Pyramids & Passports

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our eagerly awaited Busabout tour began at 8.00am. We had used Busabout for Europe in 1999 and 2005 and when we discovered they had an Egypt tour planned that suited our holiday timing we were in! The group of seventeen consisted of two New Zealanders, two from USA and thirteen Aussies, all different age groups. A fantastic group who bonded immediately and particularly with our 18th person, our passionate and charismatic Egyptian tour guide, Hany.

We had an early hiccup though when the Cairo representative for Busabout, Hatem, took our passports without explaining why or how long he needed them for. The stack of passports were casually being handed from one person to another and we were not amused. We tried explaining that Australians are always told by their Government, not to let their passports out of their sight. We were told to just get on the bus. That is when we met Hany our tour guide who explained they needed to be photocopied and we would get them back tonight, after the Pyramids. We headed off to Giza in the crazy chaotic traffic, which now included what seemed like millions of tour buses.

Suddenly there they were. The familiar three shapes rising out of the hazy Cairo suburbs. The morning was spent on photo angles, camel rides (yes we rode camels AND really enjoyed it) and a memorable crawl into the centre of the second largest pyramid (the tunnel into the pyramid was quite small, quite long, very humid and a real test to ones claustrophobia). 

The Sphinx was next to be overawed about and get the definitive photo, and then it was off to a perfumery to sample organic scents and lunch. Finally we spent the remainder of the afternoon at the Egyptian museum, where more than 100,000 relics and antiquities are housed. Whew!!! Our guide Hany was full of amazing info, stories and jokes but the museum was really busy and quite overwhelming. I think you would need weeks to just scratch the surface.

Next day, we were able to hang out back at the Victoria Hotel, even though we had checked out in the morning, until it was time for our bus to take us to the train station for our overnight (well "overnight" is a misnomer as it was 18 hours!) trip to Aswan.

.....and to everyone's relief we were finally reunited with our passports! 

Scam Alert: We were told which camel outfit to use as some operators take riders into the desert and demand baksheesh (tips) before the ride is completed. So a price was negotiated and paid and we set off. Guess what, some of our crew were stopped part way and had more money demanded from them to have the ride completed. 

Footnote: The Giza Pyramid Complex, Giza, Egypt is recognized as the only remaining intact site of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World and thus granted a honorary place also as one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World. 
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