Egypt Days 1-3

This is the first post of our ten day trip to Egypt that we took in March of 2012.

Day 1: Flight from US to Cairo (via Frankfurt)

This was an uneventful flight except that we saw the Aurora Borealis out of our window for about 30 minutes (which was quite a spectacle). The other comment I had is a positive one for the Lufthansa lounge, which in good German style has Beer on draft and had me dreaming of a beer garden and really started the vacation mood.

Aurora Borealis
Beer at the Lufthansa Lounge in Frankfurt

Car License Plate in Egypt
Day 2 & 3: Egyptian Museum and Cairo
Day 2 at the Egyptian museum was a relaxing way to start the trip. We had the morning free to relax and walk around Giza (we didn’t go very far) and then we were off to the Museum.

We could not take any pictures in the museum but that did not stop us from thoroughly enjoying ourselves and soaking in the sights.
The highlights included King Tutankahmen’s tomb artifacts, the mummy room, a diorite statue of Khafre, and a good overview by our guide of the different periods of Ancient Egyptian history.

Building hurt during the revolution in Cairo

Tahrir Square

We also drove by Tahrir square and got to see some of the remnants of the few burned buildings during the January 25, 2011 revolution. It was interesting to drive around modern Cairo and see how normal life is compared to what you read about in the western news outlets.

That evening was a welcome dinner by A&K and then off to bed for one of the highlight days to follow.

Day 3 at The Pyramids (Giza/Cairo), and Memphis & Saqqara

Today we woke up and glimpsed the pyramids from our hotel room and knew it was going to be a magical day.

Not a road sign you see everyday

We then proceeded to visit the Pyramids and the Sphinx up close and it was amazing sight, a wonder of the world. The sheer size and quality of construction after all these years was stunning. We were able to go into one of the pyramids and climb up to one of the tombs (there was nothing in it) but interesting to see the inside. Also, they normally highly restrict the number of people who walk in but there were so few people that I doubt they hit their daily quota of tourists inside.

The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx
All the Pyramids of Giza and the Thorlitzers

Along the way we stopped at the Solar Boat museum, which held an extremely well preserved nile boat from Pharaonic times.

Cheops Solar Boat

Following the visit to the Sphinx and the Pyramids, we ate lunch at Andreas (which I would recommend) and then off to the ancient capital (before Luxor or Cairo) of Saqqara and Memphis.

Lunch with Stella (local Egyptian Beer)

In Saqqara and Memphis we were able to see some old statues of an alabaster sphinx and a giant statue of Ramses. We also got to see the developments of pyramids from step pyramid to bent pyramid to the great pyramid style. Interesting to see how the architecture and engineering developed over time.
 

Alabaster Sphinx
Statue of Ramses
Statue or Ramses Head
A local Egyptian showing off for the camera

Step Pyramid of Saqqara (build before the Great Pyramids as Giza)
Archaeological Waste – a sphinx

Sunset at the Pyramids (from our tour bus)

After that long but stunning day of sightseeing we headed back to the Pyramids for a laser light and sound show (see photos below), which was a fascinating look at the history of the Pyraminds and the SPhinx. Although it was colder than I thought, as there is no retention of heat in the desert.

After a great dinner at The Moghul Room we were off to bed for a 4am wakeup call for our flight to Luxor (thebes).

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