Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 12: Cairo and the pyramids

Welcome to Cairo!
Contraband picture of us kissing ON the pyramid's of Giza... spicy! ;-)
Yup, this is our first stop! We saw another tour group do a pyramid and we couldn't resist copying them. Jamie on top, Lisa and Lindsay, Jay, Jim and Mark on the bottom. You can actually go INSIDE the pyramid: they offer 100 tickets per day for tourists to head inside. Unfortunately, we were not lucky enough to get tickets to head in. We did pass by the entrance, which was way cool.
We stayed at the base of the pyramids for about 20 minutes... there were TONS of solicitors. They get extremely irritating after a while.

Next up, as short drive to view the pyramids fro afar. These pyramids are right NEXT to Cairo... I was surprised to find that. You can see the city behind the pyramids in many of the pictures.
You MUST take cheesey pyramid pictures while at the pyramids!
The pyramids are not touched by earth quakes in the area. Why is that? Well, the stones are held in place with out glue or cement by tongue and grove technology. In addition, the ground under and around the pyramids is sand, which absorbs much of the shocks of an earth quake and provides stability to the pyramids.
The pyramids are build at a 52.2 degree angle and the corners of the pyramids face north/south/east/west. They were built in the day by 20,000 workers in 3 shifts of 3 hours per day and the architects name is on a placard at the entrance of the pyramids.
Our tour through Egypt came equiped with a number of tour guides. Here, Lisa Cole stands with "Quality Control" and "The Suit" our machine gun packing, suit wearing body guard. We also had a tour guide (Muhamed (aka Mido or Guido)) and bus driver Muniz. We toured around with about 5 Egyptians to make sure our party of 28 were safe.
Next up, the Sphinx. Sphinxy needed a little smooch and fit right in with our family.
This sign is only funny cuz the pyramids are directly behind it. Ahh, the places I've peed on this trip... That could make up a whole other blog series!
It's so interesting to think that these pyramids and the sphinx were there when Joseph and Abraham moved to Egypt. They predate Abraham!
Many of the museums we visited in Egypt would not allow photography. However, I will tell you that the Kings of Egypt made statues in height according to their importance. One leg is always forward to let enemies know they are always ready to meet and to battle with them. The item in the above statue's right hand is Ramses II seal. The statues were scuplted with powerful muscles in their legs, arms and chest to represent their strength. This statue of Ramses II is VERY large... indicating he was VERY full of himself (or maybe compensating???)
One of the last things we visited this day was the very first pyramid ever built: Saqqara. It is made not in the typical pyramid fashion, but with steps. It's currently under renovation and was build in 2750 BC. It's OLD. This is a close as we got to this pyramid.

On our way out, we posed with some camel mounted police. Way fun. They charged us to take this picture.
Our last adventure of the day was a dinner cruise on the Nile River. Many of us were suffering from Pharoh's revenge so eating was scant.
What Dan and I enjoyed most was sitting on deck as we floated the Nile, watching the city of Cairo pass by. We got to chat with Lindsay about our SYTYCD passion and take in the sites.
Finally it was time to head back to the hotel. Laundry, showers, dinner and bed. Tomorrow is our last day to tour before we hit the plane and head home.