Monday, January 25, 2010

The Pyramids! Cairo, Egypt

By Claire
We made it through passport control! In fact, everything went smoothly even if it did take the entire day to get to our hotel, the flight being only 2 hours of it all. We are staying at the Mayfair Hotel, LE 220 (Egyptian Pounds) or €28 including breakfast and free WiFi. It's basic but clean and in a great location on the island of Zamalek on the Nile just across from Cairo. We are avoiding the chaos and noise of the downtown city and enjoying Embassy Row in this quieter area. We walked around last night and spotted some places to eat for the week to come.

Breakfast on the terrace.

We were picked up by our driver, Asim, and Egyptologist, Samir, at 8 am in the lobby of our hotel. We spent the next 9 hours visiting all the pyramids.

Step Pyramid--World's earliest stone monument, 2650 B.C.

Bent Pyramid, my favorite--it's cute and it isn't perfect (they were practicing).

We were almost the only people there and Samir naturally knew the police who offered to let me ride one of their police camels. I jumped at the chance and I loved it. We tipped the guy LE 50 (€6).

Coming in for a landing--I was told to lean way back.

Next we saw the Red Pyramid and Samir suggested that this was the pyramid to go inside because there are far fewer tourists here than at the Great Pyramid, the other one that allows you to go inside.

Long, long steps leading down, down, down going backwards. This is a shot coming back.

The guy who told us how to go down the inside of the pyramid.

Next stop: The Great Pyramid

Solar boat--ancient cedar wood vessle, dating back to 2570 B.C. built to accompany Pharaoh Cheops to the afterlife. It was discovered by accident in 1954.

Guess who?

I always wanted to know what it cost people who visited Egypt so I'm including this information. We have a private guide and driver for this week.

Expenses for today's tour:
Egyptologist, €150
Driver-tip, €5
Lunch, €16 (included Asim and Samir)
Entry fees: €49
Camel: €6

If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren't well enough to travel. ~ Sir Vivian Fuchs


Paul King said...

Man, that ain't Davis!

I'm behind on my blog reading. But I noted the wonderful time in Turkey.
All very cool.

Do you follow any news from the US?
Politics are interesting over the past week.

Be well, it all looks so fascinating.

Diane said...

I absolutely loved the photos of Claire on the camel! You have packed so much into 4 short months--it is all so "amazing!"