Today we sailed into Port Said which is the entry point to the Suez Canal from Mediterranean Sea.
Today is another highlight for us as we booked a tour which included the Cairo Pyramids and a Nile Cruise. We departed Port Said at 7:30am for the 3 hour coach ride. We travelled in a convoy consisting of 14 buses with ours being the tailender, which was escorted by Police vehicles for security due to the past terrorist attacks a few years ago on tourist buses. This also assured a quicker transit through the bustling city of Cairo with its chaotic traffic.
Driving through the streets of Cairo was an experience. We were astounded by the amount of rubbish strewn throughout the streets and the rubble of rocks and cement from building sites where many buildings stood in different states of unfished construction.
From our bus, we watched donkey’s and horse and carts share the roads with cars, buses and trucks. Fruit stalls lined the pavements and the bustle of the local people going about their day.
From the city we caught our first sight of the pyramids towering in the distance from behind city buildings which was a surprise to us to see urban sprawl so close to the pyramids, which ends some ten miles from the ancient pyramids.
You can no longer climb the pyramids but can stand next to them,. Steven being the ever adventurous one, climbed the beginning of the side of one of the great pyramids and was spotted by the security guard who started walking towards him.
The Sphinx which stands guard outside the pyramid of Chephren was very impressive. Our guide informed us that the nose was damaged by Turkish soldiers in the past who used it as target practice.
Back on the road for the long drive back to Cairo for our cruise on the Nile. Entertained by a belly dancer and then a male dancer in Egyptian costume we sailed in a loop on the river.
After a great sight seeing day we boarded the ship to await departure.
The most famous pyramid complex lies some ten miles from Cairo’s city centre and comprises nine pyramids in all, six little ones in a ruined state and the three main structures of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus.. They stand on a limestone plateau which provided their inner core, and the visitor is at once surprised that civilisation spreads almost to their feet. However to the west lie thousands of miles of desert. The oldest and largest of these pyramids is in fact the only remaining wonder of the ancient world.
Outside the pyramids the pleas of the touts to ride their camels and the urchins to buy their wares meets you.
Back to the ship which was waiting for us as we were over an hour late due to Cairo traffic. On to Sharm el Sheikh……….