Our big journey started on 6th April. The first stop was Egypt. The land of one of the biggest ancient civilizations. The land that had the mighty river Nile.
From Chennai, we took a flight to Mumbai, from where we headed to Cairo, by air on EgyptAir. On the flight, we had a comfortable sleep. We reached on the 7th morning and were greeted by some friendly people from our hotel- Pyramids View Inn. They took us to our hotel in Giza, which took about 45 minutes. We settled in our room, in absolute awe. Why? The pyramids were right in front of us. There was a small window which gave a view of the pyramids and the sphinx. There was a terrace on top where people ate, which also gave a better view of the Pyramids and Sphinx. We had a wonderful breakfast of bread, jam, falafel and juice.
After that, we got ready and headed to the Pyramids and Sphinx, where we marveled at the beautiful sight. The Pyramids and Sphinx were much bigger than my expectation and I kept wondering how they built such massive buildings 5000 years ago. One thing that no tourist likes in Egypt, is that anywhere in Egypt, are the troublesome vendors. They show you what they are selling, and keep bargaining a price when you simply say “no”. They also walk with you for about 100 meters and keep trying to make you buy whatever they are selling. Sometimes, to seduce you, they start a conversation. They know where different people are from by experience, so in our case they said “India! Amitabh Bachchan! Karina Kapoor!” But the simple thing to do is simply keep walking and ignore them. The same thing happened with the Camel and Horse ride people who give horse and camel rides to reduce walking speed, but we didn’t go on it. We took some beautiful shots, and here are some.
We also got the opportunity to go inside a tomb in front of the Pyramids for free. It was very exciting. It was a bit claustrophobic, but we saw the holes where the coffins were placed, but eventually robbed by robbers.
After that, we freshened ourselves up from the extremely hot weather and went to have a beautiful lunch at Pizza Hut, which was a minute walk away from us.
That night, we watched the Light and Sound show of the Pyramids and Sphinx from the terrace of the hotel which was followed by a Good Night’s sleep to an early start in the morning.
The second day was planned out with three places in mind- Sakkara, Dashur and the Egyptian Museum. In Sakkara, we saw the Step Pyramid and the Tomb of Ti. The Step Pyramid was much bigger than I had expected. The tomb of Ti was not too different from the others that we saw.
After that, we headed to Dashur where we saw the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. The Red Pyramid was built before the great Pyramid and is said to be smaller, but to me it looked much bigger. There is a special thing is it, where you can go inside. It was very, very, very tiring, dark and claustrophobic. There was not much in it, but the ceiling amazed me. The Bent Pyramid didn’t take much time. Since we were tired, we just looked at it, took 3 pictures, and left. The Bent Pyramid is a different kind of pyramid. The edges are a bit curved, its pretty cool.
Next, we headed to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It is the main museum of Egypt and has statues, sarcophagi, utensils used, clothing, jewelry, everything! It even has royal mummies! But you have to pay extra to see those, we did. It was absolutely worth it. They were a bit freaky, but cool. Most of them had their head, hand and leg bandages taken off. The bones had turned to stone and turned black. The eyes were half open, half closed, very freaky. Most of them had chipped, dirty and broken teeth. The museum has animal mummies too, which are open to all. Also, the museum has the one and only King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus and mask. I am very interested in King Tut.
The next day we took a train to Luxor. The experience was terrible. Vendors would pass by each cabin and throw whatever they were selling onto your lap and come back later and collect them, or money from those who bought it. People pushed, screamed, smoked. The smoke filled the cabin at times and I am claustrophobic, so it was very hard for me. That being said, we went to the hotel which was very comfortable and had excellent food. We ate there everyday!
The next day we went to the Karnak temple in the day, and Luxor temple in the evening. The Karnak temple is humongous and has many artifacts. It is very beautiful.
The Luxor temple was done is the evening. It is much smaller then the Karnak temple, but is very beautiful.
The next day we went to the Valley of the Kings. There, we saw three tombs. My favorite was Tutmoses III’s. It was built in the high hills, where robbers would not dare to go. He built fake doors and passageways, and it was beautiful.
And then the big day came the next day.
We flew to Gorgeous New York.