We arrived by train at 8:15 am in Cairo after a very “jerky” 13 hour trip from Aswan, the train stopped numerous times along the way and although the service was good, dinner and breakfast were dismal at best and the train was pretty dirty and somewhat disgusting. In addition, the station at Giza had an entrance very similar in appearance to a poorly-kept garbage dump.
After 30 minutes of cell phone coin ovation with Yasser, our travel agent, we found our driver and picked up our guide for the next two days.
She took us to visit several interesting sites including Memphis, Egypt where, at one time, during the reign of Ramses II the City was the Capital City of a unified Egypt.
We had an Egyptian lunch at a local restaurant favorite where our guide (Ghada) liked to take her tourist customers and it easily made up for any train disappointments that we had.
The vegetable pre-meal food was a wonderful introduction to Egypt and the meat main course was excellent. We were also served freshly squeezed mango which was served chilled and really hit the spot.
The highlight of the day and an important “bucket list” item was our visit to the great pyramids of Giza, the largest in the world and one of the few remaining great ancient wonders of the world. Peter and I both rode camels in order to get great photos in front of the three largest pyramids.
I have to say that one of the biggest distractions for me on this Egyptian journey is the amount of trash everywhere you look. Then, you will come to a road that has been cleaned up and wonder why that isn’t the standard?
What has stood out is the effort by the people to reach out to tourists and to portray the good of the people which is obvious and commonplace. At the train station, when we were lost, a stranger out of nowhere appeared and acted as a cell phone middleman to help us.
What is sad is how empty all the wonderful tourist locations are and how it is hurting a very large population of people dependent on tourism when the media of America publicizes information about isolated and rare disturbances caused by “nut cases”.
A “nut case” guy with a machine gun in a Colorado Movie Theatre is no different in my mind.