Pyramids at breakfast
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
Having booked dates for this next flight some 12 months ago we were unsurprised to find that our flight departed some 30 minutes later than our ticket showed. Despite the added security measures at London's Heathrow Airport we check in easily as we have no hand luggage but Andrew is convinced that we will never see our pole again! I bought a telescopic flag pole for use at folk festivals and put it through as luggage. Once on board we are told that 3 people have checked in but failed to board so their luggage has to be removed before we can fly -- shades of Jamaica!
The food is good on British Airways and I have the Atlantic salmon and Andrew has the Moroccan chicken and we have lots of white wine. The flight lands at about 12.
Forty five minutes later the mini bus weaves through barriers over a canal bridge through a pivoted barrier at the hotel.
It is now Friday (27 days until we get home!) and we sleep well and head to a smorgasbord breakfast up above the foyer with the domed ceiling. While enjoying my tropical fruits I glance around out of the window and nearly choke as I see two pyramids rising out of the smog.
Saturday and we finally get money out of the temperamental ATM machine and do much of the same as yesterday. I have a long chat with an Egyptian guy who is in the pool with his children. The Travel Talk group meets at 6pm and we find that there are 20 of us a New Zealander, a Chinese family of four and the rest are Aussies. Other than the Chinese parents the group age ranges from 18 to about 30 so we are the oldest but is so good to be amongst irreverent Aussies who look as though they are going to be up for anything.
There are singers and then we have a belly dancer all of whom are a bit tacky with fluro costumes and a wig. A sufi dancer comes out and he is spectacular with whirling skirts, one of which he slips up over his head and continues to make spin from his hand for 30 mins continuously as he poses with the audience and does tricky moves! Before we get to the hotel there a stop at a large supermarket with an ATM where we get a 10 min shop stop.
Sunday- after breakfast we check out but leave two suitcases and my pole with the luggage store taking only our small back packs and board the coach and now we are 22 as two Colombians have joined us. Head to the pyramids and Rasha begins to instruct us in Pharonic history. Three periods, Old, Middle and New, 30 dynasties and a lower and upper Egypt. The oldest period had pyramids with sides built at 54 o angle changing to 45 o about 65% of the way up and no decorations inside. The middle period had smaller pyramids with 45 o angle sides and were highly decorated inside and the new period had smaller pyramids again but had mummies inside.
Camel rides across part of the Sahara then happened for those who wished to participate and as I had done that in Alice Springs many years ago I didn't feel the need to do it again. Learn to use our new words 'la shokkran' (no, thankyou), 'beckom' (how much). Lunch was at a small outdoor restaurant with a shade roof of palm branches and woven mats and a clean toilet. We visited the Sphinx and Sakkara then went back to the hotel where two rooms had been allocated to the tour group to shower and freshen up in until about 9 pm. Arrived at Cairo Railway station and waited and waited for our train, an overnight one with reclining seats to Aswan.
Finally our train arrived at about 1 pm and we all piled in, booted a guy out of Andrew's seat and were off. Someone checked out the toilet and came back looking very white, said that you needed a strong constitution to cope with it. I decided to try and last the distance but only managed 11 hours before I had to use them.