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LEAN BACK!

Cairo Travel Blog

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One of the Pyramids!
I woke up quite early -- I think it was a combination of getting used to Egyptian time and also excitement about the day!

That morning, we went to ATM down the street but it was out of cash :(  We went back to our hotel lobby where we met our guide for the day, Hima.  While Michelle talked on the phone with DMT, I chatted with him and the other tour employee.  Hima started to tell us about some of the music videos (which were playing on the tv in the lobby), and how one of the girls in the video went to school with him and she looked very different back then.  He said, "Things are bigger, higher, and whiter now!"  I knew immediately that it was going to be a fun day!  He ended up being a great guide, we felt very lucky that he was our tour guide.
Pyramids of Giza


Michelle and I found out that it was just going to be the 2 of us on today's tour, so we were excited about that!  Our own personal guide for the day!  Hima told us a little bit about his background and what to expect while we were in Egypt, including that pretty much everyone would be expecting tips if they helped us out.   We had to drive around to about 3 different ATM machines, all of which were out of cash/not working.  We ended up having to BORROW MONEY from Hima for our first stop of the day (Pyramids of Giza).  How embarrassing!

As we were driving on the highway, he said, "Look out the window, if you look REALLY HARD, you can see the Pyramids.
Sister picture!! Me and Michelle with the Pyramids of Giza behind us
"  I was like "YEAH RIGHT!" But sure enough, there they were.  It was breathtaking!!  He told us all about the history of the Pyramids and then let us go off on our own for awhile.  We were flipping out because we couldn't believe we were at the Pyramids!  We took some photos and opted not to go inside the Pyramids because we heard it wasn't really worth it.  The Pyramids are so HUGE.  Bigger than I even imagined...they took my breath away.  It was such a dream come true to see them! 

Then we went to the spot where you can see all three Pyramids and that's where we also got to take our camel ride.

We wimped out.  Michelle and I decided to ride a camel TOGETHER instead of separately.  I felt like the most ungraceful person as I climbed on the camel's back.
Me and Michelle riding a camel in Cairo, with one of the Pyramids behind us.
..Michelle got on behind me.  They told us "LEAN BACK!" and then the camel started to get up.  Oh my dog, I thought we were going to fall off!!!!!  We only had this little thing to hold on to, no straps or anything to keep us on top of the camel.  We were hanging on for dear life!

The camel ride was about 20 minutes but it seriously felt like longer.  It was a very cool experience to be riding a camel at the Pyramids...except when the camel decided that it didn't feel like going any further.  The boy leading the camel said something to me in Egyptian, so I, of course, had no idea what he was saying.  The camel started groaning and the boy gave me the leash thing he was holding.  I said to myself, "WTF is going on!"  I think he was telling me to steer the camel (like I knew how to do this)!  Finally the camel calmed down and we were off again.
Me and the Sphinx (it was windy, can you tell?)


We reached one of the Pyramids, which was the end of our camel ride.  Again, the boy said "LEAN BACK!" as the camel sat down and of course, I thought we were going to fall off (meanwhile, we were laughing so hard and also half-screaming in terror).  We thanked the boy and gave him his tip (again, borrowed from Hima!!).   After he got his tip, he asked us if we wanted a photo with the camel.  Of course we said yes!  Then he wanted his picture with Michelle, and as I took it, he grabbed her butt!  HAHA!!

We went to see the Sphinx, which was so much smaller than I expected it to be!  It was still quite a sight to see.  It is said to guard the bodies of the dead that are buried in/around the Pyramids of Giza.
Michelle, me, and the Step Pyramid of Saqqara
 


Then we were off to Saqqara, where the Step Pyramid of King Zoser is.  But first, we had to go to the ATM.  Luckily, this one worked!!  We paid back Hima and then we took a nice little scenic drive to Saqqara.  It was very beautiful there and it was interesting to hear the stories about  the Step Pyramid that the architecht Imhotep built for King Zoser.  Michelle and I were a little familiar with Zoser, so we enjoyed learning about him. 

We went to a jewelry store (I got an eye of Horus charm, which I have always wanted) and papyrus shop where we got to see how papryus paper was made.  We even got to make some!  We bought some scrolls for our parents.
ancient city of Memphis in Cairo


We kept seeing signs for carpet schools during the drive, and we ended up going to one.  We saw the kids making the carpets and we even got to try threading one.  I caught on easily but Michelle had a harder time!  Our guide at the carpet school requested a photo with us, and then he said "How about a kiss picture?"  I pretended I didn't hear him, but no thank you :)

We then went to Memphis, and by this time we were very tired.  I didn't fully appreciate it as much as I should have.  We went to the museum that has the Ramses Colossus and the beautiful gardens.  By this time, we had to stop at the ATM....AGAIN!  After that, we went to this store that sold perfume oils...they smelled so good!!  I got one called "AIDA" (which made us giggle, because it is the name of one of our favorite Broadway shows) and Michelle got one called "QUEEN CLEOPATRA.
Us at the carpet school (haha)
"  They made us some coffee, and it was one of the strongest cups of coffee I've ever tasted!  That really woke us up!!   One thing that I noticed about the people we had met so far in Egypt is how friendly, flirtatious (mostly harmless), and funny they are.  And they almost always want a photo with you!

We went back to the hotel to freshen up for our dinner cruise on the Nile.  We were SO exhausted (guess the coffee wore off)!  The dinner cruise was okay, and so was the food.  We saw a dancing show on the boat and they even pulled me out of the audience to dance, haha!  That was hilarious since I am one of the few Filipinos who can't dance!  Then the belly dancers came out, and a little person who did this whirling dervish type dance.  While we were cruising down the Nile, we noticed a TGIFriday's restaurant and Gold's Gym.  Hilarious!


hdichter says:
trying to find ATMs that work is such a pain! One time I even had a bank guy in Switzerland (where there is always money and a machine everywhere) to help me, and it still didn't work! Turns out my bank was doing their maintenance that night at home -- which meant morning in Switzerland!
Posted on: Aug 30, 2007
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One of the Pyramids!
One of the Pyramids!
Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza
Sister picture!!  Me and Michelle …
Sister picture!! Me and Michelle…
Me and Michelle riding a camel in …
Me and Michelle riding a camel in…
Me and the Sphinx (it was windy, c…
Me and the Sphinx (it was windy, …
Michelle, me, and the Step Pyramid…
Michelle, me, and the Step Pyrami…
ancient city of Memphis in Cairo
ancient city of Memphis in Cairo
Us at the carpet school (haha)
Us at the carpet school (haha)
On our Nile River dinner cruise
On our Nile River dinner cruise
Our belly dancing entertainment on…
Our belly dancing entertainment o…
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela