Cairo/Giza Egypt…The Pyramids!

I arrive in Cairo at the awful hour of 3:00 AM. I make it unscathed through customs and am greeted with…”I’ve been waiting for you for four years.” His name was Ahmed and I don’t think he was too happy with me. Of course they had my flight information, it was just not given to him:( Anyway he got over it and ended up being my guide through much of Cairo. I get to the hotel, they are all very nice for such an ungodly hour. They ask me when I want breakfast and tell me it is served until 11:00. I tell them then 11:00 it is! My head finally hits the pillow and I’m out.

The next morning I head to the rooftop for breakfast. I can’t believe what I’m seeing before me. The view leaves me breathless. I’m staring at the 3 Pyramids in Giza and the Sphinx. Its as if my eyes are playing tricks, it all seems so surreal. I can’t wait to get down there and walk around…but first things first.

The hotel staff takes great care of me and seems to watch over me all the time. If I exit the hotel doors one of them is there, asking where I’m going or if I need help. I tell them that I desperately need to get my hair done. I’m a couple of weeks over due and I look horrendous:) The manager of the hotel and Kamel the tour director put me in their car and take me to a friend of theirs sister’s salon. No one that works there speaks english but there is an older woman getting her hair done that speaks a little and tries to help out. I do get my hair dyed and some extras that I didn’t ask for:). They dye and thread my eyebrows…they are so dark I have kind of a Groucho Marx look…what can I say…it works:) They also rub a stick of stuff all over my face and then with sticky paper begin to pull half my face off. They also do threading on my whole face. All of this including the dye is pretty darn painful…but I must admit afterwards I look better…of course anything would have been an improvement. Torture over, the gentlemen come back to retrieve me and I return to the hotel. I decide to book several tours through them because it’s just easier, I’m lazy and I’m only in Egypt this once…maybe:)

The first evening I booked a Nile dinner cruise. There were two guys from New Jersey staying at the same hotel so they put us all together in a taxi. We became fast companions for the evening. Turns out they have both been living in New Jersey for over a decade but one was from Argentina and the other Brazil. They had thick accents to go with this bit of information. They were only there for a total of 4 days and would leave the next day. The food was fair but the entertainment was amazing. First up the Belly Dancer. My dinner partners loved her and I must admit she was probably the best belly dancer I have ever seen. They end up buying their photos with her and couldn’t believe I didn’t want to buy mine:) Next up was, well, I’m not sure. A guy with a dress that he twirls in whirling durbish style and it lights up and sometimes he does things that seem to defy gravity, Yes, hard to describe but he was incredible! We shared a bottle of wine and had a great time.

The next day I am up early and the same man that picked me up from the airport, Ahmed, turns out to be my guide for the next two days. Day 1, The Pyramids! But the guide saves these for last. First we head to Saqqara where the first pyramid was built. It is not in great shape though and Ahmed explains to me that they didn’t know what they were doing then:) We also visit a tomb and a museum there. Next is Memphis, with its museum and statues placed around the grounds. Finally we get to the pyramids. The sight is stunning and there are people, camels and horses everywhere. I am loving Egypt! Next is the camel ride. My guide rides with me and we go around the pyramids and then he takes me out into the Desert. I’m not sure this is standard fare but it was a hoot:). In the desert there are several other camel riders like me and also people on horses racing around. It looks like fun:) Later we get to the other side where the sphinx is waiting. It’s all incredible and I can’t believe I’m really here.

Day 2 Museum tour and Tutankhamen…I remember several years ago seeing the King Tut exhibit that was traveling through the U.S. from Cairo…now I was seeing the whole exhibit…pretty wild. The funniest thing was that when we got back to the car at the parking lot there were two rows of cars parked vertically behind us…no way to get out I thought…but sure enough, where there is a will there is a way. My guide is throwing a fit yelling at the attendants….I think. Everything spoken in Arabic sounds like arguing to me:). The next thing I know they are physically pushing these cars out of the way on both rows and actually bumping them into each other so that it leaves us just enough space to back out. As we pull out there is someone else waiting that pull in. The whole time Ahmed is shaking his head and I am laughing hysterically and have to get out of the car to take pictures of this craziness.

In the morning I will fly to Luxor to see more antiquities. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Cairo and Giza area and am glad I decided to come. I know many wonderful friends were worried about me going to Egypt but I saw on facebook that Warren had just been there so I checked in with him, He’s the speed traveler I had met in Fiji and he had been there just 3 weeks earlier and he assured me it was safe. Of course I must admit that the people at the hotel watched me like a hawk which could have had something to do with how safe I felt.  I would definitely return though:)

From Cairo Egypt…Pyramids, Sphinx and Camel rides, oh my!

5 thoughts on “Cairo/Giza Egypt…The Pyramids!

  1. Megan

    Hey there Sista!
    I’m baaack! And, I can SEE! At least better than a week ago. I had lasik enhancement and I didn’t realize it was going to take as long as it has been to be able to function, but everyday it gets better. I’ve had to go back a ways on your adventures to get caught up. How wonderful you are doing! Great writing and pictures! And I’m glad Egypt was safe and you had a great time, but I’m also glad you are out of there, I was one of those that was worried for you.

    News from here: got myself a laptop! I know, welcome to this century. I will be officiating Leslie and Jack’s wedding next weekend up in Estes. Just family and me then lunch at the Stanley. We just hope the weather holds up b/c they found a spot outside the hotel where they want to do this. I had supper with Rob and Gar last Sunday, brought them some KFC and we got caught up. Robert showed me the Africa pictures – WOW is all I have to say…and gave me my Big 5 carving! OMG! Thank you! It’s beautiful and I have it displayed in the house and tell the story behind it. The $20 is in my wallet you scamp. Leo looks great.. whatever Robert is doing, it’s working, he’s looking more fit that’s for sure. He and Dixie played a bit and (I think) were glad to see each other. I’m going to see Karen and her new house this afternoon so I’ll say “hey” for you. Other than that, all is well here; you ain’t missin’ much. I left you a quick “hi” on your cell, was just hoping to hear your voice and your recording was enough! Miss you and am SO happy for you! Once you firm up plans around Europe maybe I can meet up with you somewhere. I can’t go anywhere until after mid-July (work) but we’ll see.

    Love Ya!
    Megan

  2. Warren

    Hi Leigh Ann, I am so glad you enjoyed Egypt! I know it can be difficult, especially as a solo female traveler. After India and Egypt, two of the biggest culture shock countries, and approaching six months on the road, you’re a total pro now! I hope you are able to make it to Morroco and down to Marrakech, one of my favorite places. For Spain, the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, north of Barcelona on the way to France, is amazing. And perfect timing to hit Europe now. The strong dollar makes everything 20% cheaper than last summer. Happy travels!

  3. Stephanie

    Sounds like you are having a great time. I think you could do a whole book just on getting your hair colored in different countries. So funny! Love you.

    Stephanie

    1. selina

      haha woow you did it! i remember the busride you told me that the first thing you want to do is let your hair get done…i just thought, well, please don’t look at mine, i am here since 3 months, my last day i groomed my hair has been a long time ago 😀
      n please, next time you visit kenya, you definitely need to get the dark braided hair too! and for doing that you just need to go to the supermarket and buy some artificial hair. as if it would be the most normal thing to do in this world…i love kenya! 😀
      well, enjoy your trip! Stay curious
      nakupenda

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