Giza Travel Blog› entry 15 of 27 › view all entries
June 17th, 2007 – by: mariemak
After we ended our tour in Giza, we took a taxi to Saqqara to see what is believed to be the first pyramid in Egypt, and we also saw the Memphis pyramids in the distance. It was nice there as there was much less commotion. There are all sorts of ruins and tombs around and we were lucky enough that there was an English-speaking tour going on so we latched on a bit to hear about some of the engineering marvels of ancient Egypt. We also toured a Mastaba which had all kinds of hieroglyphics and paintings on the walls (although most are headless as the tops have been stolen).
Next we were off to the souk in Cairo. Everyone had told me that Cairo is a dirty city and there is nothing to see. While it isn’t New York or Paris, it has a few bright spots and the souk is one of them. When people say souk, I picture the souks we visited in Morocco. This one was so different. It is crowded, high-energy madness. There are people coming at you all around to sell whatever and the locals are all walking through at full force in every direction (which is the same way that they drive - more on that later!). I got a little stressed out when a man came up and put a LIVE SNAKE in my face but overall I was fascinated by the whole thing.
The taxis in Egypt are much rougher around the edges than anywhere else I’ve been. I believe this is due to the manner in which they drive. Have you ever been in the middle lane of a 2-lane highway? I wish I was a cool enough person to say that you get used to it and it is even fun after a while, but no. It is terrifying every time. I nicknamed all of the taxi drivers we had Mohammed Schumacher (which, incidentally, I think would be an excellent band name) Nobody drives between the lines (even if there is no one else on the road) and rather than using signal lights when changing lanes, they all just honk their horns at the cars in front of them as if to say ‘Don’t even THINK about changing lanes because I AM NOT STOPPING!’ We were trying to figure out what was worse - a taxi with a broken side mirror or no side mirror at all.
We made it back to Giza safely and in plenty of time. The pyramids are impressive up close but somehow even more impressive from a distance and with no people walking around.
We made our way back to the hotel and slept like never before. We did all of this in just one day!
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