Thursday, May 24, 2007

Da' Pyramids

My tour of the Pyramids around Cairo, which included Giza, Saqqara & Memphis began with a 4AM wake up call - Ouch, I thought I was on vacation :) Besides listening to my camel constantly regurgitate his breakfast, the sun rise over Cairo and "The Great" Pyramids of Giza was breathtaking.
We (the guide & I) rode out into the Sahara for 40 min's, positioned ourselves on top of one of the 100 sand dunes, and watched the sun come up. It probably makes for a rather romantic setting if your not sitting there alone with an 18 year old Egyptian kid & a Camel eating his stomach bile :)
After having run the gauntlet of camel & horse hustlers, souvenir hawkers and would be guides we finally arrived at the pyramids. Regardless of the hundreds of tour buses, with loads and loads of camera wielding tourists(myself included) "The Great" Pyramids of Giza certainly weren't a let down. The grandeur of these things, not to mention the intricate level of detail that went into piecing together 2.3 million 2.5 ton blocks far out weights the obnoxious setting that they lie in. What the ancient Egyptians were able to accomplish was quite impressive, everything except the inbreeding and consequently, major deformities (can't win them all I guess)
I fortunately or unfortunately got a bit caught up in the moment and signed myself up for every tour, entrance fee, camel ride possible regardless of price (The Budget Police have already issued a warning to me on my spending habits). My favorite by far was scampering through tunnels inside the pyramid (again a bit pricey, but hell when is the next time I'm gonna be hanging out around Cairo).
After staring up at these massive objects, you start to understand why there are so many theories tying the elaborate construction of the pyramids to Aliens (from outer space you insensative jerks, lets not get into politics here...please, the elections aren't for another 1 1/2 years :)
Seriously, The Khufu Pyramid at Giza screams E.T., hell there a big neon banner hanging on the side with "I miss you Elliot" written on it, not to mention the signs pointing to the top of the pyramid that reads "Going home? This way". Come on, you do the math.

Anyway, it was a long budget imploding day, but "truly" (only my family will understand that one) a once in a life time experience!

A couple brief observations on Egypt:
- An "Omlette" with your free breakfast means 1 hard boiled egg...punks.
- Safetly in Egypt is a non issue (thus far, knock on wood), but pen theft has been out of control!
- I can kind of understand the lack of public interaction between male and females within the Muslim world, but the level of affection between males is down right creepy. Seriously, it's not OK to give your wife a hug in public, but you can rub give your buddy a rub down while walking down street? (not that there is anything wrong with that:) I'm not judging here, just observing.

I'm off on an overnight train to southern Egypt (or what they refer to as Upper Egypt) for a tour of the Valley of the Kings & Queens in Luxor as well as the gigantic statues of Ramses II in Abu Simbel. The weather has only been hovering between 105 and 110...thank goodness for baby powder :)


Blogger PJ said...

What's up Etch?? I'm glad that you have this blog thing going on. Not only do I get to have updates on your trip but I get to learn about blogs (I don't ever seem to be up to date with the latest internet trends). The whole myspace thing just pased me right on by. Anyway, sounds like you have your trip off to a good start. Keep the updates comming.

May 27, 2007 at 5:26 AM  

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