Abu Simbel Temple
An early morning flight takes you to the monolithic twin temples of Abu Simbel on the western bank of Lake Nasser. Arguably two of the most awe-inspiring monuments in all of Egypt, the impressive structures date back to the rule of Ramses II when they were constructed in reverence to the Egyptian gods of Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah, as well as the pharaoh himself. Guarding the entrance to The Great Temple are the four colossal statues of Ramses II, seated on a throne wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.
With the monumental scale of the temples in mind, it may be hard to believe that this impressive structure was once completely lost to the desert – apart from just one of the heads of the pharaohs peeking above the sands – until it was rediscovered in the beginning of the 19th century. Following years of delicate excavation the full glory of Abu Simbel was finally revealed to the modern world, and has since continued to draw throngs of visitors every year. In a famous multi-million dollar operation the temples were moved from their original location in 1972, further up from the shoreline of Lake Nasser, which had threatened to submerge the foundations of this temple complex. Spend two hours exploring Abu Simbel before heading back to the airport for our flight back to Cairo.