Day one in Egypt! I love it!
First off, Caoimhe and I went to Giza to see the pyramids. We caught a cab out to Giza, the driver pointing out all sorts of interesting buildings and landmarks on the way; govt buildings, colonial looking buildings, banks etc and then he pointed out this big river – it was the nile. The nile!! No babies in baskets or little girls hiding behind reeds, though I didn’t check too thoroughly.
Once we got to Giza, we found a guide and camels who took us from there to the Pyramids. I would say that they saw us coming. The pyramids were great – it’s kind of amazing to see things you’ve heard soooooooooooo much about and read sooooooooo much about in the real.
As we were leaving the pyramids, the guards started yelling at our guide and so we virtually had to make the 10 minute camel trip back without him. So here we were on not unbusy roads, definitely what you’d call novice camel drivers; actually novice anything drivers in Cairo – let’s just say they are fluid with the rules. But we made it, surely good luck rather than anything else.
Back in the cab, our driver kindly took us to an Egyptian perfume shop on the way back – so kind. We were thrust some cold hibiscus tea (real good!) and after several prostests we finally made it clear that we weren’t interested and he took us to the Egyptian museum!!
Oh how I love museums, and obviously this was going to be a good one. I certainly wasn’t dissappointed. As I was walking round, I was thinking, this is what museums should be. Fancy expensive interactive exhibits utilising the latest technology definitely have their place, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something special about seeing displays that possibly haven’t been altered since they were installed in old Victorian looking wooden cabinets one hundred odd years ago; their typewritted labels yellowed and curling.
Highlights for me would naturally be the jewellery – I always love looking at old jewellery and it’s kind of a testament to an unchanging human nature – we love to adorn ourselves, and really in many ways style hasn’t changed so dramatically in thousands of years – even if I compare it to other ancient jewellery I have seen in other parts of the world, really, not a huge difference. There were mummies too, including a baby one, 😦 and King Tut’s thing, that’s always gonna impress.
We’re staying in this hostel in this building called the Yacoubian building, it’s meant to be renouned, but in truth it kind of feels dodgy. Caoimhe swears that these brownish smeared handprints on the wall are of blood. Eek. But the people are totally lovely and so helpful. I love the hospitality that is shown in Arabic countries – we were going to go out for lunch but the staff were ordering in, so they shouted us lunch – it was a traditional thing – rice and pasta and stuff. Not bad but probably more carbs than I need for a whole month! 🙂
Tonight, we’re off to Luxor on an overnight train. Yay!