In front of the Egyptian Museum
Egypt - June 18, 25 2009
I arrived on Egypt Air on June 17th and I will not go into details of how bad the flight was. All I got to say is DO NOT fly Egypt Air. The flight was already bad, and things got worst when my luggage did not show up. After filling a report with the help of the Contiki transfer rep, we headed to the hotel. The drive to the Oasis Hotel was at least 1hour long. I gotta say this but, MAN! Egyptians drive like psychos!
The hotel is very nice from the outside. Its like a garden palace with tables and chairs everywhere, palm trees and a tennis court out back. The place is huge, it has a pool out front with a nice fountain. The rooms are standard.
I spent the morning calling my insurance to see what they can do about my delayed luggage, and was told I get $750 to spent on clothes and toiletries, what a relief! So I was stuck wearing the same clothes for a whole day. I went downtown via the free shuttle the hotel provided hoping to buy some clothes and necessities,
Yup..it's THAT huge!
but instead I bought gifts for friends and family.
Finally after harassing the airline the whole day, they found and brought my luggage to my hotel. That took a whole load of stress off my shoulders and now I could finally go on this tour.
The tour starts today. After breakfast we headed to the Egyptian Museum. All the artifacts displayed at the museum are incredible. I never thougth I would see King Tut’s golden coffin in real life. I gotta say, after seeing, is believing. We spent about 1h30 mins in the museum, and I have to say the best part is, seeing the mummies. It is so well preserved that I actually waited for one of them to open its eyes! haha
After the museum, we headed to the pyramids, did the camel ride and saw the sphinx. When I saw the pyramids, it was surreal. I mean you see this stuff on TV, books and magazine; but seeing it sitting in front of you is surreal! It is beautiful, way better then the books I tell you. I even went inside the pyramids, but I warn you now that it
is not for everybody. It is dark, small, steep climb and very narrow. Was it worth it....??? ummm....for the one time experience yes, I mean after all, Iam in Egypt and as long as I am here, I’m taking advantage of every excursions as I can.
After the sightseeing, we went for a traditional Egyptian lunch which was ok. After lunch, we boarded the train to ashwan. The sleeper car compartment is like 2x2. Not at all what I expected, but at least its only overnight and then we’ll be in a better place the next morning.
The hell train is finally over as we arrive in Aswan. The city is very hot and less busy than Cairo.
We had a mini tour of the Dam and the unfinished Obelisk.
At noon we arrived on the cruise, checked in and I finally had that shower after over 12hrs. We had over 3hrs of free time to ourselves before meeting for an afternoon excursion. We sailed on the felucca, which is Egypt traditional sail boat, stopped at the botanical garden and finished off by climbing the sahara desert. The view from the top
is just beautiful. There was miles and miles of fine sand ahead and it was just so peaceful. Some people rolled down from the top, but I chickened out.
We had dinner and then saw the spinning guy and a belly dance show. Was not the best show in the world, but entertaining to watch. After the show, we finished off by going to the market to experience the local culture of Aswan.
This morning we flew EgyptAir to see Abu Simbel.
Abu Simbel? WOW! WHAT A SIGHT!!! It’s amazing seeing it in books and posters, but nothing compares to being in front of it and seeing it with my own eyes. The statue is huge, and the details on it is just incredible. Even though we are not allowed to take pictures inside the temple, I took a few sneaky ones, because I didn’t come all the way to Egypt to not take pictures inside the temples.
After Abu Simbel, we went back to the cruise ship and rested.
We then prepared for the party, which of course I was late for. I got sick after Abu Simbel and it was probably the
ahhhh...the things we do to the sphinx!
food I ate on the boat. So people...bring immodium with you!
Saw temple, rested for most of the day, and saw another temple in Luxor. Sunset over valley of the king, and went shopping for papyrus paintings. I bought a beautiful painting of Cleopatra and Nefertiti.
Valley of the Kings, Saw king tut’s tomb.
Went to see Karnak Temple, in the afternoon had the option of riding a donkey to a local Egyptian village. Had McDonald for dinner. Was very greasy. Don’t feel too well, but anything is better than the food on the train. Took the train back to Cairo after dinner.
After we got off the overnight train, we went to visit 2 mosques, the Cairo Bazzar and the oldest Pyramid in history. We ended our tour with a farewell dinner where Sheriff gave us a parting gift, an Egyptian shot glass! We said goodbye to Sheriff, and off we went to see the pyramids sound and light show for one last look at the history in front of us.
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