European Cruise

Istanbul-Turkey Varna-Bulgaria Odessa-Ukraine Sevastopol-Ukraine
Ephesus-Turkey Rhodes-Greece Limassol-Cyprus Cairo-Egypt
Athens-Greece Kusadasi-Turkey Santorini-Greece Messina-Sicily
Naples-Pompeii-Italy Rome-Italy Monte Carlo-Monaco Marseille-France
Barcelona-Spain Cadiz-Spain Lisbon-Portugal Paris-France
London-England People Ship General Items


Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt. Giza Pyramids, Sphinx & the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. There were at least 22 buses for our tour excursions, with most going to Cairo. The ride to Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is about three hours from the port. Our bus was in a four-bus caravan with a police escort. After an incident in 1997 where a tourist was killed, the U.S. State Department requires a police escort for organized tourist activities in Egypt, such as our excursions. The land used to be just Sahara desert sand, but with irrigation from the Aswan Dam there is a large amount of development and agriculture.

We visited the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, viewing exhibits from the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms of Egypt. The museum houses a collection of Egyptian antiquities from 2700 BC to the 6th century AD, so some of the items are 4700 years old. We saw the original treasures of King Tutankhamon, including his funeral mask made out of 25 pounds of solid gold. We had a good buffet lunch in a large dining room.

We then went to the great pyramids of Giza. The largest of these, Cheops, is the only one remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Mary and seventeen other people from our bus went into a pyramid. I didn't go because the passageway is only 36 inches high. That low height and the narrow width, along with high heat and poor air quality, would make the movement through the long tunnel both physically and mentally challenging. Everyone coming out was soaked in sweat.

We saw the Sphinx, part lion and part man. Carved from a natural rock, the Sphinx is 190 feet long and 66 feet tall at its highest point. Its face, which is 16 feet above the ground, faces the rising sun to the east. These pyramids and the Sphinx are right at the edge of the expanding Cairo.

Yesterday I mentioned the high winds and drifting boat in Limassol, Cyprus, because of a strong low-pressure weather system that formed in the eastern Mediterranean. Those high winds also closed the port in Cairo yesterday, so we felt very fortunate to be here today, with an open port. This was another WOW day.

The attached seven photos are us at the pyramids, Sphinx, and on a camel. It's really an experience dealing with the pushiness of the peddlers and (in someplaces) beggers.

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