Art News

Ancient Temples Highlight Egyptian Lake Cruise

By: Paul Schemm, Associated Press
ABU SIMBEL (AP).- In the 1960s, rising waters from a new dam threatened to submerge the temples and monuments of Nubia, the ancient home of black pharaohs in Egypt’s far south. To preserve them, the antiquities were dismantled, moved and reconstructed. Today, most of the surviving monuments can only be seen from the lake created by the waters that nearly destroyed them. Cruises on the 300-mile-long Lake Nasser, one of the largest manmade lakes in the world, include stops to visit nearly a dozen of the temples. Four-day trips are offered on a pair of elegant cruise ships, the Eugenie and the Kasr Ibrim, that hark back to a golden age of 1920s travel in Egypt and carry more than just a whiff of an Agatha Christie novel. For tourists, the lake’s vast waters are also a welcome respite from the din of Egypt’s teeming cities and offer a contrast to the intensely farmed verdant fields of the Nile Valley. Birds wheel overhead and Egypt’s last crocodil