Thursday, March 6, 2008
Alexandria & Cairo, Egypt
This was our last excursion with the cruise and it was a doozy! We were all so excited to be seeing the sites in Egypt. The port was in Alexandria and then we took a three hour bus ride to Cairo and the Western Plateau of Giza. Each bus had an armed guard on the bus, was in a convoy with other buses and had police escorts with lights. Even when we were on the river boat cruise for lunch on the Nile (we went maybe a 1/2 a mile up stream and back) and we had police boat cruisers next to us in the Nile River. That really was very sobering. We were hounded by Egyptians at the Great Pyramids...which caused us not to be able to enjoy our experience nearly so much. We were able to go right up to the pyramids and touch them. There is a picture of Lily and Rich and she is sitting on the lowest level of one of the pyramids. We did get pay one gentleman so we could sit on his camel and take some pictures. We had originally signed up for a tour where we would get to ride camels in a caravan across the desert. However, once we were on board, the cruiselines informed us you had to be at least 8 years old to participate. We changed our tour to a tour of Cairo, the Pyramids of Giza and lunch on the Nile River. I think it was a great tour. We saw the Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali. There was a mandatory stop at the Papyrus Institute to see how they made paper of reeds and painted elaborate pictures on it. Luckily, Rich had been to Cairo before and we were able to somewhat skim over that part. The kids all got their names in hieroglyphics on siver cartouches. Joe and Tim always were theirs. Lily's is being saved for when she is older. She actually gained several pieces of jewelry from these different countries that will be for when she is older. Hopefully she'll really appreciate it someday.
Our cruise along the Nile River was really fun. We had great food and entertainment. We had a belly dancer for awhile and then this man who must have spun around a thousands times. I have pictures above of his colored skirt. Lily and Tim both got to drive the boat for a few minutes. Lily also got to sit in the gold Egyptian chair for a photo op.
Our total tour for the day lasted 13 hours. We were able to see so very much and experience the Cairo traffic (which is insane). I mentioned we had armed escorts and police escorts. We got caught in traffic in Cairo for a very long time. I felt like a sitting duck (Thanks to all those AFN commericals we get overseas that warn us of such situations when we are traveling abroad). The bus driver must have felt the same way as he literally pushed a small car off the road in order to make a hole for him to go through. It was a great experience but I don't know that I could live there.
Posted by Cyndi at 1:02 PM