Abu Simbel

Today, after about a three hour drive south of Aswan, we arrive in Abu Simbel. The reason why we are here is the temple to Ramses II, with its imposing four seated figures.

Ramses wanted a temple close to the Nubian border to show power and strength, and it does do that. There is also a temple for his wife Queen Nefertari.

Inside Ramses’ temple are scenes of the great battle of the Hittites around 1260 BC. There is one scene of Ramses in his chariot with his pet lion running beside him. The temple is awe inspiring.

What makes these two temples very unique is the fact that, when the Aswan High Dam, was being constructed, the temples were moved to higher ground as they would have been flooded behind the dam. UNESCO and five countries aided in the deconstruction, move and reconstruction of the temples. The temples were cut into about 1,000 pieces for the move. Two great domes of concrete were constructed, the temples built and then rock was laid over the concrete to look like hills, or mountains. It is impressive. It took over four years to complete with many thousands of workers and engineers.

The temples look over Lake Nasser or, as the locals call it, The Nubian Sea. It is a huge body of water that was created by the Aswan High Dam and supplies water to Egyptians all the way to the Mediterranean.

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