Saturday, March 27, 2010

egypt :: camel rides and a missing sphinx

This morning dawned bright and... hazy. What is with this haze that follows me everywhere? For some reason I forgot that pollution is a serious problem here too and was just envisioning blazing hot sun in the desert pyramid land. But, haze it is, and it seemed to clear as the day wore on.

Before heading off to the pyramids we stopped at the Egyptian Museum to view all the ancient relics that date over 4,000 years old. Mummies, chariots, sarcophogus, carvings, jewelry (even sandals pretty similar to my own), and King Tut's treasure were housed in dusty old glass cabinets and lined up in cavernous, echoing halls that reminded you of a warehouse long forgotten. Oh, and cameras were forbidden.

Small side note... do you know where else picture taking was forbidden? The Tashkent Airport. In Uzbekistan. Have you ever had a layover in this airport? It's a great place if you like lots of alcohol, chocolate, and dozens of men smoking in your face. Other than that, I'm not sure what they are afraid you will record on your precious film. But, nonetheless I just wanted you to know I was in Uzbekistan.

So after the mummies, we were supposed to go to the pyramids. One of the options was to get  to them via a camel ride. I could hear the chastisement I would receive if I didn't take this opportunity so I decided to go (despite all my dislike for the idea of trail animals and the uncomfortableness of riding an animal that is mad at you for not knowing how to ride IT). Little did I know that this meant we would only be able to see the pyramids at a distance of about 100 miles.

With that in mind please take this little photo journey with me through the back villages and up to the pyramid site. If you're disappointed in the final delivery... know that I was slightly as well, and we're now trying to figure out if we need to take another trip to a different site later in the week. I didn't even get to see the Sphinx.

:: Our spitting, I've-got-a-little-man-complex camel who kept trying to race to the front  of the line. He nearly lost us several times and I found my hand holding on for dear life to the rump of this gorgeous animal ::

:: One of our guides who was forever curious about our marital state. I tried to dress modestly but maybe the dusty ankles or hair whipping constantly across my face and in my mouth was just too much for him ::

:: This little guy was a pro at handling the animals. He was full of smiles and friendliness, and you know he was hoping for a tip in the end. There were handfuls of these boys everywhere... playing soccer by the burning trash heaps, shooting marbles on the dirt road outside the front gate, one group walked by sipping coke out of little plastic bags. ::

I just love open air markets. All I want you to see here is what the cart in the background is holding. A huge pile of fresh artichokes. I might move here.

:: On our way through a narrow alley, we had to pull up to let a funeral procession by ::

:: and here they are, in all their glory ::

:: another close up:) ::

:: Can you see the Spinx behind there? I can't either. But I'll always have my camel, and that's something. ::

:: and so will this boy... have his camel I mean. He also didn't seem too concerned about missing the Sphinx ::

Tomorrow is a work day, and by work I mean changing the the world through diplomatic netotiations (at least pretending to). That also means more time sitting, and reading, and thinking. So, be prepared... another wordy post may be looming on the horizon.


  1. Look at you! You are really there! I hope you are wearing your sunscreen, young lady!

  2. Thanks for sharing useful blog about Camel riding from Sharm el-Sheikh. Thanks for sharing us.