Egypt: Cairo and Luxor

 

It’s a quick stop in Africa and unfortunately we only got to see Egypt in this trip.
It really seems crazy being in here, place that you hear in History classes since you’re a kid. I can’t believe that we’ll actually gonna see in life all these monuments built on ancient civilization!

The Nile River: where everything started!

Egypt’s major power is in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world. It’s one of the most populous countries in Africa and in the Middle East. In June, 2012 the first democratically president was elected which brings hope of good changes for everyone the country.
As we got out of the airport we could fell the heat..Cairo is extremely hot in September!
It took us one hour to get to the hostel by car. The traffic jam is very intense and very crazy! There are so few stop lights and pedestrian ways! People just hunk for anything…it’s so noisy!
The hostel we stayed at was close to the Egyptian Museum and to the Metro Station.
The Metro system is pretty good to move around although it’s not very clean and no air conditioning inside. A curious thing I’ve never seen before is that they have separated wagons for women and for man!
Egypt is considered a Islamic country and the religious plays a central role in Egyptians lifes…just by walking on the streets you see man dressing white long tunics and most of the women cover their head or wear burqa.

We went to Cairo Museum which gave us an overview of things we would see later on. And on the other day we went on a tour to the pyramids. We went to Giza and Daishur pyramids complexes.

Giza pyramid!!

🙂

There is also a possibility to visit Giza without a tour, just by taking the Metro to Giza station and from there taking a mini bus.v
Many people only visit Giza because its access is easier and you can go inside in one of them by paying an extra, but If your going to Daishur pyramids as well, don’t bother paying extra fee to get in Giza pyramid. At Daishur you can get in the pyramid without paying extra!
Getting in the pyramid is a must go! The entrance is really narrow and you can’t even stand. The chambers have a very strong smell of Ammonia, traces from the mummification! Can you believe that after so many thousands of years it still smells like that!

Inside Daishur pyramid!

Beautiful landscape on the way back to Cairo!

Before we went to Egypt we read so much in internet about the excessive hassle, harassment, safety, etc and when we got there we realized that what you read in internet was so exaggerated!!
Of course you gotta be carefull and be aware of certain things, but we didn’t have problems at all! People try to sell things, you just gotta say “no, thank you” and it will do it in most of the times. It’s annoying but not such a big deal!
At the time we were in Cairo, Egyptians started a protest in front of US Embassy against one movie about Islamism. Our participation in that was in the Metro, when we saw the wagon coming we saw everybody covering their faces and as soon as we entered in it we start feeling our eyes tearing and it was hard to breath… Yes! It was tear gas! We were just under the manifestation and we didn’t know it! But that was it!
We took a night train to Luxor. The sleeping car is awesome, there was a bunk bed in a cabin just for both of us! It was very clean and they served dinner and breakfast as well. It was a bit expensive comparing to 1st class which is supposed to be pretty good too, but it was worthy.

Amazing view of Luxor Temple from our Hotel!

Luxor was much quieter than Cairo, we stayed at Hotel Nefertiti which was super clean and had a big terrace with a view of Luxor temple! Just avoid the food at their restaurant! Not good! :s
We visited Luxor temple which was really amazing. Inside the temple, some guides offer you for a tour and this guy insisted so much that we took it! It was good, so many information we wouldn’t know just by walking there!

Luxor Temple: how did they build this?

Amazing!

On the streets there are many carriages offering you a ride for so little money! We meet this really nice driver that took us around all the time! Sabbah was his name and he was such a nice guy!
On the other day we visited Karnak temple. It’s huge and very impressive! We didn’t take the tour there… just walked around for an hour or so! The weather is so hot and dry that you feel tired easily.

Karnak Temple! So huge…!

Unfortunately we didn’t get to the West bank where there’s King’s and Queen’s valley. Maybe next time!
We took the train back to Cairo to get our flight to India. We read somewhere that the best way to go from the train station to the airport was by taking a Metro to El Marg station and from there take a taxi. Well, as we got out at this station we ended up in a small road with piles of trash, cars and people trying to pass around it and there were goats everywhere! There was no taxi at all! We got back in the Metro and got out on next station: New El Marg, which was not very different but luckily we got a taxi somehow and it was all fine!

Craziness at El Marg station! :S

In overall, Egypt is a very interesting country. Very intense and crazy! It’s sad to see so few tourist walking on the streets and locals complaining about how difficult their business has been the past 2 years.
Let’s hope things will get better now with the new president! Egypt is a worthy visiting country!

 

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