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Egypt – Philae and Nile Sanctuary

Philae Temple from the ferry

Our morning began with a fabulous breakfast on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel from where we then toured the temple of Philae dedicated to the godess Isis. Rescued from the waters of the Aswan dam as the last UNESCO project in Nubia in the 1970s, this temple is foundational to the Egyptian story. Honoring Isis, the godess of healing, magic, and protection.

Isis temple with her son Horus

Isis was the daughter of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut and the sister of the deities Osiris, Seth, and Nephthys. She was also wife to Osiris (god of the underworld) and mother of Horus, the falcon god.

Stele of the Isis temple

This temple was completely submerged under the dam waters of the old dam built in 1899 to 1901 built the British. UNESCO decided to build a coffer dam, drained tge waters and dug up all the silt and sand. Then the temple was cut up and moved on a new island above the lake. Fortunately for us, as this temple celebrates the origin story of creation of the Egyptian myth.

Sanctuary Nile Zain Chateau

We wrapped up our trip with a bit of quality retail therapy at a Papyrus institute and an Egyptian cotton mill. Then we drove through Aswan to the boarding area of our 4 night cruise boat Sanctuary Zain Nile Chateau – a private luxury Felucca with 6 suites. After boarding we sailed down the Nike toward the town of Komombo and the temple dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek.

Komombo temple of the crocodile god Sobek

This temple sits on an S curved bend in the Nile on a sandy island which used to be home to the Nile crocodiles. Revered for its virility and endurance, the god Sobek brought fertility to the land. As the “Lord of the Waters” he was thought to have risen from the primeval waters of Nun to create the world and made the Nile from his sweat. One creation myth stated that Sobek laid eggs on the bank of the waters of Nun, thus creating the world.

God Sobek

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