Finally, after two days of being stranded, we left Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. We left Paris with the Parisians noses in the air and a ‘whatever’ on their lips. Arriving in Cairo, Egypt to smiles and “Where are you from?” and “Welcome to Egypt”, in English was an amazing feeling. Clearing customs was easier than clearing customs in our own country, all with smiles and ” Welcome to Egypt, enjoy your stay”, something we would hear endlessly from everyone for our time here.
Our hosts, tour guides from their own company, Pyramids Camel Group, were waiting to pick us up and take us home. This family was recommended to us by a friend of a friend, Doug Baum. He brings Americans here a couple times a year to tour Egypt. He has his own tour company in Texas and takes care of camels.
“Welcome to Egypt”, is again what we heard as we were welcomed by father, Adel, and son, Magdy, ready to take us home at 01:00 am. After the ride to their home we were shown our large room and offered tea or coffee, and we sat and chatted for a while. Wonderful people. We immediately liked them both and their warm hearts. Off to bed we went with breakfast going to be served whenever we woke up. In the morning we would be doing a pyramid tour, by camel, of course.
Breakfast was served on a large silver platter with three legs, only about 10 inches off the floor. On the platter were 6 or 7 other small bowls each holding a different food. We sat on cushions around the platter and ate, the four of us, seated in a circle. An Egyptian bread, like flatbread, was a!so served. You were to break off a piece of bread, use it between your fingers and pinch a bit of food off from a bowl and eat it. With the bread, you could try something different each time. Some of the food was different each meal. For breakfast we had a breaded and fried vegetable, goat cheese, dates in a sweet sauce, potatoes of some sort, a sweet porridge and spiced zucchini. It was all delicious.
One reason I like exploring cities are the smells. Driving out of the neighborhood your senses are overwhelmed by the smells of fresh bread, spices, soap, animals and fresh fruit, all lingering in the air. I leave my window open to feel and hear the people.
Arriving at the pyramids we just stare. You can feel it in the air. Over 7,000 years of history, power, death. It’s all here in the power of the pyramids. How they were built is explained to us by Adel, and here, looking at the pyramids, the plateau and the Nile so close by, it all makes sense. Built by over 100,000 slaves in 20 years. You can see the limestone quarries where the massive 2-ton stones were cut. We are just awe struck, there’s no other way to explain it.
Adel has called a friend to arrange to bring his camels here for us to ride around the pyramids, seven here, in total. As we ride, the ancient history is explained to us. We stop at a viewing area and dismount from the camels. We take tourist photos and have a Coca-Cola from a local man. Then on to the Sphinx, a little underwhelming, but still impressive.
After, we watch sunset at a local restaurant rooftop overlooking the pyramids while drinking a tea. Then we head back home for another amazing, home prepared meal, served in the same style as breakfast.
What an amazing day.