So no pictures yet – but I am on a rest stop at a hotel before my night train and since no one really approves of me walking around outside by myself, I just finished one of my books, and there are few people to watch – I thought I would write a little update.
My first day was in Cairo and I absolutely got what I came for.
The pyramids were epic. I think Mostly because they are so iconic and of course gigantic. People recognize this image everywhere and then it almost becomes an image that exists only on post cards and new years eve feeds from around the world. Until you can see them in front of you and you realize this is it – I am in a totally different part of the world, somehow someone made these thousands of years ago, and I have voyaged to come see them. I felt similarly about the taj mahal and the Sydney opera house (even though it is much more recent). Squemish excitement, awe factor, the recognition that you have made it to that check point, and the beauty of the structure. I made it!
Actually a lot of Egypt makes me feel like this. We learn so much about ancient Egypt and what they believed in and it almost sounds like myth because it was so long ago and such a different time than the little suburb I went to middle school in. But they were real people who built these temples and tombs, worked and lived along the Nile – it was real and somehow that just makes my jaw drop in awe. It’s ignorant sounding of me I know, but at the same time it was always so far away from me in a history text book it just seemed like a bit of a fairy tale. But to walk where they walked see what they actually built – be in it as much as modern day allows- it’s incredible. I’m not sure if I would have grasped this concept with such magnitude if I had come here when I was younger or not. But it is a place that has fascinated me all my life and now that I am here I would do it all over again, no questions asked, and every second I think the best thing I could think to say is “wow”.
Also I’ve decided I want a sarcofogus when I die. My tour guide in Cairo (who has basically promised me anything I want if I move to Egypt) has said he can arrange this for me lol.
I have also completed a Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor. This was great because I never exactly stay in hotels so even tho there are probably people out there who didn’t think it was perfect, I’d say a place to sleep and a lounge chair that floats along the Nile is pretty darn sweet.
If I had to rate my second favorite sight so far, I think it would be Edfu temple. My guide was insanely amazing. He works on the excavation they have occurring on sight so he knew everything. He told me so much about every story written on the walls and never ceased to sound whole heartedly passionate. Me and a photographer I met were the first people on sight and most of the time I had the whole place to myself. Because there were no other tourists yet, my guide even let me sneak up to the shrine for Horus to touch it and walk around. It was just a lot of great things put together so I really enjoyed it. Sadly tho, even as the tours picked up throughout the day – it was obvious that tourism is depressingly down since the revolution. There seems to be no problem touring in Egypt these days, but the media is a terrible advertisement and now there are loads of unused boats, cars, wagons, stranded near the tourist locations. Everyone keeps saying they hope to see it pick up again this season and I hope so too. Of course it is nice for me to see it quite, but this is a place not to be missed.
If anyone is interested, I used Ramses Travel and could not be happier with the service. They are extremely personal and will bend over backwards to see you smiling. They were definitely affordable for all the things included with my package, plus they will throw in little extras as you go along. They
Tell you everything you need to know about the sights but also just what to expect as a tourist. They just really seem to go above and beyond. Anyone interested in the individual guides I would recommend, I am happy to pass that along too! As a younger female traveling alone, I have never felt more safe and looked after. Egypt- DO IT!! 😀
Other details of my itinerary will be revealed along with photos – can’t wait to share.