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Travels with the Prince

The Pyramids by camel and horseback

EGYPT | Saturday, 5 June 2010 | Views [833]

The amazing pyramids by camel

The amazing pyramids by camel

Cairo far exceeded our expectations.

After reading many bad reports on Tripadvisor about taxi rip offs, theft from hotels, being hassled by purveyors of fine goods, I was a bit trepidatious... but we had an amazing experience!

Our hotel room had the most comfortable bed with sleep inducing pillows, the local food was divine, the market place - buzzing with tourists - had even more locals doing their evening shopping and our expedition to the pyramids was incredible. It felt like we were extras in a Lawrence of Arabia re-make, John on horseback, me on a camel that snorted something terrible, led by an Egyptian boy with no English and a far away look in his eyes. We ate delicately spiced lamb and pigeon in a beautiful Arabian restaurant, entranced with the local bejewlled ladies smoking their hookahs

By chance, we hired by an excellent guide, Fathy, who went out of his way to make our day enjoyable and different. Yes, he did take us to a papyrus museum which happened to sell paintings on papyrus, and he did take us to a camel merchant with whom we traded money for a camel and a horse to take us to the pyramids. But he also took us to Anwar Sadat's tomb and memorial, overseen by guards dressed in dazzling outfits. They had to stand in the hot sun for hours on end, and we were the only tourists there to distract them from their duties. Fathy was passionate about Egypt's history which added flavour to his informative history lessons.

We also had some interesting taxi drivers, and scary taxi rides. One in particular seemed to think we were Princess Diana and Dodi look alikes - he was determined to re-enact the tunnel scene accident at about the same time of night as happened in 1998. John asked him politely to slow down, and he reluctantly reduced his speed from 100 to 80 kms per hour which was comforting. The speed limit was 50, but judging by the dented cars, no one takes much notice. It reminded us of another taxi ride, late at night in the streets of Hanoi - but that's a story for another time...

Tags: cairo, egypt, pyramids

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