Sunday, 26 April 2009

Egypt - Part 1

26 April 2009 - 10 May 2009

EGYPT - Cairo, Giza, Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Luxor and Dahab
26 April 2009 - Cairo
Arrived in from Istanbul and was collected at the airport by our tour guide. After getting visas for the people who didn't have them we got into the mini van and drove to our hotel. Now, this might not sound exciting, but Cairo traffic is something else!! There are cars, donkeys, horses, carts, buses everywhere on the road and all you can hear is beeping.
From what I can gather the buses are just vans with the doors open and people just jumping in and out and then taking off again. Then I saw this train at the station, that was dark, no windows, smoky and full of men - thank god it wasn't the one that we were catching! People are just hanging off all types of vehicles, screaming, yelling, speeding.
That avo we checked into our lovely hotel room and I just spent the night laxing out and trying to feel better.

27 April 2009

That morning after checkout we got put into groups and headed on the bus to the Egyptian Museum where we looked around for a couple of hours and even went and saw real mummies. They were grose! They looked like real people, just old and wrinkly. They still had their fingernails and hair.

After the museum we headed for Giza and the ... PYRAMIDS! They were amazing!

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza and is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that survives substantially intact. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for Fourth dynasty Egyptian King Khufu and constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.

The Giza pyramids are on the outskirts of Cairo and one minute you are driving around the dirty, unruly streets of Cairo and the next minute you go through this gate and see the Pyramids. I always thought that they would be out in the desert a bit.

<------- View of Cairo from the pyramids - see how close to the city they are
After seeing the big pyramids we headed to the smaller ones where you can pretend to hold them and stuff, unfortunately my photographers were crap, but here are the pyramids anyway.

After that we went inside one of the smaller Giza pyramids. It was an experience. The Pyramids are huge but the passage way and tomb is not. You have to go down this passageway bent in half (one third for us shorter ones) and then down through another tunnel and then up a passageway at this stage you are sore and its really hot and smelly and then you come to this room that is probably as big as an average lounge room that has a tomb in the corner. Its really hot and made me feel claustrophobic and I don't get claustrophobia. I originally thought that the pyramids would be completely hollow but they are not, they are completely solid save for this chamber.

<----- Me by one of the Pyramid blocks. They are huge.
After that experience we headed down a bit and saw the Sphinx - The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a reclining lion with a human head that stands on the Giza Plateau. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 m, 6 m wide, and 20 m high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the third millennium BC.
That night we took a 14 hourish night train to Aswan, it wasn't too bad, and hell of a lot better than the first train that I saw go past!

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