Before I get into our next stop, I have to tell you all about the experience of leaving Luxor. As we departed the city, we were put into a holding pattern at one point with several other boats. Here’s the deal with the Egyptians: they’ll find any opportunity to get a sale. It’s the dead of night without any light other than that coming from out boats, and a fleet of rowboats comes along side our ship. All I hear is commotion, so I go up to the top deck to investigate. I see a crowd of my fellow shipmates looking over the side and down at a bunch of sellers screaming “Hey Lady! Look over here! Look over here! You like this carpet?! You like this shawl!? Pure Egyptian cotton!” It was highly amusing and bizarre. Just when I was thinking to myself, “how are they planning on getting that stuff all the way up here?”, I see one of the sellers hurl a carpet up four stories onto the top deck. It was unbelievable watching items and money being thrown back and forth from the rowboats to the top decks of our boats.
After the show that evening, we finally made our way to our next stop: Esna, which was the town that had the Edfu Temple. In order to get to the temple we took an enjoyable donkey carriage ride into town. The Edfu Temple is the first temple we had seen on this trip and it was pretty amazing to see how well the structure had held up over thousands of years. It was so well maintained and intact, I could have used an extra hour there to explore.
Once inside the temple, here are a few of the highlights:
-A giant portrayal of the Goddess Nut.
-The Nileometer which was a room with a set of stairs connected to a canal that measured the level of the Nile during the year. You could see how high the river was based on at what stair the level of the water was at. Although the temple seemed a little far from the Nile, back thousands of years ago, the river was far higher, larger and closer to the temple.
-One of the rooms was a laboratory. On the walls were carved several “recipes” for incenses, elixirs, and medicines. For example, there would be a carved image of Horus holding a cup with grapes in it, or some sort of cauldron, or some other item and next to it was the hieroglyphical ingredients for the item.