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Third Age Adventures

Walking Like an Egyptian

EGYPT | Wednesday, 14 April 2010 | Views [552] | Comments [3]

And so on to the Pyramids.

We docked at Port Said and then had a 3 hour journey into Cairo - most of which we slept because we'd been up so early. While we were in Cairo the ship moved on to Alexandria, where we joined it late at night.

The Pyramids and Sphinx were awesome. The fact that they were built so long ago without modern technology is amazing. The fact that they are not out in the desert now is also amazing! Right opposite is a Pizza Hut! The Pharaohs must be turning in their graves! Or in their Pyramids!

What you don't realize about the Pyramids is that, while you may want to stand and gaze in wonder, hundreds of merchants will assume you are there to buy their wares. One had T Shirts his mother made the night before! And she had sewed some nice little labels in them! And made so many identical ones. One wanted to sell me a scarf which I didn't want. So he assumed that if I didn't want one, I must want three. Then he "gave" them to me because I was very welcome in his country - where was I from? Eventually when I "gave" them back he walked off and said "Go to Hell". By this stage the feeling was mutual. One woman had her camera taken from her and she had to pay one euro to get it back. Another paid 10 euros to get on a camel and then the camel owner wouldn't let her get off until she paid another 20 euros. I discovered that the trick was to put my bag back on the bus and just get off with my camera. "No money" worked a treat and then no-one bothered me.

After the Pyramids and the Sphinx we went to see how papyrus is made - this lasted for about 5 minutes and then we were free to buy. Then lunch on a short cruise on the Nile, with entertainment by a Belly Dancer and a Whirling Dervish. All of which was magic. Finally some time in the Egyptian Museum - the Gold of Tutankhamen and the long trip to Alexandria to pick up the boat. A long but very worthwhile day.

The Pyramids aren't the only Wonder of the World in Cairo - the other is the traffic. Nothing that couldn't be fixed by some defined traffic lanes and some road rules. Till then Loudest Horn Wins! People walk up the middle of all this chaos, including a man dragging a large but quickly melting block of ice! And we followed a Utility piled with something unidentifiable and on this material a man blissfully sleeping. The highway to Alexandria had speed humps every few kilometres, where all the traffic slowed down. (Imagine this on the M5!) At each speed hump people would congregate to sell things. In the middle of the desert, we though the man selling umbrellas was being a bit hopeful.

Crete this afternoon but we are running late and won't have time to slay the minotaur in the Palace of Knossus.

I'm typing this in the ship's Internet cafe. As I typed we hit a couple of large waves and did a bit of rolling. The gift shop is opposite and there was much crashing as things slid off the shelves. I fear that the duty free perfume supply is much diminished!


Later: there were many theories on what caused this - from an undergound earthquake to the captain falling asleep. The people in the dining room said all the glasses crashed to the floor and in the kitchen the night's dinner - gravy and all fell to the floor. Lisa, our gorgeous tour guide, was up on deck at the time. There are 450 Koreans on board and she said most of them ran around the deck screaming. But no official announcement was made about what happened.

Comments

1

A whirling dervish , hey.... put me down for one of those.....

  magpie Apr 17, 2010 9:48 PM

2

It seems almost impossible to see so much in a few days, and with still more to go. Can't wait to hear the fuller version when you get back. Enjoy the next week - Pompeii in the ashes of an Icelandic volcano.

  The Snow Goose Apr 18, 2010 4:03 PM

3

sounds excellent so far, good luck with the panick and kaos of an ashy europe!

  suzanne Apr 19, 2010 8:51 PM

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