A Conversation for Abu Simbel, Egypt

Cruise on Lake Nasser

Post 1


Went on this a while ago. It was the first year (heavily discounted!) and there was only one boat. I believe there are more now. It was great, visiting sites which almost no one else ever visits. Helps if you know something about Egyptian history (i.e. have done a Nile cruise or visited Luxor, etc.).

Approaching Abu Simbel by water is just amazing. You also get to visit the temple when all the crowds (air and coach parties) have left for the day and before they arrive in the morning.

One slight reservation about the article. I understood that the UNESCO team deliberately positioned the temple so it gets the sun a day later. They were unable to make it match precisely, so they opted for a day out. The article makes it sound like a failure, but I thought it was the best they could do in a tight spot. The other point to make is it was done against the clock as Lake Nasser was already being flooded.

Cruise on Lake Nasser

Post 2

Cheerful Dragon

There are only 5 or 6 boats cruising Lake Nasser at the moment. This means that most of the sites around the Lake never get really crowded the way some of the ones along the Nile do - particularly the Temple of Karnak at Luxor, and the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. Abu Simbel is the one exception, as visitors come by air and by coach, as well as by boat.

Knowledge of Ancient Egyptian history and mythology isn't necessary if you have a good tour guide, which we did. Walid (our guide) had studied Egyptian history, mythology and hieroglyphs, and he really made the sites come alive for us.

One advantage of visiting Abu Simbel by boat is that the boats moor there overnight. This means that you can go and see the 'sound and light' show that they started doing a few years ago. It is well worth seeing.

One downside of the Abu Simbel site is that they seem to be developing it for tourism. When we were there about six weeks ago, it looked like they were planning to build hotels near the site. If they're not careful, the number of tourists visiting the site will destroy it.

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