Sunday, May 2, 2010


Finally off to Egypt!!!!!!!! We left on Friday April, 15th around 1AM. It took about two hours to get through security. I am not a terrorist Ben Gurion Airport! I know they are just doing their job, but man, it gets tiring. Katie had Jordan stamped on her Passport so that held us up for a bit, but Adie when right through with her Israeli passport. I had to empty my bad twice and they threw away my Proactiv. Bummer. When we got to Cairo, we got our visas, took money out and then look for our taxi. There was someone from the hostel waiting for us. The ride back was very interesting, there are lines on the roads to separate the lanes, but they don't care there. They would pass people in between the lines. It was pretty scary. There were a lot of men walking around at 2AM. Women were not to be found. When we got to the hostel I was a little nervous. It didn't look like the safest place, but hey, it was ten bucks a night! So we were just going to try it out. Two people from our plane were sitting in the living room, and they told us that they mixed up the nights and forgot to book that night, we had an extra bed in our room so we told them to stay with us. When we went to bed that night, I had a really bad bloody nose...the air was so dry. That morning, we had breakfast, but it was one hard boiled egg and a few pieces of bread. We then walked to the Egyptian museum. The streets were so dirty! There were no crosswalks and you just had to sprint to the other side and pray that you wouldn't get hit. The museum was great, the building itself was in pretty bad shape, but King Tut's exhibition was great. It was fascinating to see all of his jewels and all the tombs he was buried in. We also saw the Mummies exhibit where Ramses II was. We walked to find a place to eat, pretty touristy. After lunch we walked across the Nile and then went into the Al-Tahrir Gardens. It was beautiful and clean! There were a lot of couples and many families there. We took a nice nap and then headed back to the hostel.

The toilets were a bit of an issue because you had to pay to get toilet paper even though they had signs not to pay, but of course you needed to use it! There were a ton of men walking everywhere just staring at you. They made you feel so uncomfortable and we were dressed modestly. Most of the women were of course covered, but they even had their faces and hands covered, all you could see were their eyes. When we were walking through the streets women came up to us and started mocking us and started to pull on our clothes. Very very uncomfortable. It was really hard to be there without men travelling with you. We went to a restaurant for dinner called GAD. I had pizza, very slow service. I really don't think they liked serving us. It was just the weirdest thing walking into a restaurant and EVERYONE staring at you.

Saturday morning we woke up early and went to the pyramids! :) We first went to Sakara where the first pyramid was built. It is the step pyramid. We also were able to go into another pyramid and see a tomb. Then we went to Memphis which was a lot of statues that we say at the museum, so we then went on to Giza. We took a two hour camel ride to see all the pyramids and the sphinx. The camel ride was kind of painful. We definitely walked like Egyptians after we got off. My camel wasn't the best at going down the hills. We were able to go up to the pyramids and climb on them. We took a lot of pictures and we were being haggled by everyone. There was always someone trying to sell you something. The grounds of the pyramids were very crowded with many tourists. Our guide was okay, but he kept reminding us that we needed to tip him. Very annoying. We then had dinner back in Cairo at a local restaurant. We had kosheri... some pasta and lentils with tomato sauce. Very delicious! I went back to the hostel and rested for a bit while Adie and Katie walked around. I really didn't feel comfortable in Cairo. We went out for dinner and then I had rice pudding for dessert! They had it at all of the restaurants, so I wanted to give it a try! :)

On Sunday we slept in and went to Islamic Cairo...pretty much like the arts and crafts market of the city. We also went into a mosque! We had to wear dresses that covered us...we looked like elves. Ha. I was surprised that we were even able to go into the mens section of the mosque. It was very large and for once I didn't feel too out of place. We then walked around and I bought some earrings for Rosie. I bought about five pairs of silver earrings. The man was so grateful and kept telling us what good luck we were. I'm sure it takes him all day to sell that many. We kept walking down and then we reached the area where most tourists don't go. It is just so dirty, you were in a slum, it is just trash over dirty over trash. So disgusting. We were pretty bored so we walked to the Embassy to see if we could have a tour or something. It was quite humorous because they looked at us like we were aliens. It was crazy, we didn't know if we could even get in. But the Marine said if we knew someone then we could have had a tour. Oh well. We then walked to the Four Seasons for a drink. It was such a great feeling to be sitting on a clean couch and being able to relax without worrying about being dirty. We had a great time, and then we went downstairs for some dinner. I HAD GINGER ALE! Sounds pretty lame, but I can't get it in Israel, I was so excited. We then left around 9PM to wait at the hostel for our cab. The questioning in the airport was very intense. They didn't believe our story and questioned us for about an hour separately. At one point I started laughing because I knew I had nothing to hide. She just kept coming up with more questions and it was just getting to the point where it was ridiculous. They had Cinnabon and Starbucks!

Overall Egypt was a lot of fun, but it was just very culturally shocking. I had a great time at the pyramids, but Cairo was just too much for me. Too dirty and I didn't feel comfortable. It was scary walking around not knowing what was underneath the women's clothing and you can't recognize them. I really think it is a security risk when you can only see the eyes. If I ever visit again, I would want to explore more of the country. And, I would stay in a place where I could flush my toilet paper!

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