Friday, April 27, 2012

First stop Egypt

This year we decided to make Egypt Israel and Jordan our destination. I had all these mental images of what I was going to see. Nothing really was what I expected. It was better and so amazing. Our flight took us from Salt Lake City to Chicago and then a nonstop flight to Amman Jordan. In Amman we had a few hours to kill so we sat in amazement at the airport sites. For some reason Arabic writing is fascinating. How can anyone read it? Starbucks was everywhere. 

 Next our flight took us to Cairo Egypt. I love saying Cairo. Sounds so exotic. It is exotic. 
 The Egyptian Museum is where we headed. One of the most amazing museums in the world. A treasure of history in an old building. The King Tut collection is located here and it was in house not on tour. Over the last year I had heard in the news that all the Egyptian protests were taking place in Tahrir Square right in front of it and we might not be able to get in. Tahrir Square was quiet that day so no problems. There are a few people who camp on it just in case. 
 The museum is a large building literally crammed with amazing things. No pictures were allowed. We had to leave our cameras on the bus. 
 This burned up shell of a building is right next to the museum. They told us the Egyptians formed a human chain around the museum to save it from the flames. 

 Next stop the Pyramids of Giza. They are one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. They are 4000 years old. They are right next to the city but still very beautiful and amazing. 
 Because of the fear of these countries being a dangerous place to visit we basically had the famous sites to ourselves. Oh except for the people selling souvenirs and camel rides. 

 Jeff contemplated a camel ride but settled for a picture. But we did buy some cool Indiana Jones style hats for the trip. They came in very handy. 

 There were some fun people who also came on the trip not to mention all our new red bus friends. Below are Jeff and Mary, Chuck and Linda Porter, Brad and Diane Wolfe and Jeff and Mona Walters. We opted to go inside of the pyramid which is a steep trail down inside to see the chambers. You had to walk hunched down a long corridor deep into the pyramid. There was not much to see but we can say we have been inside of one of the worlds most famous sites. Not for anyone with claustrophobia. Again no cameras, we had to check them with a Bedouin looking guy at the entrance. FYI about 2,500,000 limestone blocks to construct this pyramid. There are three pyramids here, The Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khafre and Pyramid of Menkaure.  Great Pyramid of Giza
 Jeff's new Egyptian buddy. 

 Next the Sphinx!!! He was not as big as I expected but very cool. He was carved from the bedrock. We found everywhere in these three countries that over the years nasty people cut off noses and faces to destroy these amazing things. So very sad. The Sphinx was no exception. I read that Napoleon may have been to blame for defacing the Sphinx.  Sphinx of Giza

 We were taking pictures when a couple of young boys started telling us how to pose. We let them keep posing us knowing it was going to cost us but it was fun and so are the pictures. I especially like the sun glass pictures. I did not post the one where they told me to lean over. The shot shows the Spinx "kissing my butt." Silly boys. 

 After the Pyramids and Sphinx we boarded a plane (if you can call it that) to fly to Aswan on the Nile River to board our cruise ship. It was a charter plane for just our group. It was a bucket of a plane. The flight went without incident. 
 We got up the next morning to ride a boat out to an island to see Philae Island. Philae Temple  There is a temple to Isis and her son Horus. It was our first visit of many to see temples and tombs of Egypt. It is a beautiful little island with some amazing ruins left on it. 

We headed back to the ship and our trip down the Nile River. Pinch me!


MZB said...

The kids loved the photos with the sphinx and pyramids. Grant said "Very cool grandparents"

Kat said...

Just found your blog again! Glad to see you guys are still world travelers- looks like such an adventure!

Beth said...

Some very creative photography with the pyramids.

Leslie said...