From early Egyptian times a tiny island in the Nile River has been a sacred place. It’s ancient name is Pilak (meaning ‘end’or ‘remote place’. We took a boat out to the island to visit the Philae temple, a great religious centre roughly between 400BC and 400AD. I especially enjoyed it because, aside from its astounding beauty, it was a temple complex dedicated to the powerful goddess Isis and she is, hands-down, my favourite deity. She is the goddess of motherhood, fertility, healing, magic, death and rebirth. Talk about a kick-ass goddess! She was the wife of Osiris (god of agriculture and the afterlife) and mother of Horus (the falcon God of protection). She was one of ancient Egypt‘s most important goddesses and a great role model for women. In 1979 the Philae Temple was designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Nubians are an individualistic group of people with their own language and culture who lived alongside early Egyptian’s in northern Sudan and southern Egypt. They had settlements dating back to the early Neolithic age 7000 years ago. We set our sights on hiking to a Nubian village 20 km. south of Aswan along the west side of the Nile. Some young arrivals to our hostel joined us for the adventure. Along the way we visited ancient tombs, passed the ruins of a Norman fortress, got lost and took a short cut across beautiful (and exceptionally soft) desert sand, and stumbled on forgotten and deserted tombs with actual mummy’s in them.
We are heading out this morning for a 3-day Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Super excited!!