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Cairo and the Pyramids

29 July 2008

Hullo! Some brief highlights from my trip to Egypt and Morocco. This is part one - Cairo and the Pyramids!

Long red eye flight from JFK to Cairo spent mostly cursing the loud kid behind me who preferred to kick my seat rather than sleep and fending of the attention of the male air steward who called me an 'English Muffin.'

Dodgy taxi ride to the hotel - which was very fancy. Something useful out of work at least - booked the stay on points. When we checked in, the front desk picked up the phone and announced 'Mr Goodwin is here' as if they had been waiting all week for me! We were escorted up to our room and shown where everything is. Biggest privilege - Access to the 'executive lounge' with free breakfast, snacks and great strawberry smoothies! The hotel grounds were amazing - beautiful pool, roof top movie screen, etc.

We had some lunch and walked over to the Egyptian museum which is filled with the treasure form Tutankhamen's tomb including the famous and shiny mask. We learnt how to cross the street Egyptian style which is a bit like being in a game of Frogger where you are only allowed to move forward.

I napped a bit in the afternoon and KP checked out the pool. As it gets dark, we wandered down the street reveling in Cairo's sights, sounds and craziness. Insane traffic and pollution everywhere. Somehow we hit the fabric center and the only thig you can buy is cloth. Goes on forever. Everyone stares at Kristin. We stop and have some Kushari - Macaroni, rice, onion and tomato sauce - very del-ish, then negotiate ourselves a taxi back to the hotel, completely exhausted.

Day 2 is the pyramids. We set off early (8am) but get caught in traffic. In Giza we do some wily bargaining and get ourselves a pair of horses, a guide, and a poor little kid who has to lead KP's horse. We sneak into the pyramid plateau through an documented side entrance, I suppose so the guide can pocket the entrance fees (minus some baksheesh that he has to pay a police guard who discovers us.) We are wearing our super sun proof hats and they do a bang-up job. We ride around the pyramids and then we buy tickets to go in the middle one. Its a long narrow climb down with lots of hot sweaty people coming out. Looks claustrophobic. KP decides not to go but I manage to squat-walk down in to the hot-humid darkness. There's not a lot to see but its a thrilling descent to think of the hundreds of tons of stone over head.

Afterwards we ride round the workers tombs. A fringe benefit of our guide who likes to play it ast and loose. We duck through the barbed wire and peer round the stones and down some deep holes. Nearby the sphinx looks on.

More pics here.


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