DING DING DING DING DING. I fumbled around trying to find my phone to press the snooze button for 5 more minutes of rest. It was 4:30 AM in Aswan, Egypt. I had barely been asleep 4 hours when the alarm on my phone rang to signify it was time to get ready to head on a bus headed to Nubia. 4:30 AM wake up call on my vacation!! WHY?? because I was told that these temples of Abu Simbel were incredible. I’ll be honest I really didn’t do any research on these temples. I didn’t google its history, its location or even what it looked like. All I know, it was a 3 hour drive and we wanted to be there when the gates opened to get a view without a bunch of people in the background. Throughout my travels, everyone who I met who had visited Egypt, said I HAD to take the time to visit these temples. That they were way different then any other temple they had seen. In my mind at the time I was like yeah sure, most temples in a country have a certain similarity. Either way I figured I would regret it if I didn’t make time to go see them. One would hope that the 4:30am wake up and the following 3 hour drive would be worth it.
Let me tell you, when we reached the gate, and walked the ensuing kilometer to the temples entrance, I was in complete shock. I stood there in aww. This temple was massive. It was incredible, just absolutely beautiful and to think this was carved into the side of a mountain. Here’s a little history for you. So our buddy, Pharaoh Ramesses II built this temple for himself and another temple to the right of his for his queen Nefertari in the 13th century BC. Basically it was built as an everlasting monument of his reign in Egypt.
If you think these temples are incredible on their own, here’s another interesting, blow your mind fact. Both these temples were actually relocated. Like legit moved from one place to another. Originally the temples were located 65M lower and 200M closer to the water. Which was something that needed to be done as the land it was originally on is currently submerged or partially submerged in water. All this happened between 1964-1968. I’d highly recommend checking out the videos on how they moved it. INCREDIBLE!!
I must have spent a good hour or 2 inside the temples, trying to follow the story which is encrypted and carved inside the temples, of Ramesses II reign in Egypt and his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. The attention to detail is amazing. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures to show you as we were not allowed to take pictures inside the temples. And I do like to respect those rules. Last thing I want to do in awaken some Egyptian Spirit and have it haunt me the rest of my life, creating havoc and endless torture for me and my family for endless generations just because I took one picture. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little or maybe I shouldn’t have watched I think I watched Indiana Jones last night. Either way I wanted to keep karma on my side.
The beauty of travel is being open to anything. What originally was not on a list of things to do when I first taught of visiting Egypt, ended up being one of the highlights of my journey. Also its a beautiful thing when you get to talk to other travellers, who you share your travel experiences with. Give a first hand account of our feelings and reaction to things we’ve seen or done along the way. Us travellers all have a passion for adventure, to see new things and to spread the word to hopefully inspire people to see more of the world. And I hope this is what I can do by writing these blogs! Happy Travels. Looking forward to hearing your feedback!