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Published: January 7th 2011
Saturday 1st January - Day 92 – Cairo
So, after 4 hours of flying, we finally arrived in Cairo at 4pm local time. We had booked a transfer to our hotel, so were always looking for our names on boards as we walked through the airport. The instructions said that they would meet before we got our visas, but not to be, so we bought our entry visas and changed some money, went through passport control and at the bottom of the stairs, there he was. After we found our bags (YAY, they made it!!), he got us outside and introduced us to our driver and another gentlemen. We hopped in, and drove around in a big circle, must’ve arrived at another terminal and our guy jumped out. Off we raced (literally..) into the city, never actually telling anyone where we were going. After a while, we stopped again and there was an exchange of keys and paperwork, and off we went. Getting a little worried, we did eventually arrive at our hotel at about 5pm. We checked ourselves in, and went up to get freshened up as we had our tour pre-departure meeting at 6pm in the lobby. Safe and
6pm came by pretty quickly, so we went on down, to discover a few people waiting, but no tour leader. We waited patiently and loe-and-behold, at 6:30pm a big Kumuka truck turned up outside and in came Nick, our tour leader for the next 2 weeks. He had to check everyone in first that had been on tour already, before he came down and we had a nice chat for the next hour with the fellow tour passengers (Juliene, Herman, Greg, Michael). Another two were arriving later, Daniel and Anna. After that, we were all feeling a bit hungry, but split up and went upstairs for some dinner at the hotel restaurant. Mischa had the buffet option and Jess settled for Beef Goulash (a bit like meat pie). Full, and tired, it was off to sleep, as our ‘Oases and Pharoahs’ tour left at 7:30am, off to the Pyramids.
Sunday 2nd January - Day 93 – The Pyramids
Monday 2nd Jan, 2011, the day our tour officially started. Early start, we were fed, packed, downstairs and on the bus by 7:30am. Our truck, “007”, Stuart (driver) and Nick would catch up with us after the Pyramids at
lunchtime. This morning we had a local guide, Isam Ammin, to take us around the Giza Pyramids and show us the Sphinx and temples. He was an Egyptologist so had heaps of information about the history of the area and the finds they have had. First stop was the Pyramids, the Great Pyramid actually. As it was VERY hazy, we couldn’t see much, but even from about 1km away you could see it. It was very big, and just got bigger. When we finally got through security and the gates, we all got out and walked to the bottom of it to get all the facts and figures. Our guide was great, and so after he was finished, we had about 15mins to go around and explore, get some photos and nearly the whole time we got harassed for souvenirs and things. It was quite annoying, but South America prepared us for it. After our quick look around, we jumped back into the bus to head towards the other two pyramids which are much smaller (but still quite big…). Most of the group had bought tickets to have a peek inside, so while they did that, we got some more
photos, and a bit more harassing. Inside is empty as all the artefacts are in the Cairo museum which we see on the final day of the tour. When finished, it was off again to a ‘panaromic’ photo opportunity of the three pyramids in one, unfortunately the smog was too thick to see more than 2, and even that was a stretch, but we got some good photos anyways.
After this, we had a quick bus ride around to see the Sphinx. Looking a bit tired these days, but still impressive. There is actually a temple which is part of the Sphinx so we headed inside to get some more history and information. It is very much a tourist hub, so it was very packed, so we didn’t spend too much time in there, before it was off again, this time to The Egyptian Perfume house. Here we got information about all the different perfumes, essences and aromatherapies and their uses, but in the end it was just a selling opportunity. They had over 60 different essences, some of which are used in France to create well-known perfumes such as Chanel No.5, Hugo Boss, Georgio Armani etc. In the end
we bought some small sample bottles with 4 different scents.
All perfumed up, we headed down and around the corner for a beautiful buffet lunch in a local restaurant (very popular). We all ate here as it was included, and so after lunch we were heading out into the desert for 3 nights camping…
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