Sunday, October 24, 2010


Cairo Time
Guess where?....  Giza
Arriving middle of the day on our wedding anniversary in Cairo we were met by our new guide - Sayeed and our personal Egyptologist - Radwa and driver Mohammed (of course).

Our first stop was the pyramids and the sphinx on the outskirts of Cairo, at Giza. We keep pinching ourselves - its hard to believe we are here. Apart from all the expected and amazing historic antiquities we were surpirsed to find that there was also a "Big Day Out" type rock event going on at the Sphinx with many young people wearing special pink and white t-shirts - to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research - and at the same time cheering on the bands.

We are returning to the pyramids and sphinx on Sunday night (tonight) for the Sound and Light Show.

Our Egyptologist taught us this
traditional action shot...

....and this

In the manner of all things since the beginning of this Egyptian holiday we were delivered to the Sonesta Hotel to find ourselves endowed with yet another 5 star hotel room with cakes and fruit awaiting our arrival!

We were fortunate enough to celebrate our 39th Wedding Anniversary that evening on board Nile Crystal -  floating restaurant cruising the Nile in the heart of Cairo. Our guide had arranged a window table and we enjoyed a fabulous buffet meal with a bottle of the best Egyptian red, a time on the upper deck and then we returned to our table to enjoy the floorshow.  Yet another whirling dervish and belly dancer - both very good at their craft.  The professional photographer captured a cheeky photo of Ray eyeing off the belly dancer. 

Sunday morning and the Egyptian Museum

Radwa - our Egyptologist and Glenys
A tour of the Egyptian Museum is an essential part of being in Cairo. Built 110 years ago it houses a huge collection of antiquities which mostly have been preserved over the centuries because they were buried in tombs of the Pharoahs.  We are starting to get a handle on the mythology and history of the dynasties. This massive collection is about to be moved to the world's largest Museum presently under construction due to be opened in about 2 years time.

Cameras were handed to security at the door, as has been the case with several of the very popular sites - both to preserve the antiquities and probably more importantly to keep the huge crowds moving. Whilst we don't have any photos the highpoint of this particular morning was the fantastic array of items that Howard Carter, the English Egyptologist, discovered in the 1930s in the tomb of the child Pharaoh - Tutankarmen (phonetic again!). Absolutely spectacular - so we bought a little guidebook.

Thousand seat cave Church of St Simon (Samaan)

Entry to St Simon Church

Radwa and crew took us through the winding back lanes of one of Cairo's poorest neighbourhoods, the city of garbage collectors to the church founded and probably run by Coptic monks. This church is partially open air and seats 1000 people and ministers to this local neighbourhood. We were warmly welcomed by Adel a Deacon at the church who explained with Radwa translating how the church came to be here. It seems it took a couple of pretty amazing miracles that got the ball rolling.

On the way back to our hotel we stopped off at a souk (market) to haggle with a couple of vendors and then we bought a falafel and were glad to have a couple of hours' break from sightseeing.

It is 27 deg. here in Cairo today (a cool day by local standards) but tomorrow we head for London where the temperature is likely to be around 10 deg!

Off to the Sound and Light Show at the pyramids - our guide - Sayeed tells us 5.14pm! he will pick us up.

Still looking forward to any comments you would like to make.


  1. I actually thought you were only going to blog the Holy Land section of your trip.

    Great photos in Egypt, and congrats on surviving 39 years - Glenys!

    Don't forget to thank Jenny for my terrific job :)

  2. These Egypt photos are great. I'm so jealous!