There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Egypt - Aswan.

Spent four days in Aswan, the southernmost area we visited. This was hot, hotter than you could possibly imagine, the highest temperature reached 48oC and it was a nightmare. If hell is burning in pits of eternal flames, then this it what it must be like. Come two in the evening you have to walk very quickly along the pavement in order to avoid the soles of your trainers melting. Ziad, our guide, was not happy. He thought it was too hot and began to muse over the steadily changing climate. According to the government the climate in Egypt hasn’t changed, it has been completely unaffected by global warming, the reason why people feel hotter is because they are simply busier. People have changed because the rhythm of life is more intense. Before, they did not carry as many burdens and life was easier. Heat is a feeling, not just a figure. Personally Ziad feels that the government lie about the temperatures, they say it’s high 40’s when it’s really in the 50’s, why? Because if the temperature reaches 50 or more the government are supposed to tell people to stay home, stay inside and stay cool. That adds up to a lot of days lost work and production. All outdoor thermometers (like the ones you get on the side of garden centres) have been removed by officials and people who cry about it being too hot, whilst waving their own thermometers, are ignored. It’s a funny old game really.
Either way the heat is terrible, it ruins the wonders and the beauty of Aswan because you simply cannot bear to walk around in it. It rolls off the streets in waves, you sweat to the point of complete discomfort and it’s bloody awful. Still, the stiff upper lip got me through and with a pair of white linen trousers, a white long sleeved cotton t-shirt and a white cotton scarf wrapped around my head, I braved the heat.

Philae temple
Philae temple was dismantled and reassembled (on Agilika Island about 550 meters from its original home on Philae Island) in the wake of the High Dam, its original location is still market by a series of posts pertruding from the water. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis and is in a beautiful setting which has been landscaped to match its original site. Its various shrines and sanctuaries, which include The Vestibule of Nectanebos I which is used as the entrance to the island, the Temple of the Emperor Hadrian, a Temple of Hathor, Trajan's Kiosk (Pharaohs Bed), a birth house and two pylons celebrate all the deities involved in the Isis and Osiris myth. Philae is a truly beautiful temple.

outside the temple

inside the temple


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