Otherwise entitled: Ancient wonders of the world.
After years of watching The Mummy obsessively, I finally made it to Egypt to learn all about the history of pharaohs firsthand. Last night when I got in (after a super sketch cab ride that resembled something out of the movie Taken— don’t worry, Mom, I’m fine) I met my roommate Kathy, who was also on the trip by herself. Score! Then in the morning I met the rest of the group (vast majority Aussies) and headed to the Egyptian museum. While it was absolutely PACKED with tourists, it was SO WORTH IT. All those amazing treasures you hear about? All there. All amazing. For an hour or so our tour guide, Adel, who we got to know quite well over the week gave us a guided tour, and then we got time on our own to explore. Kathy and I hit the mummies room first (it’s an additional fee, for the record, and costs more than the actual admission to the museum) where mummified pharaohs including Ramses II are housed.
Next we headed to see the rooms dedicated to King Tutankhamun, the ever-famous boy king of Egypt. My dad and I went to the King Tut traveling exhibition several years ago in Chicago and ever since I’ve been wanting to see the actual mask and sarcophagus, the famous blue and gold. Suffice it to say, entirely cool morning. Afterwards, we headed out to see the famous pyramids at Giza, only a few minutes drive outside a (very) smoggy Cairo. Here they are, below, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Then I decided to… ride a camel! Adel arranged it and the twenty minutes were interesting. You feel lopsided, like you are sliding off the camel, and the ride is a bumpy one.
By the end of it, Kathy and I were about to pass out (it was about 57 C– that’s in the 130s for you Americans) so we hopped on to the bus to cool off a bit and then went to climb down into the second pyramid. Crouched crawling awkward slanted steps down, awkward slanted steps up, reverse, have been inside a pyramid- check. Then we went to see the Sphinx.
After that we went to a papyrus paper making place where we were given a demonstration that was really and interesting and unexpected about papermaking. Papyrus has a triangle shaped stalk and you cut it into sections, peel it, cut it in half, hammer it, and then roll the water out with a rolling pin. Soak again and then lay out overlapping both horizontally and vertically. Then leave it in a press and voila! Paper! It also will pull apart again if you soak it. After a late lunch we headed to a perfume factory where they had many natural scents. According to our Bedouin guide, some of their bases are diluted with alcohol to make perfumes like Chanel no. 5 and Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue. I’m not sure how truthful he was, but their J’adore by Dior definitely was Dior. From Cairo we head to Aswan on the overnight train where I will try to find internet to post this, which I am writing as I go. Clearly was not successful in that endeavor…
PS Many apologies… I can’t seem to make the annoying background color go away. With all the new posts popping up you shouldn’t have to see it for long, though 🙂