23 February 2013

taken from the car park

Don't go to Egypt ...
unless you can stand being harrassed ad nauseum!!

Last week, on our wonderful Red Sea cruise, we took part in an excursion to Cairo Museum* and then on to the pyramids at Giza.

The museum was wonderful and we weren't pestered at all. But out at Giza it was a very different story.

People were putting objects in our hands or on our heads, and then demanding payment.  They just would not go away. They chatted to us on any pretext, wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, and still pestered when we walked away.  Even telling them that we had no money didn't work.

It was like a recurrent nightmare.  I didn't dare take photos anywhere near them, in case they demanded payment.  So some of the photos here are taken from rather oblique angles.  That's why there are very few people, even though the place was teeming with people.  Apparently there are far fewer tourists in Egypt than is usual.  So perhaps that's why we were outnumbered by locals trying to make a living.

. Small Ear-stele, dedicated by Bai,citizen of Deir el-Medineh (lower left) to the "good ram Amun". Ears signify the god who listens to the petitioner. Limestone, 24,5 x 14 cm JE 43566 Anyway, to go back to the Museum.  There were masses of people and not nearly enough time to enjoy the 160,000 exhibits.  

We were fortunate to have an excellent guide.  As we drove through the desert from Shokran to Cairo, with evident pride in her country, she talked us through a potted history of the Eqyptian Nile area.  And when we reached the Museum itself she explained a small selection of the 160,000 exhibits.

We then enjoyed a superb buffet lunch at a wonderful hotel (no idea where or what it was called unfortunately).

Then onwards to Giza to see the famous pyramids which were very impressive, despite the desperate touts - and a definite 'once in a lifetime' experience.

graceful, smelly camels
Apart from the obvious majesty and history of the pyramids, it was evocative to see horsemen and camels, as if the time were hundreds of years ago.
Great pyramid (left)

* museum: http://www.sca-egypt.org/eng/MUS_Egyptian_Museum.htm

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