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Aunt Karen = The Traveling Genius

Wow. Just… wow. We knew Karen was an expert when it came to travel, but we certainly have to admit that we underestimated her skills in planning the best of the best in what a country has to offer. Not only did we cover all the must-do’s of Egypt, but we also had a few little bonus activities that she read were some of the best. Turns out Karen’s sources were correct.

We started out in Cairo with the famous Egyptian museum. As you may have read in my previous posts, we all became ill at various points of the trip, and Aaron missed out on most of Cairo, including the museum. No worries, though. It is spectacular to see King Tut’s treasures in all their glory, but it was not by any means the activity I enjoyed the most. Caneras weren’t allowed inside, but here are some photos of the outside (I know, so exciting!):

Christy at the Cairo Museum

The Christy Sphinx at the Cairo Museum

Aaron missing out on the Cairo fun

You may be interested to know that King Tut was actually a very menial pharaoh, having only ruled for about 10 years and doing nothing of big significance. The ONLY reason why he is the most well-known pharaoh is his tomb is the only one found with its complete treasures. Other pharaohs, like Cheops, the pharaoh whose tomb was buried in the Great Pyramid,  most likely had a much larger fortune buried with him, but we will never know for sure thanks to ancient grave robbers.

The next couple of days we spent in Cairo, Karen and I dawdled around the city, seeing the Citadel (BORING) and a few mosques along the way. In one of the mosques my pants and short-sleeved top weren’t cutting it, so I had to wear a full robe to cover my head and arms. Usually the mosques were fine with shoulders and legs being covered, I don’t know why this one was an exception.

After I got my robe on we had an unofficial guide walk us around the mosque. Now, here is my definition of an unofficial guide: it is a person (usually a man) that walks with you around a particular site and tells you a little bit about it. He doesn’t ask you if you want a guide, he just takes on that role. So you don’t work out a price, or anything for that matter, and he just expects to be paid at the end. Well, this guy did have some interesting things to say, so we let him follow us around and paid him 20 Egyptian pounds at the end. Usually we just pay them 5, but he did walk around with us for a while. Well, 20 wasn’t good enough for this guy, he wanted 40. We didn’t want to argue with him, so we gave it up, but I was PISSED. How is it that I can’t show my freakin head or arms in the mosque, but this guy can scam people out of their money?! UGHHHHHHHHH…

Christy in a mosque

The Al-Azhar mosque

Veiled Christy in a mosque

Hooded Christy in a mosque

We also walked around Khal-al-Kalili bazaar as well as the Street of the Tentmakers. This was really fun because we probably saw about 10 other white people total. I felt truly enveloped in the culture walking among the Egyptians in the bazaars.

The Khal-al-Kalili bazaar

The tent makers' bazaar

The next day we went to pyramids, which by their own right our SPECTACULAR. The same thought of “I can’t believe I am here” just kept rolling through my head. The sphinx is a lot smaller than I expected, and at the same time the pyramids were much larger than I expected. Crazy how that turns out.

Christy with the pyramids

Christy excited to be at the pyramids

Christy with the Sphinx

After the pyramids we headed to the airport to catch a flight to the next amazing item on Karen’s itinerary, Luxor.

One Response to “Aunt Karen = The Traveling Genius”

  1. Karen Says:

    Loved reliving the trip by reading your post. But what came to mind for me was what I considered the biggest (almost) rip off – vs the one you wrote about at the Mosque. What about that awesome (self-declared) tour guide who tried to take us up the tower, untying the twisty lock and locking us in again as we headed upward in the deserted touret? Now THAT’s what I call a scam! And we, always ready for the next “undiscovered” attraction, almost fell for it. Makes me shake my head thinking about it.

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