Coming from different countries, 1,200 tourists were able to see the sun illuminate the inner sanctuary of the Abu Simbel temple Saturday, amidst an expansion of facilities used by tourists to the southern Egyptian archaeological site.
Archaeologist Ahmed Saleh, the Director General of Abu Simbel, said that the sun’s passage started promptly at 5:42 am, and lasted for 22 minutes. The illumination announced the beginning of the harvest season for the ancient Egyptians.
Saleh said the phenomenon has nothing to do with what is rumored about the Pharaoh’s birth or his coronation. The phenomenon is repeated twice each year, on Feb. 22 and Oct. 22.
Ahmed Saleh stressed the necessity of promoting this phenomenon all over the over by broadcasting the phenomenon on international channels.
Asad Abdul Majeed, the director of Abu Simbel, said that the city had prepared to receive the tourists. It undertook landscaping and an upgrade in lighting and waste disposal.
The first stage of an expansion of the 125 km (78 mile) Aswan-Abu Simbel road was completed, costing 125 million EGP (U.S. $21 million). The road was doubled in width, and added signage, stations, and car parks.
Work on the international airport of Abu Simbel also continued, with the addition of a car park. This is parallel effort with the creation of a parking area by the Abu Simbel Temple.
Most tourists come to Abu Simbel from Aswan, although some fly to the site or arrived on cruises and floating hotels.
Posted by: Memphis Tours Egypt