Saturday, July 21, 2007

Walking like an Egyptian

We arrived at Cairo airport about 9am and ended up leaving around 12:30pm. We headed straight for the Pyramids and stopped in front of the Great Pyramid. Some people had made arrangements to go in, but when the tour guide said it was hotter inside than outside I was glad I hadn't. Instead we walked around the pyramid. It wasn't as big as I had imaged it to me. Impressive none the less though. We also got a crash course in touring monuments in Egypt. You can't even trust the Tourism Police to do something nice without expecting a tip. I didn't bring any money with me so I couldn't oblige them. After returning to the bus we went to the second pyramid, having seen it on our walk about I stayed in the air-conditioned bus. Then we went to a look out point where we had a panoramic view of all three pyramids. The Sphinx was next. Again smaller than I expected. It was pretty cool though. I took some pictures with Clifford and my parents there. We examined the masonry of the temple at the foot of the Sphinx. It was impressive.

Not having had an opportunity to eat lunch and with breakfast being served at 6am the bus passengers were starting to get a little serly. Our tour guide took us back to the hotel to check in, and clean up for dinner. Check-in was made more complicated than it need to be since the hotel didn't really pay much attention to the room-mate list they were provided. My room-mate got her key and left without introducing herself to me so I waited around for 30 minutes until a master list was found. Much room-swapping "fun" ensued, but I won't focus on the negative here. Dinner was at a restaurant in a palace, very impressive, lots of meat not much veggies. I got bitten by some bugs but only from the knees down! We arrived at the Hotel past mid-night. I was locked out of my room, only to find that the hotel had decided I belonged in a different room again. A porter came to help me into the old room to get my bags, but when I tried to explain my own personal towel was missing he left without a word. I dragged my cases to the reception and when they tried to take my luggage held on and demanded a room first. I then burst into tears. Keep in mind we left the Methodist guest house at 2am in the morning and thus I had been up for over 24hrs. I got to my room and took a while to calm down before I fell asleep. At breakfast I saw the man who had been in charge at reception. He showed me to a table. My parents were at another table that was full, so he went over and invited them to join me. He even carried my dad's bible from the old table to the new table for him. He then showed me how to make a real Egyptian breakfast. I got the royal treatment.

Thursday we visited old Cairo. We saw a cave church, which is to say it was an amphitheatre carved into the side of the rock. It was huge! Its congregation are the "garbage people" the people who scour the dumps to find recyclables and reusable items. Despite their living conditions our guide assured us it was a good living. Their community had schools and hospitals. It is due to the nature of their work that the area looks like it's covered with garbage.

Friday we went to mass at an Anglican cathedral, and then spent three hours at the National Museum.

Saturday we drove to Alexandria and stopped at a monastery along the way. Before arriving in Alexandria we drove for what seemed like 45 minutes past hundreds of condominium style resort villages.

I'm looking forward to coming home soon. Less than one week to go!

4 comments:

Leah said...

We'll be seeing you soon, Em! Take care, keep your fluids up, and stay well-rested. :)

Wanda said...

My, my, my girl! You do have your adventures! I would have been interested to see what the 'Egyptian' breakfast looks like. When I was in Egypt, we just bought food from the local grocery store, so I don't think I saw what an 'Egyptian' breakfast involves. Anyways, take care and we will see you soon. (Watch out for any mosquitos! :) )

Joy said...

(((hugs)))

Margaret Smart said...

Just like to say a quick "Welcome Home" Emma, Be speaking to you soon.
Love
Aunt Gwen