Our number one reason for taking this trip was to go to Abu Simbel. That was the one major attraction that we'd missed on our previous trip to Upper Egypt (aka southern Egypt). As we rounded the bend we could see the smaller temple and it didn't seem all that impressive. But then, bam, there's the Great Temple.
This monument consists of three gods, as well as Pharoah Rameses the II (second from the right) who chose to deify himself. You can barely see her, but that's Rameses' wife Nefertari who doesn't even come up to his knee. The dude second from the left lost his head and torso in an earthquake centuries ago. Rameses' 62-year rule ended in 1212 B.C., to give you an idea of just how old this is.
And when I say these statues are gigantic, I mean it. Here's one with bitty people in it to give you a better perspective. You can see Nefertari better here. For some reason my camera's pics are much redder than hubby's.
And here's your tour guide:
Another amazing thing about the temples at Abu Simbel is that they were moved from their original spot back in the 1960s. The High Dam was going to flood them, so UNESCO carved apart the monuments and moved them here. That is incredible, esp after having seen them.
I loved Abu Simbel, but didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked - one of my knees (not the usual suspect) was acting up. I was worried I was going to overdo it and there goes the rest of the trip. Luckily it only gave me trouble that first day.