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In Cairo

Written on: Wednesday April 30th, 2008

A journal entry from: Around the World in 80 Days!

Hi All!

Cairo was an interesting place.  We arrived on time and were picked up by the tour guide to help us through customs and everything smoothly.  It was pretty great to have him, although it was a little strange to all of a sudden have someone doing everything for you.  As we went through passport control a sign gently reminds you that if you are found with any drugs you will serve a life sentence in prison or be hanged... but that they would like to welcome you to Egypt!

The first couple days that we were there were public holidays and our guide and drivers assured us that the traffic would be much worse the next day.  Lines on the road were a very loose guideline and three lane roads were filled with five lanes of traffic.  People who wanted to turn left would often start from the very right lane of the road and cross all the traffic.  We didn't see a single accident, but almost every car had a scratch or dent or worse, so you know it happens.  Our drivers were very good though, and I didn't mind as long as I didn't have to drive!  Our hotel was also interesting... all the comforts you need, but the elevator was very different to say the least.  Not the safest thing I've ever been in.

The first day we met our main tour guide Mahmoud and driver Hashim.  Mahmoud (or Moody) was very knowledgable and passionate about Egyptology, and we pulled up to the pyramids without even realizing it as he was talking.  Here we took pictures of the Great Pyramid (the first and largest one - built by Cheops), and the second pyramid (built by the first guy's son - Khufu -?).  We also got to go into the tomb of the second pyramid.  It was very dark, small and stuffy inside, but very cool to see.  There was nothing in there as it had been looted ages ago.  Next we headed towards the third pyramid and here we had our camel ride.  It was a very strange experience and since mine was the lead camel it was always getting whipped by the obnoxious little boy who led us out.  Definitely a memorable experience, but probably not my favorite one.  It was pretty neat to be on a camel in the desert with the pyramids as a backdrop.

We then headed to the sphinx, and it was amazing.  Next we headed to an oil shop where the pure oils used in perfumes are made.  It was pretty amazing to smell some of these scents.  Matt liked the lotus flower scent.

Next we headed to Sakkara where the very first pyramid stands.  It is the block pyramid built by the architect Imhotep that lead to the idea of the smooth pyramid.  It was beautiful here and they were trying to restore some of the pyramid.  Finally we ended the day with a felucca trip on the Nile.

The next day we took off to see some of the religious sights.  We visited the 'All Religions' site where there are Christian, Jewish and Muslim places of worship all together.  It was very neat and you really could feel the history.  Then we headed off to the Alabaster Mosque which was quite beautiful inside.  It was recently restored and is now considered more of a museum than an actual mosque, but still beautiful.  Outside here we had a fantastic view of Cairo, complete with pyramids in the background.

We then headed to the Egyptian Museum where Tutenkhamen's tomb contents are displayed.  It was pretty amazing to see the care and determination the ancient Egyptians had to keep their bodies safe and protected for the afterlife.

The evening ended with a trip back to the pyramids for the 'Sound and Light Show' where they used coloured lights and lasers to light up the pyramids and tell a little about the history.  A little cheesy but fun, nonetheless.

We woke up yesterday and were taken straight to the airport for our trip to Athens!  It's very beautiful and modern here, but more about Greece later.

Hope all is well at home and that the weather is warming up!

~L and M

 

From j.mcghan on May 1st, 2008

Your trip and pictures are amazing. I am so excited for you both. Keep safe and have fun. Love Jan

From Stine :) on May 1st, 2008

The pyramids are so cool! And the camels are so cute! Smuggle on home for me, will ya?!?! Hope your having fun, and I miss you guys terribly! Be safe! Love you :)

From Kennedy on May 1st, 2008

Wow, that looks incredible... Bring me back some lotus flower perfume, would you Princess (Matt)? :P

From Matt & Leslie on May 2nd, 2008

In Matt's defense the lotus flower scent was unisex.

From Kayla on May 2nd, 2008

Hey friends! Looks like Egypt was veerry interesting and the pictures are fantastic! Enjoy Greece!

From Barry & Wendy on May 2nd, 2008

Hey Matt - Now a camel jockey?? Looks like you both are having a great trip!!