08 June 2008

Cairo, Egypt

Med Moored (bow in) at Ismalia Yacht Club
Suez Canal

Our trip to Cairo began with a pick up at the yacht club at 7am. Our driver Mohammad drove us all weekend and did a great job getting us in and out of all the downtown traffic with only one payoff to the police while we were working on our passports. While in Cairo we needed to make a quick pop-in stop to the US Embassy to have pages added to our passport. While the van was waiting in a non-designated area Mohammad received a ticket that we quickly took care of with baksheesh (bribe)with the police officer.

We then, along with our guide Gabble, were dropped off at the famous Egyptian Museum. We got a quick history lesson on the past kings and queens, learned how to read a cartouche, saw several mummy burial sarcophagi (coffins), and the grand-daddy of them all, King Tutankhamen elaborate burial room treasures.

King Tut's tomb was discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 by English archaeologist Howard Carter. With over 1700 items found in the tomb, they gave a great insight into the pharaoh's short life. The big attraction is his death mask, made of solid gold. The mask is an ideal portrait of the pharaoh and an awe inspiring sight.

Next stop... the markets, where we haggled over a few small souvenirs. We checked into our hotel, Hotel Longchamps on Zamalek Island, where we instantly cranked up the air conditioning and hid from the heat for a few hours before exploring the neighborhood.

The next morning was spent at the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the Sphinx. I knew little of the history of the pyramids before going. But now I feel confident I could answer any Trivial Pursuit question thrown my way. It is quite a magical place and there is more being discovered on a daily basis.

That evening we took in the sound and light show at the pyramids. This was my favorite part of the trip. A bit cheesy, but worth it. The Grateful Dead played here many years ago, so we were hoping to hear a Dead tune mixed into the show. But that didn't happen.

Seeing the sliver of the moon hang over these magical wonders and to just sit and take it all in was epic. A trip of a lifetime!

One Love,

No comments: