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Day Eight: Giza, Egypt

Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Dave!I miss my armed military police escort.

Egypt is so reliant on tourism dollars, that they are quite paranoid about visitor safety. Just one bomb exploding at a popular tourist destination, or even a minor attack on a tour bus, would be enough to destroy tourism to the country for at least a year... probably longer. So that's why our tour bus convoy was escorted by military police, the bus itself had an armed guard onboard with a machine gun, and my quick run to the Hard Rock Cafe in a taxi caused us to be stopped twice so that the car could be inspected for bombs. The government is doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their tourists and, while a little alarming at first, you soon grow accustomed to their presence and miss them when they're gone.

Anyway, the sun god Ra saw fit to bless my tour group with a sunny day for the quick trip out of Cairo to the Giza Plateau.

I guess the two dumbass tourists I sacrificed to him this morning must have done the trick.

And yeah, the pyramids are as amazing as I thought they would be...

Pyramid

Pyramid

Until you look back towards smoggy Cairo, that is. It's kind of sad how close the city has encroached on the pyramids, which spoils their massive stature just a bit...

Smoggy Pyramids

You can actually buy a ticket to climb through the center pyramid all the way to the burial chamber in the middle. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, because the passage is very small and claustrophobic. Even worse, it's really hot and stuffy, making it difficult to breathe. When you get to the chamber, there's a guide waiting inside to explain everything to you... I cannot imagine how he manages to stay inside there all day without going insane. If that were my job, I'd probably start killing people. I couldn't last longer than two minutes, and was rushing as fast as I could to climb back outside.

My favorite part of the day was getting to visit The Sphinx! He's way cool...

Egypt Sphinx and Pyramid

Egypt Sphinx

And now that I'm safely back on the ship, it's time for an early bedtime. The past two days have been so exhausting that I am actually looking forward to a day at sea tomorrow. The tour went to a cheesy light show at the pyramids last night, followed by a dinner cruise on The Nile that lasted until past midnight. This wouldn't have been too bad except I had to get up at 6:00am in order to meet the bus to the Giza Plateau.

Hmmm... I think I need one more ice cream before turning in. I suffered withdrawals while I was in Cairo for two days, and need to make up for lost frozen dairy desserts...


Categories: Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. RW says:

    Oh my God! The ear, Dave! The ear! A secret entry!! Dave go back! GO BACK I tell you!!!

  2. Those are some AWESOME photographs, Dave!

    Enjoy your ice cream.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Wow, wow, wow!!!

    Thank you so much for taking us all along on your trip with you. The photos are amazing and it almost feels like being there, without all the pesky heat or expense.

    I hope someday I am able to make it there in person, myself. Until then, this is the next best thing.

    THANKS!

  4. Avitable says:

    The only part of your trip that sounds fun to me is the ice cream.

  5. Karl says:

    Very cool. There’s somewhere I definitely want to visit. Don’t know if I could handle the burial chamber, though.

  6. Andre says:

    …for me the most amazing part of the sphinx/pyramids is not that the city has approached so much, but that you actually have a Hard Rock Cafe Souvenir Shop and a Pizza Hut next to it, somehow Culture is invaded by everything ;-)

  7. diane says:

    I have a picture of my best friend standing in front of the Sphinx from when she was teaching in Cairo. This leg of the trip…I am jealous…!

  8. Hilly says:

    I have total respect for you staying down there that long! Hell, I would have had a claustrophobic fit and ran back up before two minutes ;).

    At least you are back safe with your beloved ice creammmmmmmmm!!!!

    (amazing pics, btw)

  9. Michelle says:

    That’s awesome. It is so great that you get to do things like that.

  10. Robin says:

    The Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and ice cream? Sounds like a superb vacation! I am sooooo jealous. Thanks for sharing the photos, but since you can’t share the ice cream–have one for me–I insist! ;)

  11. adena says:

    My life is so dull….

  12. delmer says:

    Maybe the guy in the burial chamber is a Jaffa. They seem like a pretty tough race of beings.

    In between tours he probably helps Goa’uld motherships land. Did you happen to notice if he had a pair of signaling flashlights with him?

  13. Michael says:

    Damn, guess I’m not going to the burial chamber if I ever find my way to Egypt. I’m a bit claustrophobic, but not too bad. It’s the hard to breathe thing that makes me a little scared, lol. As if I need someone else making it hard to breathe for me, when I already have asthma.

  14. Lisa says:

    Awesome! That really is sad how close the city’s gotten. And what’s up with the Sphinx? It really looks like it’s eroding away. Bummer!

  15. Dave2 says:

    RW… There was nothing in there but a map to some place called “Atlantis” kind of boring, really.

    Kentucky Girl… It’s kind of hard not to enjoy ice cream! Ice cream RULES!

    Suzanne… It’s well worth the trip to see such wonders! :-)

    Avitable… Yeah, compared to ice cream, the pyramids kind of suck.

    Karl… It’s pretty freaky knowing that tons upon tons of stone is stacked above you, and all it would take is an earthquake to trap you inside for eternity!

    Andre… The Hard Rock Merch Shop at the pyramids was quite nice because they had a couple pins there that weren’t at the actual cafe.

    Diane… The Sphinx is pretty amazing… even in its damaged state. Must have really been something when it was freshly-made!

    Hilly… I’m not really claustrophobic, but the burial chamber experience was enough to make me WANT to be claustrophobic… that way, I wouldn’t do such crazy stuff!

    Michelle… Two years of saving my money is what lets me get to do stuff like that. :-)

    Robin… No problem there. My second-dinner ice cream will be eaten just for you. :-D

    Adena… There’s always next year’s TequilaCon!

    Delmer… Times like this make me wish I watched Stargate!

    Michael… I think most of what makes it scary is in the mind. :-)

    Lisa… There were some soldiers who used the Sphinx for target practice at one time, so he’s actually quite a survivor! :-)

  16. Laurence says:

    Ask some question to Sphinx ! :-D

  17. tori says:

    My three year old son is obsessed with “ancient egypt” and pyramids. He LOVES your pictures and is extremely jealous that you got to see them in person. We took him to the museum to see their exhibit on Egypt, but he would really like to go to “real Egypt”.

  18. Great photos (the stupid scaffolding was up around the Sphinx last spring when I was there)!!!

    I kinda wish I had gone inside, but it was pretty much described as the way you described it so I passed. But I still regret not going….

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