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The pyramid scheme

Cairo Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 19 › view all entries
en route to the pyramids
When the aliens built the pyramids 2500BC, they never anticipated the response they would achieve. 4500 years later thousands of daily visitors from around the globe congregate to Dahshur, the pyramid field near Cairo to catch a glimpse of these mystical constructs.

The ship organized a crew tour for this morning and at the crack of 7:00 we found ourselves gathering in the lounge to be assigned to various buses in anticipation of the seeing one of the 7 world wonders.

We were still docked in Port Said and a 3 hours journey to Cairo came as a relief to many, who had not turned in before pumpkin conversion time.
doing the walk
Our tour guide gave us the option of resting first and then listening to a talk or vice versa. Nobody agreed to either and he seemed to interpret this a request for a 3 hour talk. He was an excellent speaker and I was asleep in no time.

When I woke up, Debbie enthusiastically summarized the contents of his speech and the history surrounding the pyramids, conveniently omitting the truth about the aliens.

En route, our travel guide come salesman started pawning jewelry with customized hieroglyphics that spell out your name. Being hieroglyphics, nobody can actually verify their validity and after today there are a further 15 idiots wearing necklaces saying “I got shafted at the pyramids” or something to that effect.

Soon we entered Cairo and I was amazed to see a city that seemed to be in some form of (dis)repair.
Andie, Debbie, JC, Joey, Marcus, Ross, Alfie, Andrea
Almost every building was unfinished in some way, whether it be construction material on the roof, unpainted walls or even exposed foundation. We were explained that buildings that have not been completed attract no taxes in Egypt. And it was apparent that the whole population knew about it and were riding this loophole.

Within a short space of time the pyramids suddenly appeared from behind the buildings. (Further evidence that aliens built them). We were taken to the great pyramid of Giza with it’s 2 smaller brothers. As cynical as I am, I can honestly say that this was an experience I will never forget:

As we stumbled out of the bus into the sweltering heat, we caught the sight of these enormous contructs that eminate an almost magical and mystical aura that just takes immediate hold of you.
Although surrounded by hundreds of visitors, tour operators and psychotic vendors, the power and radiance of these monuments dissipate these distractions and without sounding mawkishly sentimental, this was truly a timeless experience…until our 20 minutes were up and we had to get back onto the bus. This was preceded by a quick tomb visit which tested the boundaries of my claustrophobia: after turning back half way, I decided to try again (successfully), as I couldn’t have the girls laugh at me.

The sphinx was next on our shopping list and after doing the obligatory sphinx kissing pose, I was a bit surprised to find out that the sphinx was male, as I thought we made such a good couple.

Our last stop was….can you guess….a papyrus and jewelery store, where we were given the most time to explore (almost 3 times longer than at the Pyramids). This is obviously because Papyrus and Jewelry occupy a more relevant place in history than the Pyramids. A group of us wondered down an alleyway in search of food and returned with what looked and tasted almost like Pizza.

It was back on the bus and within 3 hours we were back at the ship. We were greeted by “friendly” vendors, whose prices had halved from the previous day, as they knew we were leaving soon…..had I only waited!
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en route to the pyramids
en route to the pyramids
doing the walk
doing the walk
Andie, Debbie, JC, Joey, Marcus, R…
Andie, Debbie, JC, Joey, Marcus, …
The river Nile. Thought it would b…
The river Nile. Thought it would …
First glimpse!
First glimpse!
Alfie, JC and Andie
Alfie, JC and Andie
papyrus vendors
papyrus vendors
exploring!
exploring!
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela