Monday, April 27, 2009

Alexandria and Luxor...the past two days!

Hello dedicated readers! Yesterday, we ventured to the wonderfully historical city of Alexandria. After a two hour drive, we arrived in the Greek built city around 10:30 am. We proceeded to the ancient catacombs, where we toured the burial chambers of the citizens of Alexandria. We saw tombs and many Greek influenced Egyptian designs. Next, we explored the Roman AmpiTheatre, which was like walking through the pages of history. We climbs around the old site before heading to the Library of Alexandria, which is one of the world's most renowned libraries in the world. From there, we dined at a famous seafood restaurant on the Mediterranean named San Giovanni's. Most of the group enjoyed their specialty seafood rice, while others stayed away from that and ate delicious chicken. Thuthmosis III introduced chicken to Egypt. We headed back to the hotel for our last night in Cairo.

Today, we were up at 5:00 am, and headed the the airport to fly to Luxor. The flight was very quick and we soon arrived at the Temple of Luxor, which was astounding in height and history. We checked into our cruise ship, which is fabulous, and enjoyed some down time on the liddo deck. In the afternoon, we journeyed to Karnak, and visited Amun's Temple. It was soooo huge, that it took us two hours to tour the structure with the aid of our trusty tour director Amr Osman. A visit to the Papyrus Museum ended our first day in Luxor.

Tomorrow we set sail and venture to the Valley of Kings! Will keep you all updated!

Sarah and Nicole

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Pyramids, the Sphynx, and Vendors, Oh My!

Hello! Busy Day!!

We headed to Memphis early this sunny morning to visit the ancient capital of Egypt. There, we saw many monuments, including an alabaster sphinx for the only woman pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut. There was also a large detailed statue of Ramses II that was magnificent. From there, we headed to Sakkara to the Steppe Pyramid designed by Imenhotep. Also in Sakkara we visited the El Sultan Carpet Making School and saw one of Egypt's most beloved and oldest traditions. A master carpetmaker was still hard at work at the age of 70! We had lunch at an authentic Egyptian restaurant Felfela. They served a variety of dishes including pigeon, fava beans, and felafel (although some hesitant eaters stuck to chicken...which was delicious). From there, we headed to the Great Pyramids at Giza!

At the first Great Pyramid, we were permitted to climb up a ways on the superstructure on the pyramid getting a great view of the city below. Many of us headed inside the second great pyramid, descending at a 45degree angle in a stifling hot chamber that was merely 3 feet fun. We then ventured to the Solar Boat, discovered 25 years ago and was only recently put on display. From there, we went to the beloved sphinx! Only for short time however, but still a great photo seen here. Most of us finished the day atop a camel for a ride with the locals around the neighborhood of Giza. Although the sites were fantastic and wonderful to see, it was impossible to walk without being intercepted by vendors! We eventually learned just to walk away!!! We were back to the hotel by 5 where some went swimming and we all met up for dinner.

Tomorrow Alexandria!!

Nicole and Sarah

Friday, April 24, 2009

Greetings from Egypt!

Today we arrived at Cairo International Airport at around noon (Egypt time) after a long, uneventful ten hour flight. From there, we were greeted by the Go Ahead tours staff, who kindly escorted us to our hotel. The Pyramids Park Resort is a stone's throw away from the Giza Pyramids! After having a relaxing afternoon to recuperate from the flight, we were given a briefing regarding our stay in Egypt for the next 11 days. We enjoyed a lovely buffet dinner, and are trying to catch up on the missed hours of sleep. Tomorrow, we are heading to the Pyramids at 6:00 a.m. Ewwww.... but it will be a wonderful kickoff to our exploration of Egyptian culture and history. Stay tuned!!