I have been in Cairo since the 25th now, together with the day or so at the start of the trip I am more than ready to move on. What an overwhelming city, hot and caked in dust, noisy and with no real centre, home to over 20 million people. Everything seems an effort and you need your wits about you to fend off people trying to rip you off or get somne backsheesh for doing nothing in particular. Apparently during Ramadan you are unlikely to have something flat out stolen from you but that wont stop them coercing you into giving it to them willingly. I must say Egypt in general has been hot and hard work with v few attractive towns. Luckily theres a whole lot of amazing historical sites to keep things interesting.
The last 3 days were also helped nicely along by a 5 star luxury splurge at the Marriott where my good friend Natasha joined me. I wish we could take those beds and pillows with us on our journey onwards from here through Jordan Syria and Turkey. We are both fans of the siesta!. Did some late night pool time there too.
Although hard and covering quite a large time frame with a fair bit of money spent, we have now more or less covered the interesting sights of Cairo. I took Nat back out to the pyramids. This time walking around the base of the great pyramid, last time i did the second one with Symon. The real highlight was the Solar Boat that they discovered in 1954 and hauled out in pieces, reconstructed and built a museum around. Truly amazing, it was HUGE and well....so ...boat like, for something that was 4000 years old and popped next to the pyramid for Cheops to use in the afterlife. Just perfectly preserved - i suppose we see a fair ammount of statues but not too much wood, so that made it unusual. We went on to Coptic Cairo, a strange little outcrop of orthodox christain churches pre dating the Islamic period and with their own beardy iotollah like Pope. Today we managed to get to the Citadel, again pretty imnpressive - we managed to eat a rip off lunch and by the end of it the sights had pretty much all closed but nevermind. Oh and also on the last day the previous group were together we visited the Al Azhar mosque which was quite incredible - of course some backsheesh was required but worth it
heres the pics..