I took a tour. We went to the Ming Tombs. I was really surprised how similar the Ming Tombs were to the Egyptian Pyramids in concept. Both cultures tried to hide the graves. Both cultures buried friends and family with them as well as material possessions they would need in the afterlife. We spent a couple of hours there with a really good guide.
Okay, I’m going back to Asia for another two months. You might ask what I’m going to do when I go there. Well, I intend on going to Laos, India, Australia and Bali for starters. Sometime in the next week or two I intend to start booking flights with Air Asia to move me around the Asian continent. I plan on spending a few days here and a few days there and a few days somewhere in between. My goals are to spend some time in about 8-10 different counties while I’m there. If I get to ten, the count may be up to 100 countries that I’ve visited. Here’s hoping… So why do I want to spend time outside of the United States? If you have to ask that question then whatever answer that I give probably wouldn’t satisfy you. But I’ll try – the Pyramids of Egypt, Chichen Itza, Pompeii, Mont St Michel, the Great Wall of China, Petra, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, St Peter’s Basilica, the Egyptian Museum, Dubrovnik, the Uffizi Gallery, Hong Kong, the Sistine Chapel, Angkor Wat, the Louvre Museum, the Canals of Venice, St Mark’s Basilica, the Kremlin, Chambord Chateau, the Acropolis, Jerusalem and Hagia Sofia. If the mere mention of any of those terms creates a stirring of any kind inside of you then realize that there are some people in whom that stirring is more intense. I’m one of those people. The ticket is paid for. The money is in the bank for the trip. Now I all I have to do is stay alive.
Egyptians take some pasta, rice, lentils, chick peas, onions, garlic and mix it into a bowl and call it Koshary. The give you another smaller bowl of chili sauce to add to taste. There were also a couple of jugs of condiment (garlic – hot or mild) on the table to spice up the stuff a little more. Throw in a coke and the cost for the whole meal was about 5 Egyptian pounds – approximately an American Dollar. Not only was it cheap, I developed something of an addiction to the stuff. I would go to El Tahrir once every day when I was in Cairo for a bowl of the stuff. Significance? There are a lot of foods that you may never get to try if you never leave the United States of Processed Foods.
Absolutely the best bakery in Cairo and, fortunately, located very near to where I stayed in the city. The only problem is learning how to order little goodies that you had no idea of their name. The system of procurement of the product is different in many Egyptian bakeries than in the states. Once I figured out how to get my goodies, life was a real treat.
These are some of the seller stalls at the Pyramids at Giza. It’s really coll haggling with the guys who run the stalls here. They are really nice guys, they just want all of your money. You can get a ton of stuff (junk) for $50 to take back to your family, neighbors and friends. You can also get real antiquities (not here) for Big Bucks. You can also go to jail if you get caught with real antiquities. Somehow, the Egyptian government had a change of heart about all of the antiquities that the western world was taking out of their country and putting in the museums in Paris, London, Rome and the U.S. Now they just sell tourist stuff.
The Holy Family was in Egypt. Or so the Egyptians say. Actually, Egypt was quite Christain until somewhere around the 7th century. Egyptian Christians are called Copts.
A must see in Cairo. They are building a new one near the Pyramids in Giza. In 1990 they said construction would start in 1992. In 1992 they said construction would start in 1994. In 1994 they said construction would start in 1996. In 1996 they said construction would start in 1998. In 1998 they said construction would start in 2000. In 2000 they said construction would start in 2003. Egyptian Time. Go figure…
This is your basic Egyptian breakfast – bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and falafel. Falafel is made from spiced fava beans, possibly combined with chickpeas and served as a fried ball. Or a 1001 other ways. You can’t eat too much bread, beans or falafel in Egypt. Unless you’re really poor and can’t afford it.
This is the view from a hostel where I stayed in Cairo. The hostel (Lialy Hostel 8 Talaat Harb Square) was located in the heart of the downtown Talaat Harb district and was a mere 10 minute walk to the Egyptian Museum and the Nile River. The hostel cost about $5 per night and included a breakfast. What I got was a dorm bed in a dorm room with 5 other people. Don’t get me wrong, they were all nice people and I met several people at the hostel with whom I had some nice conversations over meals. I also ran into some people I had met at other places in Egypt and did some story swapping and reminiscing about our travel adventures.
Hieroglypics were everywhere at the temples, pyramids and other old Egyptian sites.