A relaxed morning again – it has started to feel like a vacation now that we dont have to get up at 5AM to avoid the tourists everywhere.We sail to Aswan in the morning and arrive there early enough at about 10 AM.
Our stops toway include the Temple of Philae and the famous Aswan dam – by this time we are worn out of knowing about ancient temples and mythology, and totally confused amongst the relationships between the Gods and demons etc. so much so that Tariq’s explanation is starting to get predictive as well. As we visit the temple of Philae – tariq starts off on his usual note elaborating about the temple when he suddenly shifts his gears and tells us what he has been telling us for the past 3 days – and which I can very well imitate in his thick Egyptian accent – here goes his famous rant: ” Only 43% of the hieroglyphs have been deciphered so far – and we know very little about the history of the Egyptian pharaohs. When we started deciphering hte hieroglyphs, we did not know how to read them: left to right, right to left, down up, up down…that is why even after 200 years of discovering the Rosetta stone, only 43% of the hieroglyphs have been deciphered. ” Much to the amusement of the fellow travelers, I complete the sentences for Tariq – much fun was had at his expense (for which he would receive a handsome tip)
Nevertheless, The Philae is an important archeological site – the temple was dedicated to Isis, and finds mention in various ancient writers accounts. After the construction of the old Aswan dam, it was submerged under water. In 1972, a UNESCO project relocated the temple to its present day site. Monuments of various eras, extending from the Pharaohs to the Caesars, occupy nearly their whole area.