Cairo Egypt – dirty, stressy, and messy!

Cairo, Egypt! When I was finally standing there – ON the Great Pyramid – it all felt unreal in a way. The pyramids at Giza… since childhood they’ve been the height of exotic. This is a place I had hoped and dreamed I would visit one day, but not knowing if I actually ever would.

Cairo – a fairytale land…

Ancient Egypt has always been alluring to me, but modern Egypt – not so much. Since I’m always travelling alone nowadays I’ve felt it might probably be problematic for a single woman to travel in Egypt. Probably prejudices on my part, but still, this feeling has made me choose other countries.

Pushy people are just… no, thanks!

My impulse to book this charter trip to Hurghada, Egypt came on quite suddenly – nevertheless, I had the intention to visit Cairo. One did not simply go to Egypt and miss out on the pyramids? Right? That just doesn’t happen…

Upon arriving in Cairo Egypt my guide met me in a pretty well-used car. Oh, well, at least it was a car and not a horse. Sometimes you have to appreciate the smaller things in life, right? No matter how grateful I was that it was actually a car (and not a horse) I still would have wished for an AC, since it was so fracking hot in the city.

But it looks as though I survived that too.

To my enjoyment, my guide was a young girl. Hurghada had been completely devoid of women. I saw some of these unique creatures on the streets, but not a single female worker in either the hotel or the restaurants – not a single one. So having a female guide was cool, and I felt slightly more relaxed.

charnette woman posing in front of the sphinx and great pyramid

The Egyptian Museum was the first stop in Cairo Egypt.

First we stopped by the Egyptian Museum. It was interesting and my guide was knowledgeable. Unfortunately, they were building a new museum, so some of the things had already been moved to the new one.

Tutankhamun lay in a specially sealed room, and along with him were findings from his tomb. I felt myself being strangely moved as I was standing there in the room with all of his stuff. I didn’t really know that much about Tutankhamun, to be honest. But here I was, my throat tightened and I had a hard time breathing. Tears blurring my vision, and I had to really make an effort not to start bawling around these antiques, and – worst of all – ALL the people. YIKES!

Tutankhamun – the boy Pharao…

Tutankhamun wasn’t really anyone special, not particularly famous. He didn’t really have time to accomplish anything grand, since he only sat on the throne for 10 years. He died when he was 19 years old. In 1922 they found his tomb completely intact, and sadly today, this is what he’s most famous for.

A tomb completely untouched is rather unusual considering that most have been robbed at some point in history.

While in the Valley of the Kings I, unfortunately, suffered from lunacy. Tutankhamun’s tomb is located here, but I chose not to buy that extra ticket you needed to go inside. I blamed the extremely long queue, but well, it might have been my dear friend claustrophobia paying me a visit. If I ever get back to Egypt I won’t make that mistake again…

Outside the museum in the hot sun we waited for the driver for about 1 and a half hours. The traffic in Cairo is like any metropol I guess – mostly just traffic jams everywhere… Why the driver hadn’t just waited for us outside the museum is rather unclear. This unnecessary time under the scorching sun without water (this always seems to be an issue with me though…. not enough water!), contributed to my strange mood arriving at the Giza plateau.

It felt completely unreal driving up the hill to the pyramids on the Giza plateau.

cheops pyramid

cheops pyramid
Camels for rent – tourists can take a ride among the pyramids, where cars can’t go. I would’ve loved to go there, but well… no, poor camels.

Was I really here? For real? It felt like a dream. It was more of a crazy town than I had expected, but well, yeah I don’t know what I expected, or why I thought it wouldn’t be touristy, it’s after all the pyramids at Giza… Sometimes I’m just naive…

cheops pyramid
My guide in front of the Pyramid of Cheops, or the Great Pyramid.

There’s probably not a single person who doesn’t know about the pyramids, but… and this is rare for me… I hadn’t really done my research before arrival.

Thus I was surprised to find 9 pyramids since I thought there were only 3…

The largest (and oldest) is the Pyramid of Cheops, or the Great Pyramid of Giza,  which was finished 2850 BC, which means it is  4,868 years old! That’s just incredible! That pyramid has been for almost 5,000 years – what memories does it keep? Everything it has seen…

charnette woman sitting on cheops pyramid

charnette woman standing on cheops pyramid

Luckily my guide had some sense and forced me up on the Pyramid of Cheops to take some photos. Even though it’s not allowed! To climb the pyramids, I mean… You can clearly see that in the photo below – how not allowed it is! If she hadn’t forced me to pose like this insane person I wouldn’t have taken any photos of me on the pyramids. Taking photos of myself in memorable moments – yeah I suck at that!

I suck so hard at that!

charnette woman standing on cheops pyramid

I’m pretty disappointed in my behaviour arriving at the Giza plateau, but as I mentioned above there were some small details contributing to me feeling overly stressed out; I was also about to get on another flight that same day to Aswan. In hindsight, it might have been better to stay overnight in Cairo, instead of stressing around like this. But I thought it would be enough with only a few hours in Cairo Egypt.

the pyramids at giza

the pyramids at giza

I have absolutely nothing to complain about as in regards to my guide, she was really great. A young, tough girl working, seemingly quite independent. That she also was a woman made me happy (again!), since I didn’t see any women in Hurghada (again!). The driver though… he was a major contributor to my stress!

charnette woman taking selfie in front of the pyramids at giza

two women taking selfie in front of the sphinx and great pyramid

I had time to see both Luxor and Aswan, but there’s so much more to see in Egypt. I never got to do a Nile river cruise, which I really want to do. I didn’t get to see all of the ruins either, of course… But, that would be impossible in only 2 weeks since there are so many. So I need to return one day.

woman in cairo carrying box on her head
Fascinating – this carrying stuff on your head. Cool.
cairo traffic horse carriage
So sad to see the poor horses in the dirty traffic of Cairo Egypt. Also sad to see the people…

My visit to Egypt made me slightly sad, though. I could feel it deep in my soul. The tragedy of how people were living, and the conditions of the animals. At times I felt like they were all living on a dump – especially in Hurghada. Cairo – what little I saw – was a big city, dirty with a lot of traffic, but there are plenty of big cities all over the world filling those criteria…

Ancient Egypt – once such a grand empire, but today only crumbs… How does that even happen?

 

Have you been to Egypt? What’s your opinion? Please leave a comment!

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