Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Egypt Part 1

So I'm here in Egypt, It's so surreal!!!

I would love to post some pictures up here - but I had the grand idea NOT to bring my USB cable for my camera - so unless I find one out here (not likely) I'll post pictures when I get back.

This is an amazing place - contray to what I thought when I left - it is much safer than any other place I've visited in the past - it should be with all the police around carrying semi-automatic wepons.

It really is a different world than the states in so many ways - but yet they do have McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

When we first landed, after bargining for a taxi, we drove into Cairo - the sun was setting over the city - it was a color I've never seen before in the sun - like a burnt reddish orange - the sun was also bigger than I've ever seen it - well we think it was the sun - we also thought it might be the moon.

The city was seeped in sepia colors while people rushed by in birkas and head coverings - and men wore long dresses (I don't think they call them dresses though). It was crazy rush hour traffic - with 4 cars across 2 lanes. It was a circus.

We crossed the Nile and came to our hotel - very nice - and met our tour group. It's a great group of Aussie's, English, South Africans and we're the only americans - it's a accent wonder land. I love hearing them all speak. Everyone is in their late 20's, except one young one. And I'm the oldest at thirty, which is grand. I love being the oldest. We all had dinner and got to know each other. We also got to know the cats - there are cat's everywhere, kittens too. The walk between your legs at the table and it is a bit disconcerning when they start fighting next to you, it does keep the mice and rats down.

The first full day we rode camels to the see the pyramids and the sphinx. Camels are very high, and pretty daunting - but it was amazing. It was all so amazing. To walk in the small passage way's in the pyramid while the guide points out where booby traps are is like being in a movie. Indiana Jones to be exact.

After touring that area, we parked our camels and went to the Egyptian Musem - it was educational - I learned that pretty much all they really great stuff - except for King Tut's treasure - is in England, Germany and the Vatican. But they still have the largest collection. The mummies were creepy and I didn't like looking at them. Like little monsters.

We took the night train down south to Aswan that night (a town on the nile north of Sudan) This was the worst night train I've ever been on. First of all the train went slower than the horses that passed us, secoundly the bathroom was HORRID, a nightmare, thirdly - none of us could sleep a wink. We just groaned as we waited for the night to end. forthly,the train would just randomly stop. My cabin was the americans and the English in my cabin - we ended up playing cards until we got to our destination - but before everyone else got up, I walked to one of the big windows and watched the egyptian world go by, it's like living in bible times agian. With women carrying baskets on their heads, men riding by on Donkey's, stone houses with grass roofs, it was like a bygone era. The only sign that it was today, was the random truck and the satalite dishes at every home.

When we arrived at our hotel - we all went straight to the pool - as the call to prayer sounded through the city. I leaned over the 5th floor railing of the hotel, where the pool was and watched the people walk to the local Mosque. Then I realized that I was wearing a bikini - and that might not be the best thing...So back in the pool I went. As the call to prayer echoed in the backround, I floated in the pool staring at the sky.

Later we took a boat to see the Temple of Isis in a light show. It was boring, but beautiful.

Today, we woke up at the crack of dawn, 3am, to take the military convoy to the dessert to see the temple Abu Simbel - it is formidable.

We're just relaxing now, preparing to go to the Nubian village, to see the school, and meet the locals. Then we're going to eat dinner, dance and party with the Nubians and they will give us henna tattoo's.

Coming up in the next few days we are going to go on a sailboat down the nile for a few days, then I hope to take a hot air ballon over the Valley of the Kings. After that - we have no idea.


Dianna said...

Good lord, that all sounds too amazing.

AmandaLee said...

Sounds like you are having a blast. I have always wanted to go to Egypt. I hope you have an adventureous SAFE time. Enjoy the local culture and I can't wait to read an new blog to hear more about your vacation.

MJAPA said...

This all sounds so cool. I love the fact that you are riding Camels! You are my new hero!

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Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff...I laughed when you mentioned the overnight train, I've never been able to sleep on an overnight train anywhere I've ever been. Brought back fond memories of long, surreal traveling nights of insomnia.

Along with the incredible history and the sites, you're enjoying some sun and warmth, too...not a whole lot of that in Portland right now!

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