My brother's keeper
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 9 of 22 › view all entries
My brother has been living in Cairo for a year- he's on a study abroad for Arabic...perfect location for a stop on my big trip. He has a big apartment in a good location in the city- and he has internet and one of those fancy phones where you can all the States for free. Technology is crazy man...
But he is also a 20-year-old college student and, at the risk of sounding like an old fart, I didn't want to spend my Egypt time hanging around in his apartment for 10 days. It does make an excellent hub though. Our first day was spent getting our bearings and making a plan of what we wanted to do in Egypt. The nexy day was a national holiday (Labor Day) and my brother went with us to do some sightseeing.
I have been to Egypt once before, in 1999. Both I and it have changed alot. I came here with my family and we had a really great time on a boat that cruised its way up the Nile. This time my Egpyt trip is constrained by money and my ability to make activities fit into an acceptable time frame. On our first day n the city we went to a part of Cairo I missed before- Coptic Cairo.
Coptic is a type of Christianity kinda like to Greek Orthodox- but much older. It was one of the first Christian Churches and (if I understand this correctly) almost all Copts are Egyptian...like that whole every square is a rectangle kind of thing. The churches are really beautiful and, because it was a holiday, there were people everywhere paying respect to thier saints...no services but crowds of people on like mini-pilgrimages to the churches.
The Coptic museum is also really beautiful (but pricey). It has artifacts excavated from ancient Cairo and lots more from the original desert monestaries and churches. That's the most interesting thing- Christian monestaries have their origins in the Egyptian desert.
We spent the rest of that day hanging out with my brother...
Today my brother had class again so we decided it was a good time to visit the pyramids. When I visited in 1999 they were a highlight of my trip and it was something I really wanted to share with Ryan. We got a late start because we had to stop at the train station first to buy our tickets to Aswan for that night...
The pyramids are immense and amazing and crawling with people...well, the Sphinx is crawling with people. It seemed like as soon as we started walking towards the two smaller (smaller is relative) pyramids the crowds diminished. Then again, they are huge so losing people isn't hard to do.
There are (obviously) 3 main pyramids and the smallest one has some tiny pyramids of its own. There is also the Sphinx, funerary temples, a museum and some open excavations going on. You can go into at least one of the pyramids if you wish, but it costs money and there is always a line.
The only downside of the pyramids is that people haggle you all the time. Camel rides, horse rides, carriage rides- god forbid someone walk around on their own two feet. The camels are tempting, and I almost got one because it just seems like fun, but walking has it's own rewards.
Entry to the pyramids is 50 Egyptian pounds for adults, 25 for students.