After a whirlwind year of travel as far West as the Pacific Coast of California, as far East as the Great Wall of China and as far south as Johannesburg, Annie and I found ourselves in Egypt at the end of last month. We had always wanted to go and given that the political situation was far more stable than earlier in 2011 (which set the bar pretty low), we decided we’d make a short break of it. We didn’t go to the beaches, much to the chagrin of our pasty white skin, but instead focused our efforts on Cairo and the Great Pyramids of Giza.We arrived late on Thursday evening and the first point of controversy occurred at Egyptian customs, not because of the Israeli stamp in my passport (the US Government pays Egypt annually to look the other way on the whole religion thing), but rather because I look like I’m 16 in my passport photo. The officer asked me my name and then waved me through, real tight border, but then again I was clearly there to spend dollars and the country needed me. Upon our exit from the airport it was clear we were in the Middle East, everyone was smoking, the air smelt of fire and…nobody knew how to park or drive. The comment of the night was when Annie belted out “look at how this guy parked, HAHA” pointing to a car parked horizontally blocking a whole bunch of other cars, clearly this driver was a jackass, but sadly for Annie, he was our jackass, as the driver who had kindly met us inside the terminal building proceeded to pop the trunk of the horizontally parked vehicle.
The pyramids are fantastic, once in a lifetime, great sight that will leave you in awe. We had a personal driver and tour guide from the hotel for the day; I would highly recommend it as it isn’t too expensive and allows you to move at your own pace through the vast amount of sights there are to see. In my personal opinion, like it or not, the Sphinx is a bit smaller than I thought. I was pretty sure it was pyramid sized but not so much. I mean it’s huge and the detail is amazing but when set against the backdrop of the Great Pyramids, it’s just a little guy.As for the rest of the city? I would call it interesting, but it’s a DD, it’s dirty and dangerous. Everyone wants money and everyone knows you have it so that calculation isn’t hard. Oh, another thing about the streets, as Annie found out wearing shorts around town, showing skin isn’t common place for women so get ready to have your picture taken on every cell phone camera in town. Anyway, the Egyptian Museum is great; another place where having a personal guide is useful and inexpensive. Our guide literally jogged us around so we could see the most amount of content, fantastic. I’ve got to be honest here though, those mummies are buried/surrounded by an enormous amount of gold, crazy, just give me a little bit!