Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yet another update....Egypt!

 So, after Amsterdam we flew to Cairo, Egypt, via Bucharest, Romania. We didn't see Romania, just the 5 hour layover in the airport. We did, however, enjoy this leg of our journey as we were in first class the entire way. Quite an experience!

We landed in Cairo and the hostel I had arranged our stay with had a driver meet us at the airport, with our names on a sign....a welcome sight at 2 in the morning in a country that is a bit confusing when you first land.

We got settled at the hostel and met with the owner/operator, who sold us on some arranged trips to see the sights. He arranged to have a private driver and a guide meet us in the morning to take us to Giza, to see the pyramids. What a treat it was to approach the pyramids on camel, from a vast and empty plateau. We were fortunate enough to travel on camel, across the edge of the Sahara, to be greeted by the giant structures as we neared from behind. The masses, from tour buses and the like, drove up to the front. We shared our view with maybe  20 other people and when we reached the front there were hundreds! I am glad our first meeting was more intimate.

Then, the following day, he would get us to the train station to board a sleeper train to Luxor. While in Luxor, we would visit Karnak, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple. Wonderful sites!

We would overnight it there and then return to Cairo. This was an overwhelming part of our trip...culture shock and the sights just took my breath away!

Driving down the highway and I glance past J. to watch the farmers in the fields of sugar cane and such, seeing donkeys carting loads - and I see this! This is someone's backyard!

Massive, magical, huge, inspiring - words do not do these wonders justice.


Yes, that is an elephant on the camel! One of our two regular travel companions...Exshaw de Elephant and Hips, the Hippo.

The entrance to the Great Pyramid - basically, bend in half and scramble down a long ladder-lined tunnel, rest at bottom then scramble up tunnel into the belly of the pyramid! It's stuffy, hot, humid, and the tomb is empty - but you are standing in a pyramid!

20 metres high and 50 metres long, the Great Sphynx is a sight to behold!

So many of these statues from Karnak to Luxor ... huge and still beautiful.
Luxor Temple ....with Sphynx Avenue in front....still being unearth, hundreds of the sphynx statues line the street from Karnak to Luxor Temple. This was the view from our hotel rooftop, with the Nile in the distance.

Our rooftop pool, a welcome treat in 46 Celsius heat!
Cairo was a treat for the eyes - and all of the senses. Overloaded to say the least. I will return, as I have more things to cross of my list in and around Cairo.