Jun 15, 2011
Jun 15, 2012
After we left Morocco, we hopped in a taxi and drove to the Casablanca airport, where we boarded a plane which took us to Cairo, Egypt. When we landed, all the passengers exited the plane and walked across the tarmac and into the Cairo airport. We walked into the building and soon found our taxi driver who was holding up a sign with our name on it, like they do in movies. It was cool to see a man holding up a sign with our family name but the experience made a hundred times better when we found out that once again, our name was spelled wrong. When we arrived in Rome, our name was Backer, when we arrived in Morocco, our name was Pecker and when we arrived in Cairo, our name was a combination of the two; Packer. We all thought that was funny, except for my dad because he was stressed out about getting us all visas. He was talking with the guy at the window and the man told him the amount that he needed to pay. I listened to the conversation until I heard that we didn't have enough money for five visas, then, I realized that it was my parent's problem and I began walking in circles while humming the tune to The Lion King Theme Song. After we figured the problem out, we grabbed our bags from the luggage carousel and headed to our awaiting taxi. After we drove for about 40 minutes, we arrived at our apartment in Giza, Egypt. Earlier during the trip, my dad showed me a picture of the apartment and the view from the balcony. This view consisted of old buildings and about half a mile away, the Great Pyramids. When we finally settled into our apartment, it was around 8 p.m.. We all decided to go out onto the balcony to see the view and I was blown away. We could see the pyramids perfectly from our apartment and it seemed so surreal. I thought the picture that my father showed me was exaggerated, but I was wrong. The view from our balcony was unbelievable and if you ever have a chance to travel around in Giza, I highly recommend this apartment. In fact, the man who owns this apartment building has a brother who worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He worked there for four years and is an expert at Egyptology and knows everything there is to know about the Pyramids and the surrounding areas. My dad booked a tour with him on Friday and he took us to the Step Pyramids in Saqqara, which were beautiful. He led us through the temple which was used for worshiping the Sun God and walked us around the pyramids, telling us the most important features of the Pyramids. I learned that when the King dies, the construction for the pyramid ceases and the burying ritual begins. I am going to skip the whole lecture about how they prepare the body for burial because it is disgusting and I get dizzy just thinking blood. Anyway, they place the king inside the sarcophagus and begin the rituals. They believe that the King is required to pass through seven stages before he reaches the after-life of heaven. In that case, they pack tons of equipment which would benefit the king when we reaches his destination. They also carve various sizes of pairs of feet which the king would use on his journey to the afterlife if his feet somehow disappeared or were chopped off by any chance...........I, personally, think this religion is completely wack, but I respect anybody who believes in it because everybody is entitled to their own opinions. After we left the step pyramids, we were taken to Memphis, where our guide told us all about the statues that were there. Our guide took us to one particular statue and told us that his FATHER found the statue! I could hardly believe that a statue as big as that one was could be hidden from humans for at least 3000 years! When we left the place with the statues, we told him that we were hungry and we all decided to grab some lunch. We were going to have falafels but the restaurant was closed due to the giant festival going on so we decided to eat at the buffet where we ate on the previous day. The lunch consisted of steamed rice, spaghetti noodles, pita bread with hummus, potatoes and meatballs. The meatballs were absolute heaven and then my dad told me they were lamb...and they were still absolute heaven. The lunch was so yummy and I hope we go back later during this week. For the rest of the afternoon, we wandered around Giza and then Skyped our friends in the evening. The next day, our guide took us to the Great Pyramids of Giza. These are the largest pyramids on earth and are some of the most interesting. There are nine pyramids in the area of Giza, but we only talked and examined three. Before we entered any pyramids though, we climbed into another sun god worshipping temple where we had the opportunity to look at the Sphinx. After talking all about the Sphinx, we trudged up a hill to the Great Pyramids. The first pyramid we entered was the tomb which the king made for his mother. We went about 20 feet underground to a small, compact room which previously held the sarcophagus for the king's mother. After looking around the room, we climbed back to the surface where two Egyptian girls who wanted to talk to us. They asked us where we were from and when I replied "California" they basically freaked out and asked us if they could take a picture with us. I don't know why everyone is so interested in California but apparently they thought that since we were from Cali, we HAD to be movie stars or something. Anyway, we took pictures with them to make them happy and we went to look at the large pyramid. After waiting for about an hour, we were finally allowed into the Great Pyramid. We walked down a cave-like hall. We climbed a few steps and found ourselves in an enormous room. In front of us there were many steps to get to the main room. We must have climbed a hundred steps until we reached the room. Once at the top, we were in a medium-sized room with rock walls, floors and ceiling. The rocks were polished so that they were super smooth and you couldn't fit the tiniest thing between them. In the center of the room was an empty sarcophagus made of granite. The sarcophagus was large and must have weighed a lot! I believe that the mummy which was supposed to be in the sarcophagus is in the Egyptian Museum. We are going to the Egyptian Museum on Monday and I cannot wait! So far, our trip to Cairo and Giza has been amazing and the pyramids are unbelievable!