We headed from the port into the old Edfu temple complex by way of a horse carriage. It was a pretty eventful ride, as the carriage Laura and her sister were in was almost hit by a truck at the main intersection. They knew it was a close call when they could tell their driver was scared.
We didn’t see much of the town of Edfu, but the large temple there is distinguished from the others we visited in that it has roof that is largely intact. The current temple, which was built to honor the falcon-headed god Horus, is from the Ptolemaic period (construction started in the year 237 BC) and took about 180 years to complete.
The carvings here were probably 20 feet tall and often began at least 6 feet off the ground, making us think a lot about the engineering feats necessary to build and then carve such massive structures.
It was impossible to look at these enormous carvings (relatively well-preserved) and not have two thoughts: 1) how amazingly lucky we were to see these things and 2) maybe the human race has gotten pretty darn lazy in relying on our current technology. The inside of the temple still had some color left (the roof probably helped with the preservation).
The carriage ride back to the boat was less eventful than our first one, but we couldn’t help feeling sorry for these horses. Most them are too skinny and bear the marks of years of being whipped at the hands of their masters. Our guide, Hoda, talked with them at length about making sure the horses were getting enough food and water. There’s no romance or charm to the experience.
In the afternoon back on the boat, we read by the pool and watched the landscape roll by as we headed our way down to Luxor.
In the evening, we docked in Luxor but did not head into town. Instead, we had a belly dancer and a whirling dervish come on the boat to entertain us. It was good fun, if a bit kitchy.
Tomorrow morning is our hot air balloon flight, so it will be an early morning.