I loved Egypt! It has to be my favourite country, and we had an awesome tour through here. Our guide was fantastic - he knew so much and delivered the information in interesting and creative ways... you'll see the photos of this later. It was great to catch up with all my NZ friends and meet new ones along the way too.
I got to Cairo a couple of days before the tour started. On the first day there we decided to create our own walking city tour. Our first stop however was the office of student ID cards. Apparently a 'legitimate' ISIC student ID is the "Egyptian government's gift to you"... for the handsome sum of $NZ 20... This gives you half price entry to all the sites which was a great saving during the trip and you can be sure that I'll be using it for cheap movie entry afterwards.
We then headed to the Citadel and mosque of Mohammed Ali. It is supposed to be a recreation of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey but actually enjoyed this one more.
The Citadel from the outer wall
In the courtyard outside the Mosque of Mohammed Ali
Sharyn was wearing 3/4 length pants so had to wear this to be more covered up... we could still see her ankles though...
Inside the mosque
After spending a couple of hours at this complex we decided to negotiate our way to a few of the other mosques which surrounded the area...
Luckily(?) the boys had a compass...
It turned out to be holy Friday so all the mosques were closed for prayer. We ended up walking through the city of the dead which was an experience and one we would not have got if we had taken taxi's through the area. This part of Cairo is built on old burial grounds and is also surronded by current cemeteries.. well if you can call them that. Apparently the bodies are put inside the tombs and are continualy filled with new bodes. The only specification is that the same tomb cannot be used for 6 months after a body has been put there - to cut down on the smell of the area.
With the help of some locals we made it to a local market where a 'friendly' man gave us falafel and then said that we should go to his place "
which is just around the corner" for a cup of tea... We werent fooled by this scam but this same man did reappear several more times during the day.
We had a look through the markets and then headed back to the hotel swimming pool - great way to end the day!
The first day of the tour we went to the Egyptian museum which is perhaps most famous for housing the tomb of Tutankaamen (sp?). Apparently this is the most famous tomb not because of who lay to rest there but because it is the only tomb that was found in recent times intact. We were able to see the gold death mask, the series of different vaults that were inside the tomb and all the jewellery that was there as well. Later on in the museum we saw mummified animals, including a 9m long crocodile.
That night we went to the nighttime laser show at the pyramids. It was quite cheesy - a brief story of Egypt was told.. the sphinx 'narrated' it, and the voices used were those of Anthony Hopkins and Omar Sherif - but it was still great to get our first glimpse at one of the ancient wonders.
After the pyramids we went for dinner and our first sample of Egyptian shisha
The next day it was off to see the pyramids in day light. We got to go into the pyramids which was actually quite claustrophobic and smelt of muggy BO, but still an experience.
Johnny proposed to Bex and she said yes!
It was so lovely - I had tears in my eyes and I'd only met them the day before!