Egypt, well all of Africa really, is full of World Heritage sites and adventure. I love that this one, Abu Simbel, combines the two. Just getting to the site is quite the adventure. You can fly, which gets you there early in the morning, and you actually are finished and leaving before the other tourists get there, or you can take the “caravan.” This is what we did. We woke up at 4:00 in the morning to join all the large vanloads (maybe 50? of them) who careened and juggled for position throughout the early morning until we reached our destination. The reason the caravan was started was due to safety reasons, protecting tourists from the odd kidnapping. However, we were a pretty obvious spectacle, I’m sure a criminal could figure out how to wreak havoc if that was his target. Strange, but oddly exciting.
Abu Simbel is made up of two temples. They are huge, with statues reaching over 20 meters high. They were commissioned by Ramses II, and he is featured prominently along with his favorite wife Nefertari (whom the 2nd temple is dedicated to). Wandering the temples and grounds is awe-inspiring. I think it is another testament to the engineering prowess of the ancient Egyptians.