So it was settled, my dad, mom, Erin, and I all went on an adventure that would cross some major things off my list.
First up, Cairo. The first thing that struck me about Cairo, the traffic is cray-cray. Lanes mean nothing, 8 lanes of cars on a 3-lane highway is not considered rush hour. And every car has a dent, even the fancy ones. Good thing we had someone driving us, because I don't think we would have made it to our hotel.
In order to fight off jetlag, we went to a night market. Where I got a cute lamp and a marriage proposal. (Not surprising because after 20 hours of flying I was looking GOOOD!)
Next morning, it was off to Giza. Just so you know, Pyramids, totally NOT overrated.
And camels are surprisingly uncomfortable to ride. But they sure are cute.
That evening was spent on a lovely felucca ride on the Nile.
The next day, we visited the Cairo museum before heading out. The thing that struck me most about the museum was how stuffed it was with Egyptian antiquities. Every nook and cranny had something ancient and significant. It was kind of overwhelming. And maybe it was my Western sensibility, but I was shocked at how unprotected all the items were. There were no signs saying, "Do Not Touch" or ropes keeping spectators at a distance. Someone could easily just lean up against a 3,000 year old sarcophagus like is was no big deal. Another funny thing, the signs for a lot of the artifacts were like pieces of scrap-paper with a description typed on it, like from a typewriter. It just made me laugh to think about how the European and American museums would handle these same artifacts (I am sure lasers and security guards would be involved.)
Being in the Cairo museum, seeing actual mummies of the pharaohs (Ramses II's mummy had locks of his hair still!) made me think of this music video from Josh Ritter called "The Curse."
It was probably for the best that I didn't have a mummy love affair, but I did leave with a definite crush on Egypt. Hope to return again and see more. I'm looking at you, Luxor.
Next up, Israel...