Wednesday, January 20, 1999


In January of 1999 while living in Europe we decided that if we were ever to see the Great Pyramids of Egypt this was the time to do it. We booked a tour through a travel agent in Holland that had a group going to Egypt for 3 weeks. The trip involved several days in Cairo to see the Pyramids. Then a 4 day trip in a river boat down the Nile river to the Valley of the Kings and Luxor from there taking a bus across the desert to the Red Sea for a week on the coast and diving.

The trip didn't start so well. There was a heavy fog in Amsterdam and the charter plane from Egypt could not land. So it was decided that the plane would land in Brussels about 100 miles away and we would be bused to the Brussels airport and leave from there.

While the flight to Cairo from Brussels isn't that far only4 or 5 hours by the time we took the bus and got off the ground it was 9 or 10 the next morning by the time we landed in Cairo. The hotel we stayed at was in the Diplomatic section of Cairo and was probably a 3 star hotel. Not too nice but not the worst place in the world considering where we were at. The next day we would get to see the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Today we would have to be satisfied with a museum and a little shopping in the Bazaars

From Egypt

Since we were with a Dutch tour group we had a young guide that told us all about everything we were seeing. Unfortunately he told us in Dutch!

Cairo is an amazing place. over 10 million people living in a few miles of land surrounding the Nile river. Very crowded, very dirty (It almost never rains here so nothing ever get cleaned)

From Egypt

From the middle of the city you can see the Great Pyramids off in the distance on the plateau.

From Egypt

You can see all the TV programs and pictures of the Pyramids, but until you stand there on the Giza plateau and see them for yourself you cannot appreciate how awe inspiring and what a tremendous feat it was to build these things 1000's of years ago.From a couple of miles away they are beautiful

From Egypt

From up close you can truly appreciate how large they are and the size of each individual stone in the massive buildings

From Egypt
While in Egypt you have to be careful because of the many beggars that are looking for money. Often times you will be charged to take a picture if you are not careful and allow yourself to be taken in by one of the locals who do their best to separate you from your cash. This picture cost me a couple Egyptian pounds (about $.30)

From Egypt
While this Picture was free. The owner thought I was going to pay him for a camel ride after the picture.

From Egypt
We took to calling them skinners because they wouldn't leave you alone and it sometimes felt like they were skinning you.

From Cairo we boarded a plane that would take us south to our boat which was a floating hotel that would be our home for 4 days as we traveled down the Nile from the Aswan Dam to the Valley of the Kings and Luxor.

The boat turns out to be the way to travel in Egypt the scenery along the Nile is fantastic and we had our own stateroom (Small but comfortable) and we were fed extravagant feasts every evening. We even had a Hot Tub on the boat's top deck to view the river from

After 4 days on the River We docked in Luxor where we stayed in a not so nice hotel right on the river. From there we visited all the local tombs and temples as well as the Valley of the Kings.

After a couple of days here we all boarded a tour bus early in the morning and meet with several other tour buses where we joined a military convey with an armed escort to make the 6 hour crossing of the desert. Where we would be spending a week at the Red Sea Diving and relaxing.

You see it was only a moth or two ago that the terrorists had killed 50 tourists in one of the tombs we had just visited and the local authorities were still a bit worried. While this terrorist event had caused the authorities to have stationed armed guards at many of the tourist attractions we really never had a problem. In fact it even helped because there were so few people we had our run of the normally crowded sites.

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