Tuesday, 10 June 2008


We have been enjoying Egypt. It is nice to be on a tour though because all of the vendors are desperate to try to sell you things, especially in Cairo. Everyone wants to bring you into their perfume shop or their papyrus shop... It was nice to hide in the 5 star hotel for a little while. The facilities were great. We got to play tennis on the tennis courts, we frequented the gym and we used the pool most of the day when we arrived.
The second day we had a local Egyptologist take us around the 'Great Pyramid' complex and then we went to see King Zhoser's (from the 3rd dynasty) step pyramid. It was the first burial chamber built in a pyramid. The second day we visited the citadel and mosque of Mohammed Ali, the Egyptian museum, a papyrus making factory, and the Khalili Bazaar. Stephen didn't have much patience for the bazaar. It is difficult to walk through it with everyone calling out to you. It makes you not want to look at anything because then you would be expected to buy it! Our guide was excellent though and we learned a lot. The artefacts recovered from King Tutenkamen's tomb were amazing. The famous gold mask was there and it was really beautiful and bigger than I expected.

Stephen's notes:
22 million people live here and 30 million of them try to drive around the streets without concerns for parking, lanes or direction. The odd donkey padding against the traffic doesnt help with the flow either. It's a chaotic city full of cars and honking people. The river's nice though.

Good things
Pyramids - whoppers and guarded by police on camels
Huge mosque on a hill overlooking the city. Inside was quiet and cool with nice carpets and loads of low soft lights more suitable for ballroom dancing.

Bad things
Stick dance - part of the caberet on our Nile Cruise. Men dancing with sticks - as camp as you could imagine..
Mad market - lots of nice smells but the sellers pretty much try to haul you inside their shops and all the porters hiss at you to get you out of their way
Police with guns taking your photo and then charging you for the pleasure
Taxi driver with an unnerving twitch slaloming through the Cairo traffic