Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Last day in Cairo

Another full day - Great Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, Bazaar and off to the airport. 

Surprisingly it was quite cool and windy that morning. 

Iconic photo of camels, pyramids and Sphinx. 

There are 107 pyramids still standing in Egypt but this is biggest. We went for the extra tour which involves climbing inside the pyramid about 60m up a very narrow corridor, part of which has a ceiling so low you almost need to crawl up.  Not advised for people with claustrophobia AND a sore back! Also when the person in front is stopping for a selfie every few seconds. I did manage it though and at the top is a room with the Pharaoh's sarcophagus. Getting down is no easier.

The sphinx is interesting because it was buried in sand up to its neck until the 1860s. There’s a lot of erosion and restoration was begun but halted after the 2011 revolution. A lot of the base (the legs) is covered in small tiles which they’ll eventually finish 

The Egyptian Museum has an amazing display of artifacts including the golden mask of King Tut (no photos). It took me awhile but I managed to find the musical instruments - harp and whistles/flutes. I’d love to hear them  

Tahrir Square is the large central plaza in Cairo where the 2011 Revolution took place - it started with only a few hundred people protesting police behaviour and grew steadily to involve the whole country after which Mbarek stepped down as president (and subsequently went to jail). 

Today just a busy city traffic circle. 

The bazaar was fascinating and it’s hard to describe the sights, sounds, and smells. We may have been the only non-Egyptians based on the fact that all the little kids were excited to see us and wanted their pictures taken with us. 

Egypt is a truly fascinating place - the amazing things the ancient Egyptians built are stunning. The carving, sculptures and artwork are mind boggling. How they cut the huge granite blocks and precisely shaped them with few tools remains a mystery and is part of the allure of this area. We packed a lot in but it was worth it. 

This camel knows how I feel!

On to Tanzania and 3 days with no scheduled tours till the safari starts. 

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