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Friday, 25 September 2015

A Trip To Cairo

So you remember being in primary school learning about the pyramids, the anicent Egyptians and, of course, Tutankhamun but you never for a second imagine that one day you might such wonders for yourself. When Karl and I booked our holiday to Sharm el Sheikh back in January we knew we had to take a day trip to Cairo and after a lot of research we booked our trip with Sharm Excursions who picked us up at 4:15am (I know, I know - I'm still feeling tired just thinking about it!) for our thirty minute flight into the city.

T H E    E G Y P T I A N    M U S E U M

After we arrived in Cairo, our tour guide met our group of eight just outside the airport. He was absolutely fantastic, spoke perfect English and was an archaeologist so knew everything there is to know about the Ancient Egyptians and could answer any questions we had for him. Our first stop was the Egyptian Museum which is located in downtown Cairo around a 40 minute drive from the airport (you wouldn't believe the traffic in the city!). Unfortunately you can't even take cameras into the museum, let alone take any photos so I don't have any pics to show you but I can tell you the museum was fantastic. There was an absolute abundance of mummies, treasures and statues from literally thousands of years ago so if you're into your history and the stories behind the Anicent Egyptians you will love the things they have on display here. But of course the main attraction has got to be the treasures of King Tut, to whom they have a whole exhibition dedicated to, showing artifacts like his sarcophagus, the treasures that were in his tomb, his canes and... yep, the famous gold mask that I'm sure we all know about - whether you know anything about ancient Egypt or not, you'll have undoubtedly seen the gold mask before and to see it in real life was absolutely breathtaking. I'm just gutted I couldn't take any photos of it!

R I V E R    N I L E    C R U I S E 

After we left the museum we headed down to the River Nile where we hopped on a little boat for a mini cruise to get to our next stop. Personally I'm a huge fan of river cruises anyway - they're a great (and usually cheap!) way of seeing more of wherever you are and this one was no exception. Again the tour guide was absolutely fab and took photos of us all in front of the view, telling us which poses to do and then telling us more about the city. We arrived at our next stop for a little bit of buffet lunch on the river before jumping back in our bus to head to our next stop.

After lunch we headed to the Papyrus Institute where we learned how papyrus paper is made and got to look at some absolutely beautiful pieces of art on the paper. Again no cameras were allowed so I have no pictures (boooo!) and we didn't buy anything but it was still worth a visit. 

T H E    P Y R A M I D S    O F    G I Z A    A N D    T H E    S P H I N X

After a little bit of a drive we arrived at the pyramids, which was really the part of the day we had been looking forward to the most and we were not disappointed. The first pyramid we came to was the Great Pyramid and it is huge. It's definitely one of those things that you can't put into words how amazing it is - it's something you need to actually see to appreciate. We climbed a little bit up the Pyramid (I mean come on - we were actually on the Great Pyramid!) and learned a bit about it from our tour guide before moving onto the rest of the pyramids. We actually got to go inside on the pyramids that belonged to the queens which was amazing, although probably not great if you're a bit claustrophobic as we had to climb backwards down the very narrow, dark, creepy passage pictured above. Eeeeek!

After spending a bit of time walking around the different pyramids and seeing all of the views we headed over to the Sphinx, another thing I'd been really looking forward to seeing. The sphinx was actually a lot smaller than we expected, especially after seeing the enormous pyramids but that didn't mean it wasn't just as amazing. Again, it's another one of those things that you can't really put into words what it's like to see - you just have to see it with your own eyes!

I will mention a few things though about Cairo that you should be aware of before you visit. You will be absolutely hounded by salesmen and when I say hounded, I mean hounded to the point where they are following you for miles. We aren't rude people at all so it was against our nature to completely ignore them but we didn't have a choice in the end otherwise they just wouldn't leave you alone. 

Also the animal neglect that went on was quite frankly disgusting. There were people offering horse and cart rides to tourists to get them round the pyramids (bearing in mind it was in the middle of the Sahara Desert in 45 degree heat) with no water or breaks for the horses as far as we could see - the poor things were absolutely panting with thirst and, perhaps worst of all, there were hundreds of tourists actually paying to ride in these carriages when they could clearly see the neglect. I mean, you could see the poor animal's ribs and hip bones sticking out! We went on a camel ride on our Bedouin experience but they were clearly well fed and looked after which certainly wasn't the case for the horses and camels being used here.

T H E    P E R F U M E    S H O P

Our final stop was a little perfume shop in the middle of Cairo, a family run business which makes it's own perfume. The man who owned it gave us a little talk on how they make the perfumes (from scratch no less!) and gave us a few samples to try. I was dubious about these at first and thought they wouldn't be as nice as our good ol' perfumes in the fancy bottles with the fancy brand but I was pleasantly surprised and Karl and I ended up buying a scent each! The perfume shop had copies of all of the brands we know and love and let me tell you they smelled exactly the same. I didn't go for ta copy of a brand one and instead went for a lotus flower scent and it is so beautiful! They were reasonably cheap too with us paying £30 for two 50ml bottles (a lot cheaper than our fancy perfume from home!)

Overall our trip to Cairo was absolutely fantastic and we loved every second of it - what an amazing experience! You can read more about it from Sharm Excursions here if you are interested in experiencing it yourself though you should remember it's a very long day with being picked up at 4am so remember to take extra food with you!

Amy x

Add your comment

  1. After travelling to Chichen Itza last week, Cairo & the Pyramids is something that is definitely on my bucket list to do, sadly whenever we have been to Egypt this area has been closed off :(
    It looks like you had an amazing time!
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

  2. Oh wow Amy! I'm so jealous, it sounds like you had the most amazing, if not tiring day! A tour of Cairo definitely sounds like something I'll HAVE to do if I ever visit Egypt, especially the museum as that sounds fab! x


  3. aw it looks like you had a fabulous time. Visiting the pyramids is definitely on my bucket list!!

  4. One day I will visit Egypt and the pyramids, it sounds fantastic except for the animal neglect and being hounded!
    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

  5. This looks like an incredible trip minus the animal treatment and hounding haha which I quite frankly couldn't deal with, this has definitely persuaded me to go now though xx


  6. It would be cool to see the pyramids eventually.


  7. The picture of you both 'walking like an Egyptian' is just amazing. I LOVE it! How incredible that you visited Cairo though x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

  8. Im going on a family holiday to Sharm NEXT WEEK so this post is perfect timing. I don't know if id be allowed to go on excursions at the moment with some of the trouble going on? I don't know. Sounds amazing though, horrible to read about the animals though.

    Id be interested in seeing another egypt travel post if you have any coming!



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