March 15, 2009

Highlight of the day

11 March, 2009: Visiting Abu Simbel

It took a 2.45am wake-up call and a three-hour bus ride (the machine-gun-wielding policeman accompanying us on the bus was complimentary), but the journey to Abu Simbel was totally worth it. The Great Temple of Ramses II is truly awe-inspiring, both inside and out – carved into a mountain between 1274 and 1244 BC (in other words, a bloody long time ago), we just can't get our heads around how the ancient Egyptians made this massive, detailed monument.

Once again, you weren't allowed to take photos inside (FYI, it's filled with more statues and walls covered in hieroglyphics), but the outside pretty much speaks for itself. What's even more amazing, is that in the 1960s this monument was set to be lost forever under the Nile, so experts around the world united to move it piece by piece over four painstaking years.

Craig's already put in his order for a similar structure in his honour. Any volunteers?