Abu Simbel itself is the village, located only 40 km from Sudanese border, however mostly it is associated with two amazing temples: The great Temple of Ramses II and Temple of Hatkor.
Abu Simbel is around 300 km from Aswan. The road (very good condition) to get there is open, but foreigners are only allowed to travel in police convoy (Mostly tourists travel by buses or microbuses – among those coaches Rusty looked pretty funny).
Mohamed told us, that convoys leaves from the parking, which in front of the Unfinished Obelisk. The day before our trip, we went there to get some info. We drove on the parking and there was nothing, no sign, no cars, no tourist info place. Fortunately, we noticed a policeman who gave us information we needed. Convoys to Abu Simbel gathers every day in the parking lot opposite the Unfinished Obelisk at 4am and 11am
We decided to go at 4am. We arrived on the designated plate punctually, but surprisingly, there was not even a single bus with tourists. We were told that the convoy had left 5 minutes ago. ..We were very upset, but very nice policeman helped us. He said that we still could join the convoy, but we needed to be hurry up. He also called someone on the first check point and informed him, that 2 tourists in white Mercedes Van were coming and they were allowed to drive further and catch up the rest of the buses and coaches…We managed..after 100km we finally joined the convoy
THE GREAT ABU SIMBEL TEMPLES:
Both Temples were originally carved out of the mountainside on the west bank of the Nile. They were relocated to Abu Simbel in 1960’s due to raising waters of the Lake Nasser formed after the creation of Aswan High Dam. The Great Temple of Ramses II was not only dedicated to gods and but also to deified Pharaoh himself. The Temple is guarded by four more than 20m tall, commanding statues of the Ramses II.
In terms of costs – for that one day excursion the price was really profitable. For (all together) 600 km of the road leading through the desert we paid only 10-12 USD for diesel and plus 40 EP/person (student ID) for entrance ticket to the Abu Simble Temples.
When we were coming back we noticed a sign of Wadi Halfa (Sudan) – It was so close…but we needed to come back to Aswan and wait for a ferry