Sunday, July 3, 2011

Med trip: Egypt

So, it is about a month since I've been home from the anniversary trip to the Mediterranean.  I was hoping to post once a week--a post on each country we visited.  But alas,  getting back into the swing of things has been difficult.  So, here we are, the eve of the 4th of July.  I should be saying something patriotic.  Instead, I am just going to remind you of how great our country is by letting you make the connection of the contrasts between two different countries.  

First of all, it is good to travel.  It is very easy for those of us living in the U.S. to get the wrong idea of hardships.  Hardships in the U.S. come in many forms, like running out of homemade bread and having to make more, or a real hardship--having the dishwasher break, or perhaps, not being to find the remote for the T.V. or ceiling fan for a few days.  

But what about having your country in complete chaos? having trash in the streets?  This was open trash in the river!! along the highway in Alexandria. 
Wouldn't it be fun to be at this roadside cafe??
Here's the rest of the river through the streets.  I suppose this is the water they consider "usable"??
Welcome to Alexandria.

So, we were on a tour bus, taking these pictures.  I never actually got out and walked through Alexandria.  Some of our friends from the ship went out walking and some guy came and grabbed her rear end right out in broad daylight. I guess things are not as "peaceful" as the media detects.  Do you feel safe walking around in broad daylight with a group of people?  Good.  So do I. Welcome to our current free country.  Welcome to the land where people fought for your freedom.
So, back to the tour bus.  We rode an air conditioned bus for three hours to Cairo.  If you are given to motion sickness, riding in Egyptian traffic is not ideal.  Thankfully, I was still jetlagging, so I slept all the way there and then for a while on the way home.
So, these are the pyramids.  There are three pyramids, rather close together.
When Emily asked me what the name of the pyramids were, I told her, "that's easy.  There's the Daddy, Mommy, and baby pyramid"
And they are rather huge.  Our $229.00/ per person tour did not include a look inside the pyramids.  But I was fine with that.  It is a tomb already.  How often do you like to look inside a casket of someone who has died a long time ago?
And essentially, the pyramids and the Nile river are the only ancient artifacts left in Egypt.  If you love Egyptian history, go to Berlin or London.  Apparently, Hitler had a "thing" for ancient relics, so he snatched up many of them (and kept them in great condition), and the Brits, not to be outdone by the Germans, felt the need to snatch up the rest.
So, I've been to Berlin.  It is a mecca of world history relics, and I would love to go back.  But I haven't been to London, so (obviously) that is on my bucket list.
When my husband asked me how I knew so much about ancient Egypt, I said, "homeschooling, of course!" duh. Everyone knows that's how you become erudite.  So, yes, I loved teaching about ancient Egypt.  Why?  Because we know so much about it.  Why do we know so much about Egypt?
It was because they believed in a life after death, primarily the need to bring everything they owed into the tomb with them, so that their ba and ka would recognize each other and live happily ever after.  (hedgehog version of Egyptian theology)
Does it look like we photoshopped ourselves into this?  No. because we would have centered ourselves better.
O.K. this one was better.
We had various friends from the tour taking pictures of us.  The word on the street is that the locals will ask to take your picture and then run off with your camera.
Here are the locals.  the pushy locals.
The word on the street was it costs you $5.00 to sit on the camel and only $20.00 to get off.
So, I was like,"no way!"
I got on.
And I got off.  I told Will, if they don't get me off, I'll just jump off.  I didn't keep myself in shape to get pushed around. So, when they saw that I was in charge, they made the camel get down.
So, this was the Daddy pyramid. I think this is about as close to it as I got.
And then these local kids made us buy these head things. Like that?  made us.
But I have to admit, they were quite effective in the heat.  And don't they look cool?
Will snuck off and took these.

Back to the air-conditioned bus.  I think he looks quite good in this garb.

This was our tour guide.  She spoke very good English and was quite a good guide.
And then the bus took us around to the Sphinx pyramid.

O.K. so everyone was making out in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, so we chose to mosh in front of the Sphinx.  Everyone has their preferences, right?

And then there's this photo.  Probably my favorite from the trip. (not the lady in black, above, although that was weird..)
As if all of that pestering from locals, making out in front of the pyramids, and dressing up in traditional Egyptian clothing wasn't enough, our tour included a Nile River cruise.

Not that I've ever been on those casino boats, but this is sort of the way this boat operated.  There was an open buffet style restaurant with a space for entertainment and eating.
The boat just went down the river and then back again.  It was a nice, smooth ride and air conditioned.
For entertainment, we got.. can you guess?  A belly dancer and this spinning man/ whirling dirvish dude.
I'll know you'll be disappointed, but I do not have pics of the belly dancer.  Without going into detail, let me pose a question. Why does a culture that makes its women dress from head to toe in a covered garb also take great delight in a mostly naked woman gyrating around publicly? Wouldn't it be better just to have all the women dressed sort of respectfully modest but not oppressively so? (thinking like an American, again)
But this guy was pretty impressive.  That skirt thing was around his waist and he was spinning and spinning around.  And then for photos he put it in his hand above his head.
And we went up on the deck to get a pic of the Nile river.

So, that is Egypt.  I'm glad I went.  We should be praying for this country.  I know many of you will not get a chance to visit it.  And if you ask my husband, he has no desire to go back.  But I am glad I went and in 10 or 15 years I'd like to go back.

And it zoomed by.
Other Mediterranean trip posts include: Rome


Mrs. Parunak said...

Interesting stuff. I think you are very brave to go to Egypt at this particular moment in history. I loved your comment about Photoshop.

sarah said...

What a wonderful holiday! Would love to go there too!

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