Are we all ready for another week of A-Z challenge posts? I admit, I’m not … I haven’t started working on this weeks posts as yet (I know, how slack am I?). So … head down and time to write. First post of the challenge week and I’m switching continents and countries again. How’s Egypt sound to everybody?
I went to Egypt back in 1996 as part of a rather large overseas trip. I had graduated from High School in 1995 and was in my first year of a double degree at The University of Sydney and I felt I was in need of a well deserved trip for working so hard. Nothing like patting yourself on the back huh? The holiday started in Egypt, then off to the UK and all over western Europe, before finishing up in Hong Kong. I believe it was about 6 weeks in duration.
My trip to Egypt started in Cairo where after a few days, I hopped on a cruise down the Nile River. Honestly, it was a fantastic way to see Egypt! One of my favourite stops on the trip was at the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae. For those who may not be aware, Isis was a goddess worshiped in ancient Egypt. She was a rather senior figure, married to her brother, Osiris, who was the god of the afterlife and resurrection. I’ve always been unclear on exactly what Isis is goddess of because she seems to cover a lot of ground – she was the ideal image of motherhood, protector of orphans, the poor and downtrodden, nature herself … the list goes on. She was also sometimes depicted with outstretched wings as a protector from evil. A very busy goddess indeed.
The Temple of Isis on Philae was built around 380-362BC (my memory isn’t what it used to be so I confess that date is thanks to google). The interesting thing though is that it wasn’t originally built on the island it currently stands on. When the Aswan Dam was built in the 1960’s the temple was at risk of damage and eventual destruction from the river waters, so UNESCO opted to move the ancient site to a new island location. This isn’t the only project which entailed moving a whole structure to safeguard it for future generations. They did the same thing at Abu Simbel but more of that in a future post. At any rate, I for one am so glad they saved this magnificent temple! It’s a beautiful, almost delicate or feminine, series of temples and statues.The engravings in the buildings are as clear as ever and on a lovely sunny day the reflection of this temple in the river waters in stunning. I know a lot of people think of the pyramids when they think of Egypt … not me. The pyramids, large though they are, pale in comparison to the beautiful architecture of the many temple sites along the Nile.
This post is part of my contribution to the A- Z Challenge for April 2016
Click here for a list and links to my other challenge posts!