On March 1, 2013, we were on board the cruise ship M/S Domina Prestige Emilio, traveling on the Nile River. Just before 5:30 that morning, we became aware of a bright light peeking through the cabin window and parted the curtains to see the sun rising over the riverbank.
Sunrise Over the Nile
We spent this cruise looking at ancient wonders that are thousands of years old, and here was a sight that was infinitely older and even more beautiful.
The Temple of Kom Ombo, beside the Nile River in Egypt, was built to honor the crocodile-headed god Sobek. Since 2012, the temple has been the site of a museum dedicated to crocodiles. When we visited in 2013, we photographed the mummified crocodiles and still-wrapped mummies there.
The Temple of Kom Ombo is located in Egypt on the Nile River 50 km (about 30 miles) north of Aswan. The city here originally was Nubt, meaning City of Gold. The city gained importance with the building of the temple in the 2nd Century BC. The Temple of Kom Ombo is dedicated to the crocodile-headed god Sobek and the falcon-headed god Horus. Mummified crocodiles are displayed in the temple sanctuary.
Temple of Kom Ombo
This photo was taken under a full moon on February 26, 2013. Specs are:
In February 2013, we cruised up the Nile River in Egypt. One of our stops was at El Nabatat Island near Aswan to see the Aswan Botanical Garden. Other names for this island are Kitchener’s Island, Geziret En Nabatat (Plant Island), or the Botanical Island. It is commonly known as Kitchener’s Island because it was gifted to Lord Kitchener around the turn of the 20th century when he was the Consul-General in Egypt. He is the one who transformed the small island into a paradise of trees and other plants from India and other continents. The Egyptian government now owns and cares for the island, which is a popular park for local people and tourists. The image below is a view of the Nile River from the gardens on Kitchener’s Island. The smaller boats in the image are feluccas, the traditional wooden sailing boats that provide an enjoyable way to reach the island.
This photo was taken on February 28, 2013. Specs are:
In late February 2013, we took a cruise up the Nile River from Luxor to Aswan in Egypt. One of our stops was to visit the Temples of Philae on Agilika Island. The Temple of Isis is the largest temple of Philae. This cream-colored temple is dedicated to Isis, Hathor, and other gods related to childbirth and midwifery. Hathor, usually depicted as a cow goddess, is one of the most important and loved deities of Ancient Egypt. In some stories, Hathor is the wife of Horus, who is the son of Isis and Osiris. Part of the Temple of Isis is the Mammisi, or birth house. One scene on the wall of the Sanctuary of the Mammisi is Isis carrying her baby son Horus. Around three sides of the Mammisi are columns topped with capitals showing the face of Hathor.
This photo was taken on February 27, 2013. Specs are:
We were in Cairo in 2013, visiting the sights there before flying to Luxor to begin a cruise up the Nile River. We had a free evening and decided to take a local dinner cruise on the Lady Diana. The cruise meal was a delicious buffet of Egyptian food at Western prices. In addition to the meal, the featured entertainment included a singer whose American English was superb when he sang English-language songs, an o.k. belly dancer who was a great hit with two tables of men near us, and a sufi dancer.
The amazing sufi dancer, or “whirling dervish,” wore three skirts (that lit up at appropriate times) and spun counterclockwise for at least 20 minutes with no sign of dizziness. The following is a photo at the start of his performance.
As he was spinning at an unbelievable pace (we get dizzy after one spin in our desk chairs), his performance included elements such as producing a swaddled “baby” out of cloth. The most amazing element is shown in the next photo when the lights were dimmed and the dervish illuminated himself while spinning.
It is impossible to describe sufi dancing adequately in words (but you can find videos on YouTube).
Both photos were taken with an Olympus Tough TG-1, a great little travel camera and the only camera we had with us on that trip. Specs are: