Friday 2 April 2010

Cairo - the good bits

All the cliches are true: the Pyramids really do look bigger from far away, they really are on the outskirts of Cairo city and reached through the squalor of back streets, and they really are astonishing.

But the camel-ride touts aren't as annoying as we were told; maybe they took it easy on us because it's the off season. So anyway, here are the cliched pictures of Cairo you were expecting.

Picking up the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

The start of the Sound and Light show in front of the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx, and the second Pyramid of Khefren (on the left).

Us in front of the Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara. This was actually the first pyramid, architected by a guy called Imhotep for Djoser, one of the first kings of Egypt. Before this, they just built tombs. Djoser's son built a couple of other pyramids, then his son Cheops built the Great pyramid.

And how did we learn all this?

Cam with our guide Mukhtar. The hotel (of which more later) organised a guide for us for the two days we were in Cairo, and he was pretty good: he spoke English pretty well, he knew a lot about Egyptian pyramids, and he taught us how to cross roads (of which also, more later). He did take us to a number of rip-off places which clearly gave him kickbacks, but that's to be expected.

So we knocked off the big tourist sites in Cairo. Anyone can do that. The real experience will be in the next post, as soon as I finish this beer in our lovely hotel room in Istanbul...

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