Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Egypt: The Great Pyramids!

After a failed attempt a enjoying a morning coffee (truly, the absolutely worst coffee I have ever consumed, shockingly enough) at the hotel with an awesome view, we were on our way to the ancient area of Giza to explore the 'Great Pyramids'. I could barely contain myself. I was up two hours before necessary, just from sheer anticipation!

The River Nile, in all her glory. This is our hotel.

Before we actually got out to the actual pyramids, our first stop was the Imhotep Museum, which was a wonderful and interesting "first step" into the region. Then, onto the step pyramids!

Protection from the sun and sand

They loved their cobras

Still under excavation and moderate "reconstruction"

They loved stars as much as I do!!! The ceiling inside of one of the pyramids

Ramesses II: Go big or go home

Little sphynx

We stopped at an art shop for a mini-lecture on papyrus paper-making, and it was actually quite interesting to watch and learn. They also supported us with some tasty hibiscus tea, which I had never tried before, but found to be really delicious and highly recommend. Yes, it was a ploy to get to into their shop and look around, with "no obligation to buy", but odds are.... And the odds were in their favor, because yes, we did come home with an ancient mural painted on papyrus. We have now been on two trips where we have actually bought something (both artwork to display) to keep.

Papyrus: The plant of life for the ancient world

The Great Pyramids of Giza!!!

Teeny, tiny us.

Enjoy the awe of our life

The Great Sphynx 

Remember, not all of Egypt is desert. Some of the most fertile land (and tasty produce) in the world!

Egypt is definitely a country of EXTREME contrasts. You see the FULL spectrum of class within a single kilometer/miles; from lavish wealth to complete destitution. You see beautiful and fertile fields, but the large families who care for them are living in single-room delaped structure. Also, the country does not seem to have a central or standard trash collection service, so there are giant rubbish piles everywhere. The rivers and streams are hidden under a thick layer of pure garbage. It's really quite hard to see, but does fill me with gratitude to be able to live a life where this is not an issue for me on a daily basis.

Compact and congested Cairo

Walking around one of the more traditional souk marketplaces in "Old City" Cairo:

Daily bread, of course!

Would you like some traditional coffee while you wait in traffic? There's a guy for that!