Cairo - who needs crosswalks anyway

Trip Start Jul 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 15, 2007

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

So I'm now sitting in another Internet cafe, somewhat ticked off as when I plugged in my iPod to charge it started emanating a type of "scorched" smell and now it doesn't work. Good thing I got it just for this trip. If any of you out in cyber-land have any suggestions as to how to potentially fix this, please feel free to post a comment or e-mail me directly at

On a happier note, Tania and I have made it to Cairo and are heading off to see the Pyramids and Sphinx tomorrow. Very exciting.

Quite impressed by Cairo so far. The airport was actually quite stunning. Clean marble, well air-conditioned, quick customs people and good timing with the baggage. The ride from the airport was also quite fun - seeing some truly ancient buildings, people dressed in the full Egyptian garb and drivers with absolutely no care for staying in "traditional" traffic lanes. The boy on a donkey cart was particularly neat to see - and this in a city of 23 million people.

So right now I'm somewhat torn in the mix of emotions:

- my iPod may be completely fried
- I'm sweating away in +40 degree heat, having to wear pants (trousers to you Brits) as shorts are not deemed appropriate to wear (at least in the city)
- I'm tempting fate trying to get to this cafe as I need to cross 8 lanes of traffic (well, 8 "official" lanes of traffic - may really be more...) with no crosswalk in site (think "Frogger" on the expert setting)

- am in a country completely different from any that I've been in before
- am in a continent that I've never been in before
- we were bumped up to a 5-star hotel (from 3) for our first 3 nights in Egypt
- we're going to see the Pyramids tomorrow!

Overall, guess I can't complain too much.

Cairo - day 2


Not terribly descriptive, but how does one really describe sites that are over 4000 years old, massive and completely mind-blowing?

No, I'm not on dope.

Originally built outside of Cairo, the city has been creeping closer and closer to the pyramids and Sphinx so the drive from our hotel took approximately 5 minutes. When we got to the site, we were given a great description of what we were seeing from our tour guide, Ahmed, and then the opportunity to explore, take copious amounts of pictures and go on a camel ride (not quite as graceful as horses, but if I was trekking in the desert, I would take a camel any day).

I won't spend a great deal of time going into details on the pyramids and Sphinx as if you wanted to know more, you could easily find the info online anyway (that and I'm lazy).

Quick synopsis:
- the pyramids and sphinx are really old
- like really really old (some pyramids over 4000 years)
- for those who may be confused, the Sphinx has the head of Ramses (hmm - forgot which one) and the body of a lion. It was constructed from a single piece of rock and was built to protect the pyramids
- the pyramids are tombs for the ancient kings
- the ancient Egyptians spent a lot of time digging-up and carting rock from mines, over rivers and across desserts to get them to the pyramids
- it was really hard to stack said rock as each piece weighed around 20 tones
- as they would say in "Bass"ton - "dose 'gyptians were wicked shmat"

Anyway, it was really quite amazing to learn about the ways that theses structures were, well, constructed. Also quite cool was the fact that written record about the history of this race was kept via hieroglyphs on walls as well as on papyrus (working in Communications I'm pretty impressed by a culture that invented paper).

I could go on, but the pictures do more justice than my description - check them out! Well, check them out once I get to a café that has a computer fast enough to load them...
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