Exploring Egypt: Abu Simbel

4th of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

 A four-plus-hour drive,
Close to Sudanese border,
Worth all-day event.

 A temple complex,
King Ramses II’s legacy,
To celebrate him.

About Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel is a small village where Pharaoh Ramses II had built a temple complex to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Within the complex are two temples – the Grand Temple and the Small Temple. The Grand Temple showcases carvings and hieroglyphics that indicate homage to several ancient Egyptian gods, along with a record of Ramses II’s noteworthy life events. The Small Temple is dedicated to Ramses II’s favorite wife, Queen Nefertari.

The temples were relocated about 200 meters further inland and 65 meters higher up in 1964 to save them from going under the Nile River due to High Dam. The Abu Simbel temples are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List (as of 1979).

Inside the Grand Temple

Next day:
Nile River

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo
3rd day: Aswan

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Exploring Egypt: Aswan

3rd of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

Took train to Aswan,
Southernmost part of Egypt,
Traveled thirteen hours.

From mainland to isle,
Boated to Philae Temple–
Temple of Isis.


Next sights were High Dam
And Unfinished Obelisk,
An ancient ruin.

Our Nubian host
Talked about their history,
And prepared a feast.

Next day:
Abut Simbel

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo

Sights of St. Gallen and Zurich

Home base: Zurich

Image: Google Maps

St. Gallen is another town near Zurich easily traveled by train. One of the world’s oldest libraries, containing unique, early medieval writings, is located in St. Gallen.  With a collection of 170,000 books from a period of over 1,000 years, the Abbey Library was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1983. Built between 1755 and 1767, the library had belonged at one time to an abbey founded in 719. A few years later, the Benedictine order of monks became residents in 747. The monastery flourished from the 9th to 11th centuries, as an influential cultural and scientific center of the West. Today, the Benedictines are gone, and the monastery has long since been dissolved. Yet the Abbey Library remains as a significant educational institution from the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, no picture-taking was allowed inside the library.

The abbey complex

Other sights in St. Gallen

After spending the morning at St. Gallen, we returned to Zurich to enjoy more sights.

We began the evening with a cruise. This time from Bürkliplatz, located on the other end the city, on Lake Zurich.

Spellbound in Switzerland

I recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Switzerland, where I was spellbound at every turn. Traveling by high-speed rail, I used three beautiful cities as my home base, often exploring other sights and stops nearby.  This is the beginning of a series of selected locales I had the pleasure of enjoying during my stay there.

First Stop: Zurich

Image: Google Maps

We hit the ground running, so many sights/sites to see. Started at the Kunsthaus, Zurich’s world-class art museum, which houses the largest collection of Swiss-born Alberto Giacometti’s work, among so many other well-renowned artists/sculptors:

Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Oskar Kokoschka, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Marc Chagall, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Franz Marc, Francesco Napoletano, Jacopo Palma Vecchio, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jan Roos, Ferdinand Hodler, Johan Christian Dahl, to name a few!

We ended our day at a lovely restaurant called Raclette Stube in Old Town. The restaurant is known for its cheese fondues. I had the Fondue Fribourgeoise, which is half Gruyère, half Vacherin cheese with wine and Kirsch, served with bread and potatoes, along with a side order of cold, sliced sausage from Vaud.  And, the evening just began . . .

Poetic Just Us

(2nd of a mini-series of taking poetic license)

We had rollicking times,
We got away with all kinds of crimes
Because it was just us.

We had our share of ups and downs,
Though we managed to bury our frowns
Because It was just us.

But the bad days would multiply,
And we just wanted to cry
Because it was just us.

We became so unhappy,
We went through years of therapy
Because it was just us.

I woke from my repression,
Which lifted the depression,
And realized my true identity;
It was just me.

My subconsciousness
Had made up just us.

Image: Pixabay

1st of the mini-series: Poetic Just Is
3rd
4th
5th