Day Seven: Kodak-moment day! Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza and the bazaars
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
This IS IT!!!! THE day! The day that perhaps was worth the effort of having planned the Egypt trip, and the one set of spots that everyone asks you on return - "so...how was it?", "Did you see that lion-looking man statue?", "did you see those pyramids?", "Where are the pictures?". Basically it was cheese factor in high gear today, you could almost see us returning with that look one has on one's face after posing for about a 100 odd photos, and a bag full of souvenirs. And btw, did I mention the C-H-E-E-S-E factor? ;-)
The two most excited people for the day were good ole mum and dad. They spent the whole morning before breakfast verifying that they've recharged the batteries for the video camera, made sure they got their spare batteries, my mum even 'tested' the video feature on her new NOKIA mobile phone should the camcorder give way during the course of the day, and btn the 2 of them, they asked me AT LEAST a dozen times, "Vikram dear, hope your camera is charged and you've got lots of spare memory cards".
Anyways, our guide for the day was Hosam. This bloke is interesting. He's Egyptian, studied Law in NY Uni and is actually a US citizen but returned home after 9/11 and hopes to go back to the US some day. He laid out the plan for the day - we start first with the Egyptian Museum. The three of us were quite curious why we're starting off (when the weather was relatively cool) inside a cool area, and why we can't do the Pyramids first. His reasoning was simple - it's a lot easier to absorb the pyramids if you know the history behind them. Fair 'nuff...
Another reason I'm in love with my hotel is because of the close promixity to the Egyptian Museum. It's so darn close, 5 mins ride max?! We were there by about 930am and the place was already looking like it had been invaded by foreign blood.
Cameras are not allowed inside the museum. And they're very strict about allowing mobile phones with camera functionality as well. So we stored all these in lockers outside and headed in after the traditional security check.
The museum is very clean and spacious. Compared to the MET or the British Museum, I wouldn't call it that big or that 'varied' in terms of the buildings. (I mean, the British museum, WOW!). The museum has two floors. The ground floor consists of 4 sections - the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom and the Late Period. The first floor consists of amazing, MIND BLOWING Tutankhamum galleries and the overhyped overpriced (sorry guys!) Mummy Room.
We started off with the ground floor, at the Old Kingdom. The first sight that greeted us were three matching black schist triads that represented the pharoah Menkaure (Mycerinus) flanked either side by Hathor and a local Goddess. Another highlight was the Statue of Khafre and his lion throne with Horus wrapped around his head.
Now, the first floor - and the grandest. I don't want to say much about Tutankhamun Galleries simply because I don't have the pictures to support it, and I really can't put my impressions into words.
Now, the bit that I was a bit disappointed - the Mummy Room. You have to pay separate fees for this. I got a discount as I showed 'em my student card. The room itself was small and whilst the room contains the actual, yes ACTUAL bodies of the Pharoahs such as Sequenre II, Amenhotep I and Queen Meryetamun, Tuthmosis II and Tuthmosis IV among others all wrapped carefully in individual showcases with great footnotes, I found the place very crowded and don't think I feel I gained my money's worth.
Phew! We'd spent nearly 4 hours at the temple and we still couldn't believe we felt we'd only just started. Lunch was at the Felfella - quite disappointing despite the great experience we'd had the first time. From here, we pushed off to the great PYRAMIDS OF GIZA.
Yep, we'd seen them from afar the previous night thanks to the Laser show, but now we could get upclose to each of them. This was spectacular. And whilst most buses were stopping outside the compound, our minivan was allowed to drive near each of the 3 pyramids so that we could stop and take pictures. I'll let the pictures do the talking for this one. From here, we went to the Sphinx - again, pictures please!
Our final stop for the day was a return to Khan-al-Khalili bazaar. If y'day's experience was touristy, today's was EVEN more.
From here, we spent roughly an hour shopping around for souvenirs before heading back to the hotel - quite late actually, around 8pm! But it was great.
Click on Next Entries on the Left to read the last journal entry: leaving Egypt