Tourist Highlights - Egypt 2009
Group at pyramids - Jess, Jo, sphinx, Leona,Helen
seated: Amy, Koby
Day two most of the group went to the pyramids but Karen and I had private lessons with Yasmina instead. We caught up with the others for lunch (and shisha) then some gallebaya shopping.
Inside the Mosque of Mohamed Ali
Lunch at the Al Azhar Gardens then onto Khan el Khalili - not to shop this time but to learn about its history - and the essential stop at the coffeehouse for shisha.
There was a choice of horse or camel riding at the pyramids at sunset. In the end I went with the camels - after all we were in Egypt which left only the real horse women on the horses. It was pretty controlled. The four of us were roped together - no freedom riding. I got the old lady's camel. (no biting or spitting) and when we stopped my camel decided to have a lie down. After that we went to Barry's and overlooked the Sound and Light Show.
I was looking forward to seeing the Egyptian Museum again - but the day started badly and got worse. The traffic meant we started late. Then it took over an hour to get there. We rushed through in under an hour. I did pay the extra 100 pounds to see the royal mummies this time - and it was interesting - creepy but interesting. Not something I'd do again though. Fortunately we were given another chance to redo the museum later - for another entrance fee but with free transport and guiding. The second time we got a slightly different - and much longer view. I could have stayed longer - but my feet in my cheap light shoes objected.
Camels and riders - Leona, Jess, Jo, Judith
We left Cairo for two day trips. One to Al Fayoum - the oasis about 100km south west of Cairo (about 45m below sea level). For this we changed guides to Hani who had an amusing line of patter most of the way (we learnt for instance that the white lines on the roads and the occasional traffic lights were a form of Egyptian decoration). Once out of Cairo we also picked up an escort - a truck load of armed soldiers and an extra tour member - Mr Killer Force with his gun in the waistband of his trousers.
Just norther of the Al Fayoum city, we visited Karanis with the remains of Ptolemaic and Roman mud brick houses and temples. We drove out across the desert and were shown a waterfall - which was very popular with the locals. Then we were rowed out onto the lake. Finally we stopped at the Meidum pyramid - which was the first real pyramid ever attempted. They had a few goes at trying to get it to work which lead to it partially collapsing under its own weight.
Meidum near Al Fayoum
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