The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Wednesday June 23, 2010

Day 33 Port Said, Cairo and the Pyramids
Today we went on an excursion to Cairo to see the Pyramids. It was a seven - hour bus trip from Port Said to Cairo and back. During this trip we passed lots and lots of sand. This dry, arid landscape was punctuated here and there with small treed oases where the people live. Their water comes from channels that have been dug out from the Nile. We saw people selling water and hot tea on the side of the road in little make – shift stalls. Occasionally, there was a sign for Pepsi Cola. The long day was well worth it to see the pyramids of Giza including the great pyramid of Cheops (and the other two smaller ones), the Sphinx, and the museum in Cairo, which houses the treasures found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. This museum also has a copy of the Rosetta stone, since the original is in the British Museum. We were not allowed to photograph in this museum, so later when we had the obligatory souvenir shop-stop, I photographed the imitations of the Tutankhamen treasures that were on sale. They were a very poor imitation. His body was found inside two sarcophagi, which were inside four golden boxes, rather like those Russian Dolls. The immense size of the Pyramids and the fact that the Sphinx was carved out of one solid piece of stone will be my lasting memories. We had lunch in the palace that Farouk had built for Eugenie when she came from France for the opening of the Suez Canal. It overlooks the pyramids. Now it is the Oberoi Hotel. Very grand! (Barbara) Cairo (including Giza) is a city of 20 million, which has spread out to the pyramids in the desert. Who knows what treasures still lie underneath these suburban dwellings? They may have to wait for the archaeologists of the next century. King Tut was a very minor king and his treasures are incredible. They are still looking for big ones - the tombs of Rameses II, Cleopatra and Alexander the Great. One early piece in the Cairo museum was a depiction of the first Egyptian pharaoh dated at 3200 BC. We are now only 2000 years after the start of the Christian era! How will our world change in the next 1200 years? (Bill)

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