Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cairo Part One

Ok, so I've decided to split this up into four separate entries. This makes the most sense to me. I'm dividing it from my first time in Cairo and Memphis, Luxor, second time in Cairo, and Mount Sinai at the end. Sound good to everyone? Yeah, I thought so too. Here we go!

On the way to Egypt we made some cool historical stops along the way, like hitting a garden in memory of one of the early Prime Ministers of Israel. We also saw some cool ruins and a really cool lookout point into the desert. But that's not Egypt, so here's a picture or two before we move on.
So we got there at night for this sweet laser show from the 80s or earlier.

So I guess going into Egypt requires hiring their tour guides, which can be a real gamble. We lucked out by having one of the coolest kids in all of Cairo, Islam. Just check this guy out.
What a pimp, eh? Yeah that's right. So what made him so cool was that he's about 30, all about his religion, and was a complete genius. And you could tell that he really enjoyed working with us too. He said he usually gets old retired British people that only care about getting a picture. Several times he was amazed at how fast we picked up stuff and how many questions we all had, especially when we were touring the mosques and learning about the Islamic faith. I don't know why people hate Americans so much, we seem to be much better than any other touring European group we've come across. We actually care about the peoples and cultures we're visiting.

So our first full day we went the pyramids first. The mob rush at the counters were brutal even at seven in the morning. I acted as a wall with other guys to keep others from rushing into our crowd and pushing the girls out the of the way. At one point I even grabbed a girl from behind me in line and put her in front. The end result was that they sold out of tickets before I could get mine. So I didn't get to into the pyramid. Dumb! Oh well, our guide took us through so cool tombs next to it, which were all decorated and actually much better than the inside of the pyramid itself I'm told.
We saw the sphinx, then set out for some stuff in Memphis. We saw some crazy giant statues of Rames the second. At a museum there, I heard a faint urn, duere, troiere.....Québecois!!!! I definitely ran up to them and talked for a bit in French. And yes, I waved around some Québecois expressions like a cute little American would. Taberouette les vendeurs sont fous icite en Egypt! They were from northern Montréal. We had a great little chat, before getting on the bus.
Lastly, for this post at least, we saw the oldest pyramid in Egypt. I'm sorry this post isn't more factual, I sound like I didn't learn anything. But this would take way to long to write up if I used my notes and tried to teach everything I learned in Egypt. You'll just have to get the smart side from me in person. So we saw the oldest pyramid with a huge open court yard area for ancient parties and such. There was one section blocked off, but some security guys let a few of us go back to take pictures and see some cool stuff. Afterwards he asked us for money. I quickly learned that's how it all works here in Egypt, you can see and do almost anything even if it's off limits. People act like they're nice and get you to do stuff, then guilt you into tipping them afterwards. Not so sure how I feel about it, but I guess that's how it goes here.
So that's it for our first few days in Egypt. Next post is off to Luxor. I'm feeling good so let's see if I can crank out another one tonight. Oh, one other cool thing. I bought some papyrus paper to bring back home for my parents. I got the different facsimiles from the Pearl of Great Price, how 'bout them apples?

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