In my previous post Anna, myself, and our two friends, Tom and Leonie, had been traveling around Jordan, first hanging out in the capital, Amman, before visiting Petra, and finally floating around in the Dead Sea again, but now it was time to move on to Egypt.
Friday, November 24, 2022
We checked out of the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar, Dead Sea and boarded our short, but painful flight to Cairo where, according to our itinerary from Original Travel (the website of which is down as of the time of writing, but I managed to find a digital copy, thus the weird colours), this was where we would be spending the days ahead:
From 24 November To 26 November
A sprawling city of 155 square miles and 16 million inhabitants, Cairo is an eastern supercity divided into more than 150 neighborhoods. To find your way around, you must rely on the Nile, whose waters split the Egyptian capital in two. To the west, the Pyramids of Giza have gazed over the surroundings for thousands of years and the necropolis and the pyramids of Saqqara seem to defy all with their majesty. The east bank is more dense. The setting of the revolution of 25 January 2011, Tahrir Square has become a symbol throughout the Arab world. A religious capital, Cairo also has its share of important mosques including Al-Azhar, the Sultan Hassan, In Tulun or the Blue Mosque. This spiritual contre is also open to other monotheisms, being home to the Ben Ezra Synagogue and the El-Moallaqah church in Coptic Cairo. Egyptian culture can still be discovered in the Khan el-Khalili souk, with its thousand scents, or in the corridors of the Egyptian Museum and the Gayer-Anderson Museum.
So why was the flight painful? Because it was full of teenage boys who were acting like they were on their first ever flight, ignoring all safety rules, constantly yelling, and running around the plane, even throwing stuff across the aisles to their friends. As I always do when on a plane I just put on my headphones, listened to some music, and played a game of Solitaire on my phone, but even that didn’t help block them out, because, whether it was by mistake or as a joke, they kept trying to airdrop photos and videos to my phone (right)! These guys even undid their seatbelts and tried to take down their luggage as the plane was landing, but fortunately it was only about a 90-minute flight so we were soon rid of them.
Egypt is an hour behind Jordan so it was still only about 11:30am when we landed at Cairo International Airport and upon arrival there was a local representative to sort out our visas and accompany us through the immigration process, making it so much easier than Amman. He then led the four of us to the baggage carousel to collect our luggage and finally to where our private car was waiting to take us on the 45-minute drive thtough some crazy traffic to our home for the next couple of nights, the Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah. This hotel was in a great spot in Downtown Cairo, the urban centre of the city and right on the Nile. We had some lunch at a restaurant in the hotel after we saw a woman baking fresh pita bread there, definitely a good sign, and then for the rest of the afternoon we just bummed around a cafe on the waterfront, some of us going to our respective rooms for a nap as well.
Our first few hours in Cairo:
It starts to get dark before 5:00pm in Cairo so we were soon thinking about dinner even though we hadn’t long finished lunch. The obvious thing to do would be to hit the city and check out some sites so that’s exactly what we did, beginning with another market, this one being Khan Al-Khalili, an open-air bazaar and it was far more chaotic than any we had explored previously in Jordan, yet at the same time exactly what I had been anticipating all along so I put my wallet in my front pocket and soaked it all in. It was absolute sensory overload as we passed many stalls selling everything from clothing to spices to antiques, as well as some old, traditional cafes serving local coffee, and none of the shop-owners were shy about telling you what they had available for purchase or the maximum price for which they were willing to sell it to you. You know you’re in a proper market when there are feral sheep eating garbage off the ground and we passed a few of them as we strolled down the multiple streets and alleys before somehow finding ourselves in front of Bab al-Futuh:
Bab al-Futuh (‘Conquest Gate’) is one of three remaining gates in the city wall of the old city of Cairo, Egypt. It is located at the northern end of al-Mu’izz Street. The other two remaining gates are Bab al-Nasr (Victory Gate) in the north and Bab Zuwayla (Gate of Zuwayla) in the south.The gate was built during the Fatimid period, originally in the 10th century, then rebuilt in its current form in the late 11th century.
The gate is 22 metres (72 ft) tall 23 metres (75 ft) wide. The lower two thirds of the gate are built in solid stone, while the upper third was built in rubble stone encased in by solid, finely dressed stone. The gate has a defensive design and its entrance is flanked by two tall towers of round shape. Its decoration and craftsmanship are more extensive and of higher quality than that of nearby Bab al-Nasr. The details of its stonework also suggest the influence of northern Syrian or Byzantine architectural traditions or craftsmen.
Take a look around the bazaar, the wall, and its gates:
All of that hustle and bustle of the bazaar had made us a bit peckish and it was now after 7:00pm so it seemed like it was time for dinner. Tom’s friend had told about a restaurant we should try so we caught a taxi to Abou el Sid, a place that turned out to be a small chain restaurant, but it still seemed good to us. As soon as we entered it was like we had traveled back in time into a classical era, the interior of the building looking time-honoured, the walls adorned with vintage advertisements and paintings, and shelves with retro devices. We pulled up a seat at the bar and had a drink while we waited for a table and noticed some of the clientele even seemed like they were from another era, with one table of men in expensive suits and slicked back hair looking like they had come straight from the set of the film Goodfellas, yet this was still mixed with the new, a nearby table with a girl with dreadlocks seated with her family, smoking a shisha. This was going to be good.
I forgot to mention that my dinner the previous night in Jordan had included stewed goat testicles (left), something you would probably only eat for the texture, not flavour. Imagine the composition of a fishball you get in South-East Asia, but maybe a little softer. However, they weren’t particularly to everybody’s liking and Leonie knows her way around Middle Eastern food so we left the ordering up to her and she chose well, selecting some grilled quail, spicy oriental sausages, stuffed vine leaves, and an assortment of breads, dips, and salads, but no testicles on this occasion.
Once done we went back to the hotel rooftop bar for a drink, a shisha, and a World Cup match on the extremely bright screen before having a reasonably early night, we had a big day coming up.
A blurry look at dinner inside Abou el Sid and then back at the Sofitel rooftop bar:
Saturday, November 25, 2022
Today would be the day where we’d get to see what essentially every tourist in Egypt comes for and what others dream of:
• 25/11/2022 at 08h00 • Excursion: Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Saqqara and Djoser
This morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel ready for your full day tour. No visit to Cairo would be complete without seeing the Giza Pyramids. These massive tombs, constructed on the orders of the Pharaohs some 4,000 years ago, certainly live up to the hype as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and their extraordinary shape and size continue to awe and amaze to this day. Spend at least half a day roaming around the site (you might not want to venture inside if you suffer from claustrophobia.) and make sure you head to the viewpoint for fantastic photos with the city of Cairo sprawled in the background. Battalions of camel and donkey touts will try to entice you for a ride so make sure you decide a price before you board… And don’t forget to see the mysterious Sphinx as well.
Next you will be driven to the Saqqara which was one of the largest burial grounds in Egypt and in use for more than 3,000 years. Most of it remains unexcavated, but among the wonders on show is the impressive Step Pyramid of Djoser. The Tomb was built by the innovative architect Imhotep for King Zoser in the 27th century BC. But instead of the king’s traditional mud brick mastaba grave, Imhotep built in stone and stacked several mastabas on top of each other to create the first pyramid and the first large stone building.
After your tour you will be transferred back to your hotel. Lunch at a local restaurant is included in this tour.
I had been looking forward to this day ever since I was a small boy so myself, Anna, and Tom were excited to check it out, but unfortunately for Leonie, she had woken up with a migraine and was unable to join us. Maybe tomorrow for her, but the three of us had breakfast, met our guide bright and early, and he decided to switch things up a bit and took us to Saqqara first:
Saqqara, also spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, is an Egyptian village in Giza Governorate, that contains ancient burial grounds of Egyptian royalty, serving as the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara contains numerous pyramids, including the Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb, and a number of mastaba tombs. Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km (4.3 by 0.9 mi).
Saqqara contains the oldest complete stone building complex known in history, the Pyramid of Djoser, built during the Third Dynasty. Another sixteen Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire Pharaonic period. It remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times.
North of the area known as Saqqara lies Abusir, and south lies Dahshur. The area running from Giza to Dahshur has been used as a necropolis by the inhabitants of Memphis at different times, and it was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. Some scholars believe that the name Saqqara is not derived from the ancient Egyptian funerary deity, Sokar, but from a local Berber tribe called Beni Saqqar.
Our first stop of the day was to the mastaba of Kagemni, a vizier from the early part of the reign of King Teti of the Sixth Dynasty, for its intricate engravings. If you’re wondering what a mastaba is, it’s essentially a flat-roofed pyramid with deep cut burial chambers and Kagemni’s is the largest around.
But enough about the mastaba, we’re here for the engravings so prepare yourself for a tonne of pictures! Just one thing worth noting besides how stunning these are, the panoramic shots are a bit wobbly because it was had to do properly, the engravings themselves are in perfectly horizontal lines:
Above I mentioned that Kagemni was a vizier during the reign of King Teti so it was now time to take a look at his tomb, but this was going to be a little difficult, at least for me, anyway. I mentioned in the previous post that certain staircases and corridors would be challenging and descending the ramp into the burial chamber of King Teti’s tomb would most certainly be one of those situations, definitely not the worst, but it was bad enough for Tom to film my entrance:
It turns out the key for people like me is to walk down backwards, advice I’d try to remember for the rest of our trip, even if it wasn’t always that helpful. Once down there there were other area’s I wasn’t even going to attempt to enter, but the engravings inside were incredible, the hieroglyphs almost almost resembling emojis of a distant past.
King Teti’s tomb, beginning with the sign out the front for further reference:
It was now only 9:15am and we still had a lot to see so it was onto the Pyramid of Djoser:
The Pyramid of Djoser (or Djeser and Zoser), sometimes called the Step Pyramid of Djoser, is an archaeological site in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the ruins of Memphis. The 6-tier, 4-sided structure is the earliest colossal stone building in Egypt. It was built in the 27th century BC during the Third Dynasty for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser. The pyramid is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration. Its architect was Imhotep, chancellor of the pharaoh and high priest of the god Ra.
The pyramid went through several revisions and redevelopments of the original plan. The pyramid originally stood 62.5 m (205 ft) tall, with a base of 109 m × 121 m (358 ft × 397 ft) and was clad in polished white limestone. The step pyramid (or proto-pyramid) was considered to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction made by man as of 1997, although the nearby enclosure wall “Gisr el-Mudir” is suggested by some Egyptologists to predate the complex, and the South American pyramids at Caral are contemporary.
Again, the sign at the site provides a little more information:
We could see the Step Pyramid clearly from a distance, but as mentioned above, it is just a part of another much larger Funerary Complex so once we had passed through the enclosure wall we wandered down the entrance colonnade which consists of two corridors, a narrow one cut into the walls, followed by a wider one lined with 40 six-metre (20′) high limestone columns which create 24 alcoves. From there we continued through the South Court before entering the South Tomb, tackling another steep and tiny staircase down into the bottom chamber:
The south tomb has been likened to the satellite pyramids of later dynasties, and has been proposed to house the ka in the afterlife. Another proposal is that it may have held the canopic jar with the king’s organs, but this does not follow later trends where the canopic jar is found in the same place as the body. These proposals stem from the fact that the granite burial vault is much too small to have facilitated an actual burial.
The substructure of the south tomb is entered through a tunnel-like corridor with a staircase that descends about 30 m before opening up into the pink granite burial chamber. The staircase then continues east and leads to a gallery that imitates the blue chambers below the step pyramid
Current evidence suggests that the south tomb was finished before the pyramid. The symbolic king’s inner palace, decorated in blue faience, is much more complete than that of the pyramid. Three chambers of this substructure are decorated in blue faience to imitate reed-mat facades, just like the pyramid. One room is decorated with three finely niche reliefs of the king, one depicting him running the Heb-sed. Importantly, Egyptian builders chose to employ their most skilled artisans and depict their finest art in the darkest, most inaccessible place in the complex. This highlights the fact that this impressive craftsmanship was not meant for the benefit of the living but was meant to ensure the king had all the tools necessary for a successful afterlife.
Here’s what we saw:
After almost having to crawl through some areas and marvelling at the incredible artwork and engravings inside, we continued onward through the Step Pyramid, then went out to the Heb-Sed Court and finally the mortuary court, which meant more crouching and walking up and down exceptionally steep, narrow steps. Inside the tombs we were able to see the Ka statue, a monument intended as a surrogate body for the ethereal aspects of the human soul, housed in what is called its ‘serdab‘:
It was now time to move on from Saqqara so it was onward to the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis:
Memphis or Men-nefer was the ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, the first nome of Lower Egypt that was known as mḥw (“north”). Its ruins are located near the present-day town of Mit Rahina. Its name is derived from the late Ancient Egyptian name for Memphis mjt-rhnt meaning “Road of the Ram-Headed Sphinxes”, 20 km (12 mi) south of Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt.
According to legends related in the early third century BC by Manetho, a priest and historian who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom during the Hellenistic period of ancient Egypt, the city was founded by King Menes. It was the capital of ancient Egypt (Kemet or Kumat) during the Old Kingdom and remained an important city throughout ancient Egyptian history. It occupied a strategic position at the mouth of the Nile Delta, and was home to bustling activity. Its principal port, Peru-nefer (not to be confused with Peru-nefer at Avaris), featured a high density of workshops, factories, and warehouses that distributed food and merchandise throughout the ancient kingdom. During its golden age, Memphis thrived as a regional centre for commerce, trade, and religion.
The history of Memphis is closely linked to that of the country itself. Its eventual downfall is believed to have been due to the loss of its economic significance in late antiquity, following the rise of coastal Alexandria. Its religious significance was diminished after the abandonment of the ancient religion following the Edict of Thessalonica (380 AD), which made Nicene Christianity the sole religion of the Roman empire.
Today the bulk of the ruins of the city is an open-air museum, the centrepiece of which is the Colossus of Ramesses II (or Ramses, depending on spelling), a giant, limestone statue of the pharaoh who is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, which was also the most powerful period of ancient Egypt. A little more about the statue:
Colossus of Ramesses II The Colossus of Ramesses is an enormous statue carved in limestone. It is about 10m (33.8 ft) long, even though it has no feet, and is located near the village of Mit Rahina. A small museum has been built to house this magnificent piece. The fallen colossus was found near the south gate of the temple of Ptah, located about 30m from the huge limestone statue of Ramesses. Some of the original colors are still partly preserved.
This piece was found in 1820 by an Italian traveler Giovanni Caviglia. Mohammad Ali donated the statue to the British Museum, but the task of moving the piece prevented the British from taking it to England. It is located in the archaeological zone of Memphis in the museum built to protect it.
When I was trying to find information on the Colossus of Ramesses II everything said it was housed in the Grand Egyptian Museum, but it turns out that there was actually a pair of these statues and signage at the open-air museum claims that this particular piece was discovered laying face-down in a marsh. Here’s what else those signs had to say:
There are many other pieces at this outdoor museum as well, including ancient sculptures, statues, and carvings, all of it incredible.
Take a look at Ramesses and some of the other pieces for yourself:
We had already seen so much cool stuff during the short amount of time that we had been in Cairo, but now we were about to encounter what every person comes to Egypt for; the Giza Pyramid Complex:
The Giza pyramid complex, also called the Giza necropolis, or the Giza Pyramids Plateau in Giza, Egypt is home to the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, between 2600 and 2500 BC. The site also includes several temples and cemeteries and the remains of a workers’ village.
The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 kilometres (8 mi) southwest of the city centre of Cairo. It forms the northern most part if the 16,000-hectare (40,000-acre) Pyramid Fields of the Memphis and its Necropolis UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1979. The pyramid fields include the Abu Sir, Saqarra and Dahshur pyramid complexes, that were all built in the vicinity of Egypt’s ancient capital of Memphis.
The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt, and they have historically been common as emblems of Ancient Egypt in the Western imagination.They were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the Ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
Fortunately for us we already had our tickets to enter, because the crowds at the ticket booths were insane! As our guide took us in we were constantly hassled by people trying to scam us with horse or camel rides again as the three of us and our guide made our way under the blinding sun to the Pyramids. We spent about 90 minutes exploring the area including entering at one point to see a tiny, ancient tomb, while busloads of tourists constantly arrived outside, and of course I put my put my foot in it when our guide asked us if we knew which king had the most beautiful tomb. I accidentally yelled out “Orifice”, thinking that it sounded like the name of a Pharaoh, but it turns out it wasn’t and the correct answer was Seti I. Also it needs to be said that, although most people would agree that the Pyramids are an incredible feat of ancient engineering, you just don’t realise how truly massive each block is until you see them up close, it is just unbelievable! I was always really interested in the Sphinx too, but the opposite could be said about that, because the Sphinx is a lot smaller than I imagined:
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the head of a human, and the body of a lion. Facing directly from west to east, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx appears to represent the pharaoh Khafre.
The original shape of the Sphinx was cut from the bedrock, and has since been restored with layers of limestone blocks. It measures 73 m (240 ft) long from paw to tail, 20 m (66 ft) high from the base to the top of the head and 19 m (62 ft) wide at its rear haunches.
The Sphinx is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and one of the most recognizable statues in the world. The archaeological evidence suggests that it was created by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of Khafre (c. 2558–2532 BC).
I mentioned earlier that a lot of the Egyptian busts and sculptures we encountered were for some reason missing their faces and the Sphinx is no exception, but at least there are some theories as to why:
Its nose was broken off for two possible reasons. The first reason is that the nose was shot by Napoleon Bonaparte during a French invasion of Egypt using a cannonball in the 18th century. There has been further evidence disapproving of this because there were paintings of the Sphinx with its broken nose in the 17th century, before Napoleon was even born. The second reason is that in 1378 CE, a religious rebel by the name of Mohamed Sa’m al-Dahr was responsible for destroying the nose who was later executed for vandalism. Of course, the nose could have been simply damaged by weather and corrosion.
The Sphinx is believed to have been built during the reign of Khafre and we were able to enter Khafre’s Temple nearby, which was pretty much a series of corridors and arches.
In the episode of An Idiot Abroad when Karl visits Giza, he mentioned that he believes the Pizza Hut across the road was the best place to view the entire pyramid complex and I think he might’ve been right, because we ate in the restaurant next to it and the view was amazing.
At one point while we were walking around, some boys called Tom “handsome” so his ego got the better of him when they offered to tie his headscarf. Of course they demanded money afterward, but Tom had no change so Anna had to foot the bill. Once our guide had finally got rid of them another boy came up to me and asked, “Photo?”. I shouted “No!”, thinking him to be a touter like the others, but it just turned out he just wanted a photo of me because I’m tall. I felt kind of guilty after that.
Here are the Pyramids, Khafre’s Temple and the Sphinx in all of their glory:
There were some amusing moments during lunch when some girls from the US at another table kept comparing Egypt to Arizona, and when we had finished eating we were driven through some of the sketchier parts of Giza on the way back to the hotel, areas where occupied apartment buildings looked like they could fall down at any moment (left).
We had dinner back at the hotel, Leonie still wasn’t feeling that great so she kept a low profile, but Anna, Tom, and myself went up to the bar again for a shisha and a world cup match between the USA and and England, cringing as we saw the same elderly man with the same two Russian prostitutes from the previous night and possibly cringing harder when the Americans in the bar removed their caps and stood with their hands on their hearts when The Star Spangled Banner played on the TV. During another game later, Anna commented that she didn’t realise that Neymar had so many facial tattoos. He doesn’t, it was grass.
Sunday, November 26, 2022
The day didn’t get off to the best start as we awoke to messages from our helper back in Singapore telling us that both our fridge and the electronic lock on our front door had both stopped working. It turns out that the freezer door of the fridge had been left slightly open and over time it had shorted out the motor, meaning we had to sort that out long distance and arrange for Anna’s parents to go to our house and salvage whatever they could from the fridge before we did anything else. Leonie, on the other hand, was feeling better so Tom accompanied her to redo all of what she had missed the previous day, while Anna and myself stuck to what was originally planned for that morning:
• 26/11/2022 at 09h00 • Excursion: Discovering the Cairo Museum and
enjoying an Egyptian lunch during a private tour – Morning
Explore the sights of Cairo on a private morning tour. Visit the Cairo Museum and discover its 120,000 historical artefacts dating back to the prehistoric and Greco-Roman eras. Ponder its extraordinary examples of igenious Egyptian design and civilisation with your expert English-speaking guide, and end the morning in the magnificent tomb of Tutankhamen. The tour includes transportation from the hotel in a private air-conditioned vehicle, entrance to the museum and tombs and lunch at Felfela, just 10 minutes from the museum. From there you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Luxor.
So according to their website, this is what Anna and I would be exploring to begin the day:
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo (EMC) is the oldest archaeological museum in the Middle East, housing over 170,000 artefacts. It has the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities in the world.
The Museum’s exhibits span the Predynastic Period to the Graeco-Roman Era (c. 5500 BC – AD 364).
We were guided around 10,000m² (32,808 ft²) of incredible artefacts and it turned out we had timed our trip well as it had recently been the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and there were still some pieces on display from a special celebratory exhibition earlier in the month, but the highlight for me was getting to see actual mummies up close. Our guide was really nice and she seemed to know absolutely everything about each piece, but there’s no way I could recall what everything was.
Here are some of the cooler pieces from the museum, as well as a bunch of those mummies, however, they may look a bit creepy to some so you might want to just scroll past those ones:
After the museum we had lunch at Felfela and met Tom and Leonie back at the hotel to collect our luggage so we could catch our evening flight from Cairo to Luxor for the third leg of our trip, the process of boarding taking even longer than the flight itself. We had a representative meet us as soon as we got off the plane, take us straight through the terminal to the car, and chauffeured us to where we’d be spending the night, the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa and that’s where any semblance of organisation ceased. Despite their reputation, Hilton hotels really aren’t that great, but this particular Hilton took the cake. Here’s what we dealt with over the course of that evening:
- Our keycards for our room didn’t work
- They sent the wrong luggage to our room instead of Anna’s and that took a bit of effort for them too, because we were on the second floor and there was no elevator
- When we finally got in the room it had two single beds, despite our confirmation stating we had a king. I do not fit in a single bed, plain and simple
- We couldn’t log onto the wifi, despite our room number being the password. It turns out we needed to put a ‘0’ in front of it for some reason
- We were given half-used body lotion
- The water pressure in the shower was what I assume it’s like to be urinated upon. At first we thought there wasn’t any hot water either, but it eventually kicked in
- Our minibar had nothing in it
- We could clearly hear the TV from another room
- Our toilet struggled to flush toilet paper
- The tap in the bathroom was almost impossible to turn on
- We were only given one small bottle of water each to be used for both drinking and brushing our teeth
We managed to survive all of that, have dinner and drinks, Tom having to instruct the bartender step by step on how to make a dry martini with a twist. We ate and drank while watching bellydancers and other performers, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful, but that was like putting a bow-tie on a turd. To be fair, the staff had at least been nice enough to push our two single beds together and put some large sheets on them:
Well, that’s it for our time in Cairo, but stay tuned for the next installment where we take a four-night cruise from Luxor to Aswan aboard the paddle-steamer from the Agatha Christie novel Death on the Nile, stopping off along the way to do some mind-blowing temple and tomb tours, including the Valley of the Kings!