Egypt, Hurghada, Cairo, Giza


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September 22nd 2009
Published: September 22nd 2009
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Egypt

Hurghada was where we arrived by plane and our hotel was about 40km south. You can see where it lies in relation to Cairo. Giza and the pyramids are just outside of Cairo.

PyramidsPyramidsPyramids

The last wonder of the ancient world.
Since being in Slovakia is such hard work...Sylvia and I decided we needed to get away from it all and take a little vacation. I convinced Sylvia that Egypt would be very interesting, since the pyramids were something I had always wanted to see. We booked a trip to stay at a resort along the Red Sea near Hurghada and flew from Kosice on a chartered flight with nothing but Slovak vacation-goers. We arrived at the airport in Hurghada and then took a bus the 40km to our resort, which was really more like a compound. Since such resorts are basically in the middle of the desert, they must function on an 'all-inclusive' program, since there are no restaurants or civilization to go to for food. I was warned not to drink the water except from specially positioned water jugs. Despite heeding the warning, I was almost immediately sick...either from water or from food poisoning. Later, Sylvia would join me briefly in my misery. Despite this setback, it was nice to sit on the beach and swim each day in the Red Sea. The water was amazingly clear and the temperature was a constant, dry 98 degrees each day.
Although it
Pyramids at GizaPyramids at GizaPyramids at Giza

An overlook of the pyramid complex at Giza.
made things a bit unusual around the resort, I was happy that we had traveled during Ramadan. It was unbelievable to think that all of the Muslim hotel workers and shop owners could stand day after day in the heat with no water or food...although I started to feel like I was observing Ramadan as well, considering the scarcity of good water or appealing food. The hotel had constructed a huge tent next to our restaurant which served food to workers at sundown after the end of fasting for the day.
We booked two trips while in Egypt. The first was to Cairo and Giza. We took a 24-hour bus round trip bus ride across the desert to Giza to see the famous pyramid complex and the sphinx. I had always wondered how large the pyramids actually were, since it is really impossible to tell from pictures. I was amazed at how large they were. What is more amazing is their age (around 5,000 years old) and the ways they are speculated to have been built. Some guess that they may have completely buried each layer of stones to reach successively higher levels until the entire pyramid was both built
The Great PyramidThe Great PyramidThe Great Pyramid

Me on the great pyramid at Giza.
and completely buried and then later uncovered. Of course, no method has been confirmed. Another amazing thing is that the great pyramid is the only remaining wonder of the ancient world. Nearby is the sphinx, which was almost an amazing thing to see. It seemed smaller than I had imagined, but it is really dwarfed by the pyramids in the background, which probably skewed my perception at the time. I was invited by the police to stand on the great pyramid, which is highly forbidden. However, immediately after getting my picture taken there, the police extorted a little money (a euro each for three of them) from Sylvia and I. Luckily, the policeman was a good photographer, so I feel like I got my money's worth. I also get the feeling he has had a lot of practice. After visiting the pyramids, we traveled into Cairo to see the Museum of Antiquities. This is the museum that holds all of the Egyptian artifacts controlled by the government and many are not allowed to travel outside of the country. The most impressive part of the museum is the collection of artifacts discovered by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun. This includes the very
Sylvia and I on the Great PyramidSylvia and I on the Great PyramidSylvia and I on the Great Pyramid

What wonderful camera work by the police.
famous gold mask .
Our second trip was to go snorkeling along some of the coral reefs on the Red Sea. Sylvia was very excited to try snorkeling, although she was surprised when our first stop was in very deep water instead of near a shoreline. It was a fun trip and we saw some amazing reefs and sea life.
After two weeks in Egypt, I was ready to be back in Slovakia, back to Slovak food, and back to our daily activities.



Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


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Inside the PyramidsInside the Pyramids
Inside the Pyramids

Me traveling down inside one of the smaller pyramids. It was 100 outside, and a lot hotter inside.
SphinxSphinx
Sphinx

Me by the sphinx.
CairoCairo
Cairo

A view of downtown Cairo.
Hotel LobbyHotel Lobby
Hotel Lobby

Waiting to go snorkeling in the lobby...which had air conditioning.
Snorkeling Snorkeling
Snorkeling

Me doing my Jacques Cousteau impersonation.
Coral Reef Coral Reef
Coral Reef

One of our snorkeling sites.
BoatBoat
Boat

Relaxing during our boat trip.
Me and the PyramidsMe and the Pyramids
Me and the Pyramids

What an amazing sight.


22nd September 2009

Wow!
Thanks for the Egyptian report. Great pictures. I'm glad the police only wanted a little cash, and not your skin. It's too bad that you two lead such boring lives. . . Blessings to you both today.
23rd September 2009

Hey Brett and Sylvi! Thank you for sharing your blog with everyone so that we can live vicariously through you and your travels. I really enjoy hearing about and seeing your travels! Keep up the good work!

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