Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Camel Ride at the Pyramids

Me and my Lawrence of Arabia. If you at first you dont succeed, you try again..

The two reluctant but happy participants that were forced on the camel

Father Abraham and his family

Happy and silly people on the camel

Having heard stories about camel rides, I at first declined the camel ride at the entrance of the Pyramids. Once in the area, how could we not ride on a camel in Egypt with Pyramids as the background. Furthermore, might as well do a trial ride before Mt Sinai the next day.

So , when this blue-eyed , Lawrence of Arabia look-alike asked, I agreed and there came the famous falling on the camel-guide incident. Yup, it was a great story to be told over and over again on how I fell on the camel guide. On top of that, the guide got everyone on the camel , took lovely pictures and then ripped us off with a huge bill of RM750. It was a rip-off but nevertheless, I didn't mind paying the max of RM500 and negotiated so . It was pricey but money well spent for the sheer drama and a lifetime of storytelling.

The fall was a good lesson for the next day camel ride -

a. choose a short camel
b. choose a big size camel guide
c. make sure you climb on the same side as
the camel guide so that when you fall, you can land on him......

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Egypt Pt 2

Pyramids of Giza

Lunch at Giza

Museum at Cairo

Crossing the Streets of Cairo

Do not ever attempt to do this. It is extremely dangerous. On our first night, we thought of walking along Nile which was just across the street. Looks simple enough, done it millions of time but this is Cairo. There is no traffic law, some cars have no light and crossing the road is an extreme sport.

We did cross the road looking for Target the supermarket but silly me, it turned out to be Target the Limousine Hire. Turning back to meant crossing the road but wanting to buy water meant crossing another road. After the ordeal of crossing road and nearly been scammed for Pringles Chip ( the shop wanted to charge us RM32 for a canister), we headed back to the hotel for room service and hence ended our first night in Cairo

Day 2

Our first stop of the day is the much acclaimed Egyptian Museum. Again hordes of tourist and whilst it is fascinating, my brains cannot take who is king , queen and what they did to who and what. The highlight of course was to see the King's Tut's mummy which I refused to go. Our next stop was probably a lot more interesting- the Pyramids of Giza and had lunch at a restaurant with the view of the Giza. Excited and full of anticipation of the Pyramids. We finally came saw the ancient structures which mystified millions for many years....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Egypt- Pt 1

The transit hotel in Dubai

Sunset over the Nile

The view from the room

Here goes my much delayed posting on my Egypt trip. Way overdue mainly because of fatigue, plain laziness to write and anyway I had already written about my childhood dream of riding a felucca.


Well, the only way to start is the beginning and the Etihad flight would be a good way. First time to the middle east and the Abu Dhabi was a 12 hours stopover. Did not fancy staying at the airport staring into space or sleeping like a refugee so decided to spend a little and booked a transit hotel. Expensive i.e US$170/room for less than 12 hours but it was worth every penny because flying in tired and in a cramped airport was what it was like.

So we flew into Cairo the next day fresh and well fed with a good Western breakfast only to reach Cairo International Airport which looked like it was like a blast into the past. Hmm the last time I walked into airport like that was in Beijing way back 15 years ago i.e the pre-Olympic days.


Chaotic , filled with people and loads of army personnel , it was nice to see Nora ( we called her Nora throughout the trip only to find that its' not Nora), smiling and holding a placard with our name. Welcome to Cairo and smack into the traffic. 5 to 6 lanes of cars on each side back to back . Hey, KL is a breeze. This is Cairo, dusty, noisy and so full of character. We passed Sadat's memorial and I'm instantly reminded of the conflicts that this country faced and seeing guns, military personnel , fighter jets are everyday fare. We are so blessed that in Malaysia it is peaceful . Somehow, I wasn't afraid in fact extremely intrigued and wanting to soak into every minute of this fascinating country.
We got into the much anticipated Semiramis Intercontinental beside the Nile River. Again more uniform soldiers around the hotel and the luggages all had to go through the security scanning machines. Finally, checked in after hassling the receptionist about our "platinum status" . This time, the best they did for me was a Nile view river but Ray and Chris got the Macdonald view room.

Of course, I quickly snapped pictures of the sunset over Nile. It's my first sunset of the Nile. Excited because it is everything I imagined it to be. Huge, orange but yet not perfect unlike Hawaii. The dustiness and emerging fog blurred it provided the mystic allure that I have always imagined Egypt to have.