After the enchanting Temple of Edfu, we sail again to another temple – the temple of Kom Ombo.
The Kom Ombo temple is an unusual one in the history of Egypt – it is the only temple that is dedicated to two gods – the southern part for the crocodile god and the northern part to another goddess. The temple is perfectly symmetrical along its central dividing line and every detail on the two halves is matched meticulously – so that none of the gods is superior to the other. The temple is well preserved too and more than 300 crocodile mummies were excavated from the site.
Crocodile was also regarded as the god of fertility and life – and the temple bears engravings that reflect the healthcare available during the time. This scene shown below is of a nurse on the left and a druid giving a potent medication to a patient. This could also be interpreted as an ancient hospital process. It is a fascinating tale of medical evolution.
At the Oberoi Philae, tonight is billed as the “Galabiya Party” where guests on board are expected to dress up like an Egyptian, and party into the night. There is a small market between the temple and docks – just parallel to the river and we venture out to shop. We have been warned that bargaining is the key to a good price. As we roam around, we find that the locals here are not as friendly – two women from our group were manhandled. I realize that the economy of the region depends on tourists buying stuff and trinkets from them, so they may not like to bargain, but to be rude and misbehaving with women, is surely not the best way to attract a sustainable tourist culture.
Back at the ship, we do have a good time at the galabiya party. They have organized some games, and we find ourselves winning the first 3 of them in a row – so we take a break and let the others continue. After a tiring night, all we need is a good karkaday and we are all happy to call it a night.