Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First days.....

WARNING!! THIS IS AN IMAGE HEAVY POST...... You've been warned.... ;)

Well, we've been in Cairo for a grand total of four days. It's been quite the experience (in a good way). Some experiences I was expecting (the traffic, the garbage in the streets, the stray cats and dogs, the crumbling facades of many of the buildings), others were a pleasant surprise. I found the traffic to be quite fun to watch, for example. It was like a dance of cars, pedestrians, donkeys, horses and various other occasional surprises, pirouetting, weaving and sashaying around, across and through the confusing mire of streets, seemingly oblivious to road lines, signs or traffic speeds (I have seen up to five cars across in a three lane road). I did cringe several times, certain that the car inches from my door was going to give us a "Cairo kiss," but it all seems to work, mostly.....

One thing I did not find surprising was the utter majesty of the pyramids. Actually seeing them in person, however, is indescribable. We caught our first glimpse the second day we were here, on our way to our first horseback ride in the desert.

One of the best parts of our visit to Egypt is the fact that, unlike most tourists, we get to SEE Egypt. We rode through a little village (complete with garbage dump and cemetery) on our way to the desert to ride.

Our second glimpse of the pyramids were ON our ride in the dessert..... How amazing is that?

I got to make a new friend

Mohammed (he is a driver for David's company) has been a fabulous tour guide. We've seen some amazing ancient Churches and Synagogue. 

A Roman Tower 

The First Mosque

And then we hit the Pyramids.... big time... Giza and Saqqara including the obligatory "riding of the camels.

Here are our drivers, guides and protectors for the day.... Mohammed and Hamdi

 We went into some of the smaller pyramids..... I nearly didn't make it (I have a fear of tons of rocks above my head deciding that five thousand years of standing is enough and now it's time to fall.......)

There are guards everywhere in Egypt. Security is tight... most of the time......


You can do almost anything if you have the right guide who knows the right people and you have enough Egyptian pounds in your pockets, including being able take photos where it is forbidden..... All of our tomb pictures were, strictly speaking, not allowed........ especially the ones in Saqqara (it's coming.... there are a LOT of pictures, we took over 1,000 in this ONE day)

I love being able to share my best friend's experiences......... She is an amazing host (she's not quite sick of us yet, even though she's pretty sure we're going to kill her... We're the energerizer bunny.... times four)....

We even became tourist attractions ourselves a few times......

By the time we got to the Sphinx it was super hot (for us... Egyptians thought it was nice and cool, I'm sure) and VERY busy....... So we didn't go inside, but I'm told the best pictures are from our vantage point anyway......

We finally made it to Saqqara (after a wonderful Egyptian meal and a visit to a papyrus museum).... unfortunately the Step Pyramid was closing as we arrived, but with some polite begging and a bribe, they let us do the speed dating version of the temple and pyramid...... but first a few of the paintings in the Mastabas (pre-pyramid burial chambers)..... the ones we weren't allowed to take.....

I loved this one... the detail was amazing... see the little dragonfly and grasshopper???

Here is the speed dating portion of our tour.........

I know there are a lot of pictures, but over the four days we have taken close to 2000 pictures.... choosing a few for this blog was uber difficult....... and it took over 3 hours to finish (a downside of Egypt seems to be slow internet in the evening.... I guess a city of over 20 million might cause that, eh??)

And there are still 8 days left........ stay tuned.......


  1. Oh Myrna!!!! I am so very envious for all of you! What a wonderful experience! It's always lovely when you know someone living in an exotic place!! I love that you are able to see the less touristy stuff and that you are appreciating each thing you lay your eye on!!! SO awesome!!! Can't wait for future posts!!!!

  2. Amazing pictures! Glad to hear you are having a great time. I bet Eli is LOVING it!

  3. Amazing pictures! I can understand why you did take so many of them. Say hello to C.!


  4. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back. Stay safe!

  5. Alan and I are looking forward to each installment of your adventures in Egypt. We love living vicariously through you and your stories.Keep these posts coming.