Tag Archive: Isis



A bunch of close friends. “Barkada”. We’ve long planned this — and planned around a 5-night Nile Cruise on a chartered Dahabiya or sailboat. Cairo and Alexandra first, prior to the cruise from Luxor to Aswan. Then 3 more nights in Aswan to include a day trip to Abu Simbel. There were concerns prior to the trip. Left on February 17, about the time when the world is whirling and reeling from Coronavirus issues. But we were all set for this trip. So, armed with masks, wipes and alcohol sprays, we went. The flights to Cairo and then to Luxor, as well as the long drives to Alexandria and Abu Simbel were uneventful. The weather was perfect, all rides comfortable, though I must confess we underestimated Egypt’s cold temps. The whole cruising time, we had breakfasts on the riverboat’s deck in our terry bathrobes. The same robes we donned for dinners! It grew warmer by the time we reached Aswan and Abu Simbel. Finally, we parked our boots and rubber shoes and wore our sandals to go shopping. All throughout the journey, we were floored by all these ancient wonders and happily absorbed all the ancient history lessons. It was our luck that we had very competent tour guides. Egyptologists. Yes, you take special courses for that. We also met some foreign Egyptologists in the hotels where we stayed — archaeologists who specialise in Ancient Egypt. Such interesting people. The ones we met must be in their 60s-70s but you can still sense that burning passion in them. The kind you can almost touch! By journey’s end, we can only feel so thankful for the wonderful cruising adventure, the excitement triggered by the history lessons, the fun and mirth all throughout the holiday and most importantly the good health and safety enjoyed by everyone. This is our story. Feel free to click on the links for more photos and details.

https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/02/21/the-sphinx-and-moi/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/02/22/revisiting-cairo/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/02/24/alexandria/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/02/25/ballooning-in-luxor-egypt/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/02/25/gliding-through-the-nile/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/02/29/the-ancient-temples-of-luxor/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/03/06/of-egyptian-gods-man-gods/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/03/18/sailing-without-care/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/03/19/abu-simbel-finally/
https://lifeisacelebration.blog/2020/03/19/aswan-as-two/

Back in 1996, I was floored by how majestic, massive and impressive those temples in Karnak and Luxor were. But no less awesome are the smaller (only in comparison with the 2) temples dedicated to Horus, Sobek and Isis. Our riverboat docked long enough for us to disembark and engage in our solitary morning and afternoon activities while preserving that chill mode reserved for Nile Boat cruisers 🥰.

Temple of Horus. Edfu.

Our boat reached Edfu where we took horse-drawn carriages that brought us to the Temple of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris. The temple roof is intact, thus rendering this temple dedicated to the falcon god as one of best-preserved monuments in Egypt. Built from 237 to 57 BC, it took 180 years to construct under various Ptolemaic rulers. It was buried in 40 feet of desert sand and river silt for centuries until 1860 when work began to free the temple of the sands that helped preserve it. The “writings on the wall” certainly aided in our understanding the history of Ancient Egypt including details on the temple’s construction and rituals practiced then. It may not be as grand and large as Karnak and Luxor Temples, but it is nearly “complete” in its preserved state especially with the hydroglyphic inscriptions on the columns and walls, the monumental gates, the inner and outer Hypostyle Halls, a library, a laboratory (like how to formulate those essential oils and perfumes used during rituals), a forecourt and courtyard, chapels, a treasury, a sanctuary, more vestibules and a Nilometer. Impressive piece of ancient Egyptian architecture!

Kom Ombo Temple

The Temple in Kom Ombo is dedicated to the crocodile god, Sobek. Likewise built during the Ptolemaic dynasty, this was really a double temple in Aswan. Aside from Sobek, the northern part of the temple is dedicated to the falcon god Horus. Unlike the Temple of Horus in Edfu, this one is not as preserved as some parts were damaged by Nile floodwaters and earthquakes. Thankfully, a few of the crocodile mummies were rescued and now on display at the Crocodile Museum. Interestingly, this temple area is exactly how I remembered it when I first visited 24 years ago except for the Crocodile Museum. The latter may be a recent discovery and addition.

Temple of Isis Philae
Trajan’s Kiosk

We took another boat to reach this temple dedicated to Isis. Originally set in Philae Island, it now actually stands on the island of Agilkia. Why? Philae Island was constantly flooded leaving the temples submerged up to a third of the buildings. UNESCO began the project to relocate it to higher ground in 1960. All that work cleaning, dismantling and thereafter reinstalling some 40,000 units of the temples from Philae to Agilkia Island just some 500 meters away. What a feat! Surely, Isis is the goddess of magic and life. (Trivia: Osiris and Isis are the parents of Horus, the falcon god. The two are also brother and sister. Hmmmm. The gods must be above the law on incest.)