Friday, April 3, 2009

A Day of Great Pyramids

I hope someone is still out there reading this, because I seem to have left the land of the free hotel internet service. This is actually costing an exorbitant amount for 2 hours access in just a 24-hour period, but I felt compelled to continue the travelogue and to let anyone who has been reading along know that I have indeed reached Cairo. (For those keeping score, I have now been on 5 continents--North America, Europe, Asia, Australia & Africa. I'm pretty sure Amy/Roger and Allison still have me beat, and perhaps Paolo, though I don't recall any stories of your being to Oz, so perhaps you're still only at 5 as well. Unless Antarctica; it wouldn't surprise me.)

It also isn't every day that you get to tell of walking around the Great Pyramids, as well as riding on a camel for an extensive period while taking photos & video. After getting into Cairo Airport near 2am and to my hotel around 3--after a bit of cab confusion but no real problems, except for driving that makes Chicago seem like Champaign, and this at 2am--I slept to nearly 11. I could see one Pyramid, the great one, out my hotel window. I'm staying at a pretty nice place for a reasonable rate, but it isn't quite across the street from the Pyramids entrance. And of course, there's no free internet access; kind of ridiculous if you ask me.

In asking about tours, I got offered a personal Egyptian escort--calm down, not as it sounds--for only about $8 per hour, including his driving--the camel ride was extra--and it turned out to be a great idea as he kept all the hustlers off my case, saved me a ton of walking, provided good background information and more. I went into the second pyramid (nothing was there) and saw the Sphinx. I know I got some great photos, at least I better have, having taken nearly 1,000. But hey, memory cards are cheap these days. At night, I saw a Sound & Light Show at the pyramids, which made them turn phosphorescent colors. Not so awesome, but worth doing.

Overall, it was a pretty phenomenal experience. The Pyramids are pretty much what you might expect, but still completely dumbfounding at the same time.

I will use the same guide to get into Central and Islamic Cairo tomorrow, and am thankful for that. Just the area around Giza (where the pyramids are) seems pretty crazy & intimidating, so I'm not so eager to go wandering on my own. Except for inside the Egyptian Museum.

Looking forward to a long night's sleep; should be able to post again tomorrow night.


WendySchmidt said...

I'm still reading! (Actually, I am a few posts behind, after a disgusting turn of events in my life which I will tell you about on your return.)

Paolo said...

Dude. I am reading your travels, trust me. I think the funniest thing you have said to date is that you didn't find any nice Jewish girls in Israel :-) LOL

I have not been to Australia or Antartica. So we are all tied continent wise, but if we count countries (in all modesty) I think I have the upper hand :-) We can compare when you get back. Be safe!