Flashback Friday: A night at the Temple of Edfu, Egypt

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Flashback Friday!! Hooray! It’s that time when you’re counting down the minutes to the end of the work week, and letting your mind wander a little more than usual. For me, that usually means thinking about packing my bags and leaving again. Which also makes me think of adventures passed; the time I spent in Egypt almost two years ago often comes to my mind when I think of “adventure”. Back in April, I wrote about the journey that took us from Kom Ombo Temple to Edfu – thought it was time to re-visit that day and talk about how it all ended. Welcome to the Temple of Edfu.

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The Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the God Horus and located somewhere between Aswan and Luxor, was one of the best preserved temples that we saw, despite building having been completed somewhere around the year 50 BC.

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We arrived to find that we were in fact the only tour group there at the time…. amazing!! That meant we got to walk around uninterrupted, not needing to wait around to look at anything, not having to worry about getting other tourists in our pictures, and having a great time taking photos like this, that will remind me of the trip of a lifetime for the rest of my life…

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We saw the most beautiful things in that temple, fascinating, too. One of the things that I remember most vividly and struck me hardest was the painting on this ceiling – the colour was still largely in tact. After thousands of years, the original colour was still there.. how incredible is that?!

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It was a pretty amazing temple to visit, and as the sun went down, it only got more beautiful… this statue of Horus was the last thing I saw when we left; it was perfect.

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Somewhere between Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples in Egypt…

Around this time last year, I was getting home from the trip of a life time – I finally made it to Egypt, which was a life dream for me from a very young age (I wrote a bit more about this life-changing trip here and here, and I’m sure will have many more posts to come!). We spent 8 days there, touring the country with a small band of like-minded adventurers – another 2 Aussies and a Colombian, along with our brilliant guide, Medo. At one stage, it kind of felt like we were kind of on repeat – another temple, more hieroglyphs, more sand in our shoes… I think I was the only one still fascinated anew each time!

The photos below were taken on a little sojourn between a visit to Kom Ombo Temple, and our journey to Edfu Temple. After a long day of sight-seeing, we were thankful to be able to rest our weary feet on a horse-and-carriage ride for a while before making our way to Edfu (where the final photo was taken).

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

I found it pretty incredible to be in such a different world to the one I had always known – riding through the streets and seeing these ramshackle, corrugated steel and wooden structures passing for shops (and more often than not, homes) was not something us Aussie kids were used to; we’re pretty lucky and privileged, it appeared, compared to a lot of the world. It really hit home for me during this ride. I feel like my privilege also extended to being able to actually experience this as well, when I know a lot of people would sooner sit at a fancy resort all day and turn a blind eye. Is it not a thing of beauty to be able to see a country in its entirety, and not just the shiny, pretty, brochure-worthy parts?

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

The streets were all but deserted, quiet and lonely – they were also, to a young, white female – a little intimidating and scary. You hear and read about the kind of things that can happen on these streets after dark, and again, it really hits home that I’m incredibly fortunate to live in a country where it is not only allowed, but the norm for young women to go out alone. To shop alone, to study, to hold a job and earn (and spend) their income as they please. To wear whatever they want without fear of repercussion, to choose their own husbands, to love who and what they want. I felt suddenly so relieved at the fact I had been born geographically where I had, and not where I currently was – I’d have never survived. I’d have been one of those horrible stories or tales of caution, I’m sure of it… This is not to say that it’s all doom and gloom and bad news over there. For the most part, all of the locals we met and interacted with were absolutely lovely, kind, generous and patient. But they were also all men – the only woman we were introduced to in a week was the lady at the papyrus factory.

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

But it’s these experiences that shape us and make us who we are. Without experiencing that, I wouldn’t appreciate my fortunes as much. I would have continued to take for granted everything I had assumed should be an unquestionable right of mine. I’d never have given another thought to the fact that I chose my own husband, and as long as I contribute to our monthly mortgage and bills, he doesn’t care if I buy myself a new pair of shoes with my pay. That ride, as well as opening my eyes and provoking those thoughts, also made me much more culturally aware, and fascinated with the differences that all lives experience. It just fuelled my wanderlust and thirst for knowledge even more.

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014