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There is a difference between a Horse and a Camel
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, February 17, 2006 - 09:51 Bread | Car | Core | Egypt | Foreign Language and Music Study | Walk

Pyramids are to Egypt as the Empire State building is to America. In other words they're huge! This morning after a complementary buffet breakfast, we headed out to see the pyramids in the neighboring city Saqqara. There you can see the Step Pyramid and we learned all about it from our wonderful guide Hamada. It is HUGE compared to the smallness of all of the other buildings. When I looked over the horizon I could see even more gorgeous pyramids in the distance. We spent a long time there taking in the sights. But eventually we moved on to stop at a carpet making school and shop.

At the carpet school we saw richly colored, tall, thin, big, small and fringed carpets made in the school. After a while, we decided on a small traditional brick red detailed carpet. When it came to pay, I learned another lesson about life in Egypt, you have to bargain, even if they say it's the final price. In the end, my Dad bartered down to a price that was satisfactory.

We eventually had lunch and moved on to The Great Pyramid of Giza. Wow, is it HUGE!!! We climbed up part of the north side and saw the vast city of Giza in front of us. I even built my own mini pyramid in the sand next to it though I don't think it will be marked as a monument anytime soon!

We drove down the road a bit and stopped next at The Second Pyramid. At the top of it, you can still see some of the smooth limestone that covered the entire surface at one time. People have chipped away at it for souveniers and to build other buildings. For a small fee, we could all go inside The Second Pyramid. We didn't know what to expect until it was too late! Once you step onto the long, steep downward sloping ramp, you start to feel hot and smell the body odor of tourists that visited moments before you. At the base of the ramp, you have to stoop down and double over and continue walking (crouching) steeply downhill for about 60 feet. Then you reach a flat part where you can stand up again. And in about another 20 feet, you double over again and climb up the same type of steep ramp to a corridor leading to the burial chamber.

Once inside the burial chamber, you can see an empty sacarphogas in a recessed area at the end. It doesn't look impressive until you remind yourself that once it held a mummy and the chamber was full of treasure. As we left we went flat, down, flat, up and up...until we were gulping breaths of fresh air again.

We journeyed farther up the road to take some panoramic pictures and ride a camel. Let's just say camels are not like horses. And I have ridden horses. First, you lurch yourself onto the camel's back (camel is kneeling) and then as it stands up, it stands on its back legs first, which is when we slid forward (I was in the front), and then the camel stands up on its front legs, where we are lurched back into the usual non-stable sitting position on the camel. Actually riding the camel isn't that hard except that the camel's back is very wide making it hard to sit if you have short legs or aren't very flexible. Getting off is another story, basically, it's getting on in reverse. Only a little bumpier.

Then we mushed down the road in hopes to see the Sphinx. We were met with police that were not afraid to use their whistles because we had arrived mere seconds after closing (5:00pm). Our guide Hamada tried and tried to get us in, but all the policeman did was blow his whistle in Hamada's face. After our eardrums had been blown out one too many times, we journeyed to the Papyrus School and Shop.

There you are given a demonstration on the makings of papyrus paper. They have many beautiful paintings of ancient Egyptian myths and legends on various natural colors of papyrus. I myself got a drawing of the Tree of Life with one cartouche on either side. Cartouches are oval shapes that were used in ancient times as a nameholder for the king. Today they will write your name in hieroglyphics in one, and in Arabic in the other. Since my name originated from the Hebrew language which has similarities to the Arabic language, my name is only one symbol.

Finally, hot, dusty and tired, we headed back to the hotel after a big of pyramids, carpets, camels, and papyrus. Egypt is a blast!

Bugsly


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Subject: 
Wow!!!
Author: 
Aly B
Date: 
Sun, 2006-02-19 18:34

Wow Bugsly!
That's incredible! I wish I could go to Egypt! It must be amazing! I'm really sorry I haven't been responding to your blogs and stuff. I also feel bad about your eardrums! That must have hurt! :)
Gotta' go!

aly b


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Subject: 
It really is!
Author: 
bugsly
Date: 
Thu, 2006-02-23 04:09

Egypt really is amazing! I love it here, and I'm definently coming back one day!
Bugsly


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