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Heather: Egypt

May 13, 2010

Hello from Egypt! Our last couple days in Lamu were fun, though the bus ride home was not. We were driving for about 2 hours and the bus stopped for a bit and we were all wondering why. Apparently, the bus did not have brakes, and they decided they wanted to put some on. So weird. So it took us about 10 hours to get from Lamu to Mombasas, when it should have only taken 7.

My last day in Kenya was spent doing last minute shopping, talking to my family, and packing. Then I took a 4:30 a.m. flight to Egypt. We landed in Egypt and found a taxi to take us to a hotel. We ended up just having him choose one for us, as we didn’t really know what was good. He chose a good one, which is nice. That day we walked around downtown Cairo and decided to stop into a travel agency just to check out prices of places to go. We ended up booking a trip with them, and it goes like this: Take a night train to Luxor from Cairo. Meet with our tour guide who will show us around Valley of the Kings and other monuments and temples. Stay 2 nights in Luxor. Take a bus to Hurghada, go snorkeling in the Red Sea. Stay one night. Take a night bus to Cairo, then immediately catch a train to go to Alexandria. Go to the library and check out the Mediterranean Sea, stay one night. Take a train back to Cairo and head to the airport that night to wait for our flight back home.

In Cairo we went to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which was very cool to see. That night we made dinner reservations on a floating restaurant on the Nile. Very neat to see Cairo by night, as it is HUGE. 22 million people! The next day was the pyramids! We got up early and started off at Dashur Pyramids and saw the Red Pyramid and the famous Bent Pyramid. Next we went to Saqqara. There was a museum and a few pyramids to see there as well. We couldn’t go inside because of restoration. It seems that a lot of the pyramids are undergoing restoration, which makes me sort of frustrated. No one should be touching these things, and it’s inevitable that they’re going to fall apart a little bit. It’s been 4000 years since they’ve been built! They’ve also repainted some of the pictures on the walls, and they’ve used chemicals in their paint, rather than just natural paints extracted from plants. This makes the color drain even faster. Ugh. We saved the best for last and went to Giza and saw the 3 most famous pyramids and the Sphinx as well. We rented camels and got a guide and rode around for 2 hours to see everything there. It was awesome. The sphinx was great to see, though you couldn’t get very close.

That night we got back to the city and went to Hard Rock Café for a drink before we left for Luxor. We got to the train station and waited for about 2 hours. We met a German couple that we talked to for awhile, which was nice to share stories. The guy was telling us that he has been to Kenya and has never met nicer people. I have never ridden in a sleeping train before and was very surprised as how tiny it was. We didn’t know where to put our stuff! Finally we figured it all out and passed out as we were so drained from all the traveling.

Today our guide met us as the train station. We went to Valley of the Kings on West Bank. This is where King Tut’s mummy is. In his original tomb, not a pyramid. We didn’t go in and see it because it cost a lot of money just to see the mummy and nothing else. But we did get to go in other tombs, which were fascinating. Some were huge, some were small. The size depended on how long the King reigned for. After that we went to see a Queen’s temple. This was neat to see because she was the only female Egyptian ruler.

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