We are arrived at the hotel late last night, mid-nightish. They had a car pick us up a the airport, allowing us to bypass the hordes of people claiming to be “official” cab drivers. Yikes, I wouldn’t even know how to tell. As soon as we existed the airport, I noticed the smell of the city. Smells like burning trash here. Not in a bad way, if that makes any sense. My dad used to incinerate cardboard and that is what it reminds of me of.
The car door was opened by a member of the hotel staff who greeted us (well Pete) by name; “hello Mr. Peter. how was your flight?” Definitely makes you feel welcome which is a nice feeling to have before you have to walk through a metal detector and have your bags scanned.
We were checked-in and then escorted to our amazing room. Pete’s little surprise was a suite. So nice. Possibly bigger than our flat. Gorgeous! The chocolates & cookies were a nice touch too. And when we had been in the room for about 5 minutes the doorbell rang (ya, there’s a doorbell, crazy) and complimentary drinks were delivered. Fresh squeezed (blended, maybe?) mango and strawberry smoothies. Delicious! Easily the best hotel welcome I’ve ever had.
Today we were up early to meet our tour guide and see the sites. We first went to Memphis. It was really the ruins of a temple in Memphis, surrounded by a farming village. As tour guides do, our told of the history of lower & upper/North & South Egypt & the United Kingdom of Egypt. The country is so old, so much history. The village struck me more than the temple ruins. It’s very poor & very dirty, tons and tons of trash everywhere. But they have beautiful plots of lands for farming that are seemingly extremely well kept.
From Memphis we went to the Sakkara Pyramids that were built in the desert on sand (is that stating the obvious?) and are falling apart. Literally crumbling. They are currently restoring one the last of the standing pyramids there (you can see the scaffolding in the pictures). We went into a tomb there. Once was enough for me, I didn’t like the feeling of that. You have to climb down this little tunnel and then climb from “room” to “room”. I guess you weren’t supposed to take pictures there but the guy who led us in took our picture in front of the tomb and then demanded a tip. Pete went to give him some Egyptian pounds and he said “I’ll take British pounds”. I got a huge kick out of that. All the people we met asked to be tipped in our local currency.
The famous Giza Pyramids were the next stop on our tour. They really are amazing. It took about 15-20 year to build a pyramid which is incredible if you think about it. These were built about 2000 BC. All the construction was done by man & animal. Really incredible. I was a bit surprised that they allow people to climb on the pyramids. I would have thought they would try to preserve them as much as possible. They are after all one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
Of course we had to ride a couple fo camels, who could go to Egypt and miss this opportunity? It was fun & funny.
That’s if for now, I need to get ready for our Nile boat cruise dinner. More pictures in my photobucket (takes up too much space to post them all here).