Dec 4th, 1997, 01:19 PM
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We are planning a trip to Egypt in Jan. We have decided not to go to Abu Simbel for two reasons:

1. We feel we will be templed out,
2. We want to spend more time in Cairo.

Question? Are we making the right decision.

Dec 4th, 1997, 10:13 PM
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Well, your trip is almost upon you, the trip is probably already cast in stone but I'll give you my opinion anyway.

Abu Simbel was the first ruin I saw in Egypt. We started there, then flew to, I'm guessing, to one of the most southernly temples on the Nile to spend 4 days on a river boat. On the boat we saw all the temples on the nile finishing in Karnak. We spent a few days in Cairo after the nile trip too. We later learned, river boats don't travel between Karnak and Cairo, because the Egyptians along this part of the Nile shoot at the river boats!

Anyway, by far, the most impressive ruins are those in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. These hirogliphs were the only ones that retained their color. It was quite dramatic to see, after seeing so may ruins before this. We had a student of Egyptology with us in our tour. She paid additional money at the Valley of the Queens to see a newly excavated tomb. I believe it was Nephratite's. Anyway, she came out of that tomb, stating it was worth the entire trip. She claimed the colors in this tomb were even more vivid than in the other tombs in the Valley of the Queens.

Back to Abu Simbel. Its an impressive tomb that shouldn't be missed. This tomb was moved several hundred feet to higher ground, because it would have been submerged from the creation of the dam in Aswan. Behind the statues is a hall with several rooms. The ENTIRE structure all resides inside a dome the size of an indoor football stadium! The statues and its interior give you now indication of this. Its not until you've completed the tour when you go into a side door to see how this structure was moved to its new resting place. Its old technology mixed with new. Technically, its impressive.

Have a great time! The boat food wasn't great, but we went to a restaurant in Cairo which was far better.

The tour

Abu Simbel,
Dec 9th, 1997, 06:47 PM
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Please don't miss Abu Simbel!! I tell everyone I know of going to Egypt not to miss it, and they all loved it. You might be tired of seeing temples, but this is the best one you'll see. It's really spectacular; in fact, I thought the temples were more impressive than the Giza pyramids. We we had an exellent guide in Abu Simbel and he had the greatest way of explaining the hieroglyphics inside the temple walls. I hope you include this in your trip, and have fun!
Dec 10th, 1997, 09:55 AM
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You are making the wrong decision.

Having said that, you obviously won't know what you missed so ultimately you must decide for yourself. How much time are you spending in Cairo? Obviously many things to do there but I can only stand so much of it at one time, plus the rest of Egypt is so much more slow-moving and beautiful. I would spend twice as much time in Luxor as in Cairo, but I enjoy Pharaonic Egypt more than Medieval Egypt and I like the small-town ambience of Luxor to the hustle ansd bustle of Cairo. By the way, you can make a day trip to Abu Simble from Aswan and be back at your hotel by 1:00 p.m. Early flights leave Aswan to Abu Simbel before sunrise and return at noon.

Have fun.
Dec 10th, 1997, 11:01 AM
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Do not miss Abu Simbel! Coach excursion early in the morning is better than flying and is much more interesting - see the camel trains (I suspect that they are there for us tourists but never mind) enjoy the sunrise in the desert -watch the mirages and marvel at Abu Simbel.
Dec 10th, 1997, 07:35 PM
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Dec 15th, 1997, 09:39 AM
Neal Sanders
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FYI, I was at Abu Simbel last week (12/7). The Egyptian government, at least for the present, is footing the bill for tourists to fly between Aswan and Abu Simbel, turning a 2 1/2 hour drive throught the desert into a 25 minute flight. Because of Luxor, Egypt Air has demand for only one flight a day, which leaves Aswan at 10 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m. An Egypt Air bus transports tourists to the site, and then brings them back in time for the return flight to Aswan, giving you a little over two hours to see the two temples (Ramses II and Nefertari). The result is incredible: a site that this time last year drew more than 6,000 tourists a day (in "caravans" of up to 150 buses), now sees fewer than 60 visitors. Our group stayed overnight at the Nefertari Hotel (a dump), and six of us hiked to the Ramses II temple that night. The guards turned on the lights for us, providing the dramatic night-time lighting you see in the picture books. Better still, we hiked there the next morning at dawn and saw temples at first light. What an experience!
Dec 26th, 1997, 07:02 AM
Paula Smith
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Abu Simbel rises out of the desert like a magnificent mountain. It was the ONLY thing that I wanted to see on my first trip and I would have been disappointed NOT to see it! The statutes are 65' high (4 of Ramses II) and there is an additional teple dedicated to his favorite wife Nefartari. Normally women are presented much smaller than the male in Egypt, but to show his love these statues of the Queen are as large as Ramses II. The entire temple complex was moved 110 miles into its present spot by a UN effort which cut the pieces of the temple into moveable size and lifted them into place. Part of your visa expense goes to support this moving and the uop keep today.
Dec 26th, 1997, 07:08 AM
Paula Smith
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The temples of Abu Simbel were the ONLY thing that I wanted to see on my first trip to Egypt. I am still
including them in my agenda when I return many years later.

The 4 statutes of Ramses II rise out of the desert 65 feet tall and are accompanied by the statutes of Nefartari, his favorite Queen. Normally the female was represented in a much smaller size but here Nefartari shares equal stature with Ramses.

The entire temple structure had to be moved 100 miles into the desert to protect it from the Aswan
Dam building - a modern engineering feat to rival the Pharaohs! It was accomplished by a universal UN effort and now you cannot tell that it had never been in place for centuries. Part of your visa money is used to cover the cost of the move as well as upkeep.

You will not be disappointed in this side trip!

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