Results tagged “Cairo” from Eurasia 2012

Pretty good day in Egypt today. For us at least.

Woke up a little after 5am and got up a bit before six.

Breakfast at this hotel was pretty awesome, they even had beef bacon :)

So we headed out at 7:30 and headed straight for Giza.

Pyramids!!

We got there early enough to get tickets to go into the Great Pyramid (100LE) - apparently they only sell 150 per day. So you get off the bus and go through security, and then the bus goes around to the parking area on the other side.

!?

Yes, security is completely redundant, because you could leave whatever contraband on the bus when it goes around. Whatever.

You aren't allowed to take cameras into the Great Pyramid (they do bag checks), so we dumped the cameras on the bus and went in. It was super awesome! My favourite part is the huge corridor leading up to the burial chamber with its high ceilings. I was also very impressed with the stonework in the burial chamber - it was so precise! There's nothing left in the burial chamber except the sarcophagus, which was too big to get out, so it remains.

Came back out again, went and got our cameras, then wandered round for a while.

Unfortunately you can't stand still anywhere in Egypt (at the tourist destinations) because otherwise the flies swarm around you buzzing in your ears and won't leave you alone. You just have to keep walking with your head down. Which is really no way to enjoy the sights :(

Then we drove up to the "panorama" view of the pyramids.

And then down to the Sphynx. A lot of it is badly eroded, so they've been doing a lot of work restoring it.

Oh and I might have had this bit of Joseph stuck in my head all day:

So back in Canaan the future looked rough Jacob's family were finding it tough

For the famine has caught us unprepared
We are thin
We are ill
We are getting scared
It's enough to make anyone weep
We are down to our very last sheep

We will starve if we hang around here

But in Egypt there's food going spare

They've got corn
They've got meat
They've got fruit and drinks

And if we have the time
We could see the Sphinx

So they finally decided to go
Off to Egypt to see brother Jo

Next we headed to Saqqara to see the step pyramid and other ruins there. And had a pretty clear view down to the "bent" pyramid, about fifteen kilometres away. This place was a lot quieter and far less tourists, so the flies were a bit more persistent because there were less targets.

Finally we went to a small museum which houses a pretty impressive statue of Rameses II and a few other smaller statues as well.

Got back to the hotel pretty early (a bit after three). I started doing photo stuff and was going to blog, but decided I really needed to wash everything and have a shower.

A bit before five the parents and I headed out to dinner. We went back to Maison Thomas where we went last night, and this time shared a beef salami pizza. It was so yumm! Really enjoyed it.

Then hopped on the bus again to go back to the pyramids to see the 7:30 sound and light show at the Sphynx. It was a dramatisation of snippets of some of the Pharoahs' lives and deaths but was a little disjointed and I'm not sure it really had a plot or not. Still, the light show was pretty awesome, and was great to see the pyramids and sphynx lit up in all different colours.

And finally back to the hotel for the evening.


Distance covered on the GPS: 137.2 km
Steps walked: 16741
Photos on the Canon: 261
Photos on the Sony: 18
Videos: 0
EGP Spent: 137
USD Spent: 194

Pretty quiet day today.

Breakfast was no more inspiring than yesterday. Checked out and was not sorry to see the back of that hotel.

We stopped briefly at the rest stop we stopped at on the way down. Then continued onto Karak Castle, built by the Crusaders.

I wasn't in the best of moods (lack of sleep and annoyance with hotel and hitting my head on the bus didn't help), so didn't take many photos.

Had lunch in a little restaurant in Karak, I think that belonged to a relative of our tour guide.

Our guide said he hated coming to Karak because of the traffic, and we could see why. We had to walk a couple of hundred metres up the hill because someone had just parked in the road so there wasn't enough room for the bus to get past. Then after lunch we had to get around this tiny corner with cars parked all around it. It took a miracle and some pretty skillful driving for the driver to get us out of that one! On the way down the hill we were going slow enough through all the traffic to actually watch the people going about their business, and looking at all the stores. It was actually pretty cool.

Then continued to Amman airport.

First step is security getting into the airport itself - everything is xrayed, metal detector and brief frisk search.

Getting through immigration was relatively painless, and then had two hours to kill. We were in a spot that was close enough to the Royal Jordanian lounge to pick up their wifi, so sat and read news feeds on my phone.

They didn't open the gate itself until just before boarding, when it was security again to get to the gate.

Had a little Embraer 195 jet that was only about 1/2 to 2/3 full. And it conveniently has a small hook on the seat in front for hanging GPSes :)

Had a grumpy flight attendant who made us all put our backpacks in the overhead lockers, which is a first for me - every other flight I've ever taken I've been able to keep it under my seat.

It was pretty hazy and cloudy and the aeroplane windows were filthy so didn't see much, but did fly into Cairo from the south east, then looped around to fly across the city and land. We saw several pyramids and our hotel so that was pretty cool.

Getting through immigration at Cairo was also relatively painless. Withdrew some money and paid 95EGP for a Visa (cash only, not credit card - lame).

Then the tour bus to our hotel which took at least an hour.

This hotel is pretty damned fancy, but at least lives up to its price tag (which incidentally I have no idea what that is). This is the nicest of the "fancy" hotels we've stayed in. Haven't figured out how much the internet is here, it wouldn't connect me properly.

I am *exhausted*. Didn't get to bed til after 11pm, then woke up at 5am. But this afternoon I came down with the cold that's been going around the group (Dad's had it pretty bad the last couple of days). There's a 5am wakeup call to go to Alexandria tomorrow. I debated skipping it, but at least there'll be five hours on the bus to snooze.


Distance covered on the GPS: 1013 km
Steps walked: 13690, but I'm taking off 5500 due to bumpy roads screwing up the count
Photos on the Canon: 107
Photos on the Sony: 173
Videos: 1
JD Spent: 0.9
EGP Spent: 97.5