When booking the flight for my trip to Kenya my group decided on Egyptair because it was good price. On the way there was a 10 hour layover in Cairo so we decided to do a tour. It would have been torture for me sitting there, knowing that the pyramids and Sphinx were out there and I couldn’t go see them. The plan was to see the pyramids, Sphinx, go to the museum, and a bazaar. Because of the state that Egypt is in, things were messed around and changes were made. I’ll apologize in advance because some of these photos were taken with a point and shoot because I didn’t want to take out my other camera, so don’t judge!
First, look at this awesome book my husband made for me. It’s full of notes from my friends and family. It made me cry. The title is taken from this video that I think is hilarious.
This is the scenery from the pyramids. It is such a busy city. Our tour guide told us a lot of these buildings were built illegally.
There are people giving horse and camel rides everywhere. We had an incident involving one of the camel owners and our tour guide, but I’ll get to that later. Do you see the Canadian flag on the back of that camel?
One of the camel guys waving hello. He hovered a few minutes after I took this photo. I’m assuming it’s because he wanted to be compensated for it. No Joke. On the right is our awesome tour guide, Hani.
We’ve all seen picture of pyramids but they don’t do them justice as to how big they really are. They are monstrous. 1 block is almost as big as me!
Yep, I’m a tourist. Can’t you tell? That pyramid was surprisingly light.
We headed over to the Sphinx later for more fantastic tourist shots. Little kids were there to help pose you.
See the little lights on the Sphinx? At night they had a music and light show. I wish I could have seen it.
Craving Pizza Hut and/or KFC? Well it’s your lucky day! There’s one across the way from the Sphinx. You can eat chicken and look at it!
After the Sphinx we went to Golden Eagle Papyrus where this man showed us how they make paper. I bought two beautiful paintings later. Once they’re framed I’ll have to post a picture.
We were given a free beverage while there. This is hibiscus tea. Don’t let the beautiful red color fool you, it tastes horrible.
As some of you may know, it’s not a good time to be in Egypt. When I told friends that I had a layover there, all the women would say ‘Oh, go see the pyramids!’ and the men would say ‘Oh, do not leave the airport!’ I figured we would be fine since we’d be in areas with a lot of tourists. Well, I was wrong. At the first pyramid you come to there are a lot of people with horses or camels asking if you’d like a ride. While we were climbing a pyramid, there was a camel sticking its head up so Sandy, a lady from our group, had her husband Bob take a picture of her with it. The man asked if she wanted to take a ride. She declined because we had a tour to finish and he said she had to pay him for the picture. She and her husband refused and continued with our tour.
When we came down from the pyramid, the man with the camel (who will now be known as camel guy) was there immediately and in Hani’s, our tour guide’s, face. They were yelling at each other in Arabic so I obviously have no idea what they’re saying. I had a very uneasy feeling about the whole situation so I’m grabbing onto Jim, the organizer of the whole trip, and Bob. I’m starting to run away because now they’re pushing each other. My back is to them when I hear WHOOPISH! Yeah, camel guy just whipped our tour guide. Then camel guy’s friends start on him too. This is when I start to cry and hyperventilate. I truly have never been so scared in my life.
We escape with situation with Hani and go to the tourist police who pretty much don’t do anything. Apparently their philosophy is ‘let them duke it out on their own, at least until someone pulls out a gun’. We scramble into the van and people are surrounding it and I’m fairly certain I’m going to have a heart attack at 26. We go to the actual police station to file a report because Hani did not want that guy to get away with it. We waited in the van during all of this. Camel guy came down the street and ducked into an ally to hit himself in the head with a rock. He smeared his blood over himself and claimed that Hani had kicked him. To make a long story short, absolutely nothing happened at the police station. Basically, the police have no authority. It’s the people that have the control.
While we were at the police station, a group of protestors came down the street and stood across from the station. Hani said it was about drugs. He didn’t specify if it was for or against.
After the whole ordeal Hani insisted on finishing our tour. We went back to the pyramids but skipped the first and went to the top of the hill. He paid for all of us to sit on a camel. Unfortunately someone else has those photos right now. Then we visited the Sphinx. When we went to the museum it was closed because of another protest close by. We decided we should just go and get something to eat. Hani took us to Felfela and it was so delicious. It was my first time having falafel and I’d definitely eat it again.
In the future, when things are more peaceful, I would definitely visit Egypt again. Maybe by then we won’t have to pay to get toilet paper for the bathroom.