Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

The film star is the one in the white shirt....

View from the Cairo hotel room

Michelle and our guide at the step pyramid

Sharp line between the desert an life

yes, it was hot

you know what theres are

The city is really close to the pyramids

The hotel corridors are ancient egyptian themed

and so is the outside

this is an optical illusion, the pyramid happens to be huge!

pharoe statue peeks out, michelle in

we got excellent an guide

want a date?

the kids are learning the trade. there is an actual restriction how...

waiting for the tourists

and they come

we had to pay for this. they insisted that we take a...

 

 

look at the cut in the rock-less than an inch difference in...

 


It was almost midnight when we landed. Our travel agency -Experience Egypt- wrote that they will have someone there to greet us. What we did not expect that there was one guy with our names the moment when we entered the building, before getting to immigration or to any of the formalities. With his help we were through those before anyone else. We had to wait for the luggage a few min, during which he spotted an Egyptian movie star of older action movies, we took for him a picture of them. Before anyone else we were on our way to the hotel. There we were greeted with more enthusiasm than ever before, the night manager came with us to show us the room. The whole hotel had a funky ancient style. We figured if we do not go to a single ancient chamber, we already have seen the ornamentation of those.

Next morning we had a chance to look out of the city from our window and from the car while going on a pyramid excursion. Cairo gave us the same vibes as a sci fi movie, perhaps like Blade runner with sun light. [I've never seen "Blade Runner", but my impression of Cairo was that it's as if there was WWIII and the world was rebuilt as fast as it could be out of concrete, although in a cool way - Michelle.] First we went to the step pyramid. It was striking how sharp the change is from the green date palm tree groves to the yellow sand/pebbles of the dessert. Tree, tree, bluff of sand dune and desert with pyramid. Wild. Our guide was very knowledgeable he studied ancient history at college for many years. He was great. What is not apparent from the picture that the pyramid is only a very small part of a huge complex. Particularly at the time of the step pyramid which was not that much after the union of upper and lower Egypt most things had to be built in two. One so that ceremonies can be done for upper, another one that they can be repeated for lower Egypt. There were only a few tourists there only and we really loved our visit there. After a brief stop to show us a carpet factory (hardly disguised attempt to sell carpets) [where they had 8 year olds hard at work, although they assured us that they only worked 3 hours 3 times a week...Michelle], where we mostly learned that it is a great thing that we do not have to make a living with carpet making, we went to the great pyramids of Giza.

First I was happy to discover why do they always talk about the "Giza plato". It is because here, too, there is a big step of sand and stone up to the desert from the surrounding green area of the Nile valley. Sufficient to say that the great pyramids are huge piles of stone. They look very, very good. The herds of tourists and the camel drivers who would not leave you alone, the policemen who offer to take a picture and then are asking for money are taking some out of the fun, but still it is a sight not to miss. Little detail that I really loved: in order to make the pyramid level they had to cut a large field into the base rock on the uphill end of the construction site before starting to build.

Near the pyramids towards the Nile valley is the Sphinx. What is just as amazing as the statue is that back then they had a shipping canal that ended right under the Sphinx and of course that back then the city was not on the door steps of the area.

We still had a stop at a "papyrus museum", which was a very poorly disguised way of trying to get us into buying some papyrus prints.



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