; it kind of creeps me out even if they're supposed to be there cleaning. I don't leave anything lying around, I zip up the suitcase and keep my toiletries inside it. It's not being paranoid, it's being protective of my stuff! lol

    You're covering a lot of ground; I'd be exhausted like Dave.

  9. Those crocodile mummies and the temple are just awesome! As for those towel arts, I don't go for that stuff. I don't like anyone in my living quarters if I'm not there. Sorry, it's just me. You keep enjoying this trip. I'm loving the photos. Hugs, Edna B.

  10. Just catching up with your Egyptian adventure. You were riding the camel but Dave had the hump!
    P.S. I was going to burgle your flat while I was in London but when I finally broke in there didn't seem to be anything worth stealing!

  11. Crocodile mummies and towel art. Who would have thought the Egyptians had a sense of humor? How do you know your camel didn't like you? Did he spit in your face? Or just sneer at your Marlo Thomas joke?

  12. Much is learned on theses tours. we get much ore understanding of other cultures.

  13. These photos are interesting. Enjoying your adventures there!

  14. hehe, Marlo Thomas....

    so fun to see Egypt through your eyes. i took a cheesy camel ride in Morocco in the Sahara -- it was a blast.

    I hear cruise ships do interesting things with dinner napkins as well. Yes?

  15. I like the camel ride photo. The splash of colour in the foreground, the curving line of the camels and the trampled sand. The water on the left and the steep sandhill on the right.
    Very good; far more interesting than a bunch of mummified crocodiles..
    So your camel didn't like you. Just be thankful it didn't spit on you!