Monday, January 24, 2011

Egypt, Day 1: Pyramids of Giza

We were able to join up with a group of seniors and a guy from Seattle – Tom – who had been on the Athens trip too. Our first stop was the pyramids of Giza – the three pyramids everyone sees and they happen to be smack-dab in the middle of the city.Ramon chastised me for taking this picture of security playing with the dog. It couldn't be helped ...... I started taking crazy pictures because we were waiting on the bus for people in our group to get their go-inside-the-pyramid tickets.Egyptians probably really hate it when we do pictures like this:There's an itty-bitty me at the bottom of the pyramid: Ramon and I got out and wandered to the side of the largest one while some in the group went inside the pyramid. What no one warned us about is how we were going to get accosted by the locals who offer stuff “for free” and then expect money, or take your picture and expect money.Beginning with the above picture, we got taken for quite a bit straight off and then a guy with a camel appears. He wants me to take his picture. I’m like, no thanks, because I'm on to this whole exchange. He jumps off the camel, puts his headscarf on me before I can say anything and has me sit on the camel. “No money, no money,” he says, then leads the camel way off so Ramon can get a picture of me on the camel in front of the pyramid. Here I am getting run off with: Just like riding a horse only this thing grumbled a lot.My goal was to get a picture of me doing a yoga Camel Pose in front of the camel. So Ramon says when I dropped to my knees and bent backwards, the camel guy’s expression was priceless, like I totally freaked him out. We got taken for money on that one too and hurried back to the bus.
At the second pyramid: see the difference in how its top is encased in smooth granite. The rest has been stolen.(By this time, I am OVER getting tagged by the Bedouin and did notice that they would not approach or harass me but Ramon and Tom got hounded mercilessly.) Our guide, Shereen, was excellent in explaining the pyramids were built for the pharaoh, his mother and his son. It was too hazy to get a picture of all three together. We drove up and Shereen says,"Now you can get a picture of all three pyramids ... where are the pyramids?!"

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