Thursday, 16 December 2010

Egypt Trip (Episode 9)

Day 9 Cairo (13 Nov 2010)
Great Pyramids of Giza

Finally the train arrives at Cairo city at 10am, we are 2 hours behind schedule. Henny told us they receive complains all the time, but that is how the trains work in Egypt, they are using the type of trains nobody is using since 100 years ago:) We straight away head to the Great Pyramids of Giza, Henny collected LE 30 from each of us to buy the ticket to enter one of the smaller Pyramid. Isis told us that there are 120 Pyramids in Egypt, 9 in Cairo but only one is listed as one of the Seven Wonder of the World. Maybe we have seen and heard too much about the Pyramid, when we really see it with our own eyes, it seems pretty normal despite the fact that it is huge.

Entering the Pyramid is like entering a sauna room, the moment you get into it, you will start sweating, it is dark, it is narrow and it has nothing inside, but at least we get to see what it’s like though it’s empty. Isis told us all the pyramid was found empty as they were robbed, it is too obvious that the pyramid is a tomb filled with treasures and gold. That’s why the yong boy Tutankhamun become famous because his was the only tomb found not robbed.

We took the camel ride at the wide desert, the camel seems very dirty and ugly, haha.. and everybody screamed for help when the camel gets up from sitting position (imagine the swing and the height)

The Sphinx
The Sphinx is a figure with human head and lion body. The broken nose was caused by a radical Muslim who destroyed it but the government chose to keep its originality and not to repair it.

We walked up the stairs and a yong girl approached us saying Jon didn’t wear the hair dress correctly, she nicely helped him to adjust the hair dress and show us a good spot to take photos. We were impressed how we helped us to position ourselves to take photos of us kissing the pyramid, holding it, punching it, etc . She get more aggressive and took over Jon’s SLR, in our mind, we are thinking of course you need to pay for her service, but we don’t mind la.

Mana tahu when we are done and about to leave, we took out LE 20 (appx. 3.5 USD) to give her as tips, she does not want to take it, she said it is small money (can you believe it? Even the souvenir we bought are always LE10, LE 20 is consider a generous tips la.. ) But she insist no, she wants US Dollar, not small money, and she follow us all the way to the exit, and shouted at us “Delete! My photo! Delete!” as though we are the robber or thief, malu betul.

Lunch @ Hard Rock Café
It is Hari Raya Haji holiday the next whole week, we were told that the Muslim will have to sacrifice an animal as offering, they keep half for the family and the other half for the poor. That’s why we see a lot of sheep on the road, alive or dead. And we even see a carriage with big chunks of meats, thinking it is lamb or beef, when we see the second carriage with big chunks of intestines, Isis told us that it’s camel that they slaughtered! Yes, camel is a lot cheaper than cow or sheep.

Lunch at Hard Rock is fabulous, one of the best meal in Egypt, buffet some more! Suddenly the music tergendela many times, like CD jammed, and we see the staff standing in one line and start to dance and sing, very entertaining. Jon bought a few t shirt for his buddy, claiming that this is the cheapest hard rock t shirt he ever bought. And it is the first time we see an 1 US Dollar coin, when the staff give us the change in USD.

Egyptian Musem
The day in Cairo is the most tiring day in the whole trip, we are so used to eat sleep eat sleep in the cruise but this is a long full day in Cairo, by the time we reach the museum, a lot of us already start yawning.

Egyptian Museum is very impressive, it is like a time tunnel that brings you back to the ancient Egyptian time. Big statues everywhere, mummy coffin big and small, ancient tools and accessories, wow! It’s like Ben Stiller’s movie “A night in the museum”.

All the treasure of King Tutakhamun is displayed here, from his chariots, to his throne, to his under garment, to his coffin, basically his whole “tomb” is in the museum, except his mummy still remains in the Valley of the Kings. Amazed to see his face mask and his coffin after another coffin so nicely done even few thousands years back.

We paid LE 100 each to see the royal mummies in the museum, there are 27 of them altogether, all nicely preserved. They wrapped the body with cloths, and we can only their face, hands and feet. Some even have hair, eye lashes, finger nails and teeth.

Not much feelings looking at the mummies, I guess it’s because we have seen the fake one, all the time in movies, and we have not seen any dead body without mummification process, so hard to compare how well they preserve it. Ironically, we just watched “Adele, rise of the mummy” right before the trip, it helps us to understand the mummification better.

Khan El Khalili Bazaar
This is a very big bazaar that stretches out to all four corner of the road, selling all sort of stuff from souvenir for tourists and blankets for household purpose. But we had another bad experience dealing with the locals.

Generally the price here is a lot higher then all the other cities we been to, luckily we bought almost all that we want the day before. At the first shop we stopped by, we asked for the price of a small purse, they said 1 USD, but we want to buy in Egyptian Pound, so we bargain until LE 30 for 6. (1 USD = 5.7 LE, we asked for LE 5 only, not too much right?)

When we wanted to pay, the owner come and ask for more money, because he wants to sell at 1USD not 5 LE. We are not happy they jack up the price like that and ask for our money back, not only he didn’t want to give us back but he raised his voice and ask for more money. We were very frustrated to deal with him and as he got our money in his hand, we can’t just walk away. Luckily somebody came into the shop and diverted his attention, and we quickly run for our life.

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