There and back again or “You come to Egypt to buy water?!”
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
A single move you make has the only one consequence- you sweat 3 times more than you drink. However, once Ra begins His journey to the Underworld (or in plain English- once the sun starts to set), that little dash of life becomes a huge stream. A stream, which us, non-Egyptian people wouldn’t want to get into. It will consume you. The stream is people. Its waves… Bargain! Bargain! Bargain!
I arrived in Cairo at 3 o’clock in the morning.
I was shocked how busy the city was. My hotel was far away from the airport (in Giza), so I got the chance to get through the whole city. At 3 o’clock in the morning I actually got stuck in the traffic jam! The streets were full: men, women, children… Everyone just hangs around in the city.
My hotel was suppose to be somewhere near pyramids, or so it was described at the website, but I didn’t see anything in the horizon of the night. The first thing I did in the morning was getting all the lightest clothing from the dept of my backpack. Then I opened the curtains to have a smoke. And there it was. One of THE reasons why I came here. They just stood there. Surrounded by the city and millions of tourists. The pyramids. I can’t say I was disappointed. I knew that the pyramids are no longer somewhere in the distance of the deserts, but almost the in city. It wasn’t even a feeling of relieve or achievement, even though it was the place of my dreams for long years.
And so we took off. Straight into the desert. And so were the first couple of days of the trip. Comparing one side of the desert through the window with the other one. Camping and sleeping under the stars. The idea of the trip organiser (Kumuka) was for us to see and to experience all the ways of living and survival in Egypt. In was absolutely brilliant experience- cooking and having dinner in the desert, sleeping in that ocean of sand, waking up with half of it in your hair, ears and nose, satisfying your nature calls behind hills of sand… It was fun getting drunk, maybe too drunk, it wasn’t such a fun waking up with the huge hang over. I’m telling you, the hang over is just not the same in the desert as it is in normal environment.
Ever been to the moon? Wanna know what’s it like? Visit the White Desert. An amazing place with all the strange surfaces, stones and shades it does look like the moon. You don’t talk much about the places like this, you just have to see it. Just don’t let it swallow you…
After spending few days in the desert, on the way to the Luxor city, we passed couple of small oasis: there was one, where we visited an artist living and creating in the middle of the desert, which was pretty amazing and it just shows how little does the art need to be born: just a little sand and stones, and how a person can create even in the middle of nowhere.
And then we got to Luxor. And it shall always stay in our hearts! Because we stayed in the hotel with a swimming pool!!! ;) Sure The Luxor Temple and The Karnak Temple were just unbelievable as well J But again, that’s one of those things that you do not talk about, but see.
Hurghada was the next city on the itinerary. The city at The Red Sea is well known to the divers because of the coral reef places named the Aquarium. The name says it all. And I had a chance to dive for the first time in my life!!! Man was I nervous! Then again- who wouldn’t be entering the other world, and trust me, it is completely different world down there. After soaking in the extremely salty water, the next thing on my “to do (for the first time)” list was hot air ballooning over The Valley of Kings and Queens, the place where all the famous pharaohs, kings and queens (famous mainly because of their tombs) where buried. Being the only one to be crazy enough to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning to go ballooning, I had to wait for the rest of my fellow travellers for about an hour an the main entrance street, and trust me, it wasn’t fun. It felt like being in the ocean surrounded by sharks.
Aswan with the beautiful Philae Temple in a small island and of course Abu Simbel, just at the border to Syria were outstanding. It is beyond amazement when knowing that the entire Abu Simbel temple with the entire mountain was moved because of the flood of Nile. The ride to Abu Simbel was a very long, we all had to wake up at 3:30 o’clock in the morning, and as we got back to our nice and cosy air conditioned hotel, some of us went to sleep, and some of us (me, me, me) had another thing on the to do list- Camel ride! That was cool! Although not as easy as it seems in the pictures…
From the Camel- straight on felucca! A felucca is a traditional Egyptian sailboat and we had a brilliant chance to experience it for 2.
One of THE events of the trips for me was visiting a Nubian tribe village when striking the sail for night. A bunch of village children welcomed us asking for pens (it is common when visiting a village in the desert bring pens and cigarettes as gifts; the two most missed things in the desert. Well, we all understand the cigs, but pens- surprising, isn’t it? It is difficult to get a pen living in the desert, and children need pens to learn), money and some even hitting us, but that’s not really a pleasant story.
Egypt is a bit annoying country.
It’s been the best trip in my life yet.