Saturday, September 11, 2004

Rich on a hill over looking Abu Simbel, south of the Aswan Dam.
The perspective is deceptive as those statues are over 50 feet tall and are way behind him...... the hill he is on also blocks the 5 1/2 million people milling about below.
To get to Abu Simbel from Aswan, where our boat was moored, required us getting a wake up call at 2:30 AM to enable us to join the bus convoy at 4AM. Tourist buses must travel in convoy on the freeways of Egypt for security reasons. So, at 4AM we made our way across the Sahara to Abu Simbel. There were 50 busses in the convoy, we all landed at once at dawn (around 7-ish.). It was a veritable horde of tourists. It did kind of take away some of the majesty and reverie of the sunrise on Lake Nasser to compete with 5000 tourists all intent on getting the same picture at the same time. Sometimes I felt as if I had never left Europe, merely brought all the other tourists with me to somewhere hot and sandy.
Still, though, pushy Italians and sunburned Nordic types notwithstanding, the temples we saw are all so big, so grandly scaled, that it really does not matter how many people you wedge in there, they all manage to fit. And if you are lucky, you CAN get that picture that gives the illusion of solitary grandeur and individualistic exploration.

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