Our discovery of ancient Egypt began in earnest today with a short flight from Cairo to Aswan followed by a scenic drive across the southern Nubian Desert to within 30 miles of the border with Sudan. Any true program in Egypt should feature this drive across one of the world’s most inhospitable areas. It is true that there are other deserts in the world, but this one is unique. The sand color is Egyptian mustard colored – unlike anywhere else I have been.
One of the sights along the desert route are the naturally occurring basalt pyramids which pierce the landscape by the thousands. The entire drive was a perfect opportunity to build up the story on Egypt and its pharaohnic past which our Egyptologist Ahmed delivered in style.
Built in his 4th year of reign, Ramses II erected this monument on the southern border of his kingdom to mark the arrival into Egypt. Consisting of four 100ft tall carvings representing Ramses II at 24, 40, as god of Egypt and as a senior (he lived till 91 years of age), this imposing temple is a must see for any tour of Egypt.
Most guests see the temple as a 45 to 60 minute visit early morning after a flight from Aswan or Luxor. Knowing from past trips how important this temple is, I planned our trip with an overnight to take in the temple at dusk, at night, and in the morning for sunrise.