Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pharaoh, Pharaoh

Before I start the second half of the trip (yes, there is more!), let me give you some random trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (cat on keyboard, sorry) information and answer some questions.
-Egypt is a very poor place. 50% of the population is illiterate. Most houses are unfinished. Levels are built when they have the money. They do not even have roofs on most of their houses. Just sticks and plants.
-The people still use the Nile as their source of life. Everything is dependent on it, and life is built around it. Yet, they dump their trash in the same place they swim.
-The pyramids are located outside of Cairo, which we did not go to. Most of the monuments are located where we were. Maybe we will go to Cairo one day, who knows!
-I wore bermuda shorts for my own safety. Considering even showing your wrist or hand is borderline p0rn, I was not about to walk around in shorts and a tight tank top. Not only that, but it is disrespectful. I try to be a sensitive traveler. While I may not have worn a head scarf, I did want to be somewhat conservative. There were girls that weren't, and I truly believe the invited all the harassment the received. And yes, Jordan was offered camels for my purchase.
-Hatshepsut was one of six female pharaohs, not the only one. Cleopatra (although not Egyptian) was another famous female pharaoh.
-On the boat we ate all of our meals. They had pasta and other "normal" things along with a mix of Egyptian items like eggplant, flat bread, hummus, etc. We were still careful on the boat though, and even brushed our teeth with bottled water.

Okay, on with the show. I will write more info today. Sorry the post will be long!

Day 4 pm- (Kom Ombo Temple)
Kom Ombo temple was the only one we got to see at night. It was beautiful! The things that make this temple special are that it has two complete sides. Each one is for a different god. Also, this temple features the calendar of the ancient Egyptians and carvings of medical and mummification instruments of the time.

Day 5- (Granite Quarry, High Dam, Philae Temple, Nile Islands, Nubian Village)
Whew! This was a busy day! First, we visited the Granite quarry. Giant pieces of granite, very exciting. The purpose is to see an unfinished obelisk that was started, but left in place after a crack appeared.

Then the high dam, another fascinating stop. :) It was very significant to the Egyptian people though. No more flood season. However, it also took away the silt that fertilized the lands.

Philae temple was another temple. (You get templed out!) The intersting thing about this one is that it is on an island, and was moved to a nearby island when the dam was built because it was already flooding often. Also, this temple has a great deal of "graffiti" from the 1800s, including British soldiers who fought in Sudan.

The boat cruise through the Nile Islands to the Nubian village was beautiful! Very relaxing. It was nice to see such a clean part of the river.

Then, we made it to the Nubian village. The Nubian's are a darker skinned Egyptian people. They speak Arabic, but also have their own language. They have very colorful villages and a fairly primitive way of life, even today.

Oh yes, and did I mention they put crocodiles by my face? It did not go so well.

Day 6- (Abu Simbel, Felucca ride, Botanical Gardens)
We took a plane to Abu Simbel in the morning (3 hour bus ride, no thank you!). The temple is about 40km from the boarder with Sudan. It was built by Ramses II as a warning to enemies coming from the South. It was discovered again in the late 1800s and moved rock by rock to avoid flooding in the 1960s. One temple was Ramses II, and the other for his wife, Nefertari.

The felucca ride was relaxing and nice. We just sailed all around the river. Ahhh!

The botanical gardens were okay. Nothing like Moody Gardens at home!

Day 7 and 8- (On the boat and back to Germany)
Since I needed a tan before going back to Germany I spent most of these days laying out. With the wind from the moving boat, I didn't get hot. Therefore- I burned to a crisp. My sunburn hurts like a bruise. Ouch!

When we finally made it to our plane (delay due to striking Germans) we had a gummy bear plane. Sweet! And yes, they gave us gummi bears!

If you are still reading...All in all it was a really great trip. We are still amazed and feel totally blessed each time we get to see something new. I have been interested in Egypt since I was little, this trip was really the trip of a lifetime for me!

Want even MORE pictures? Click here.


Jon and Steph said...

So jealous! It looks like you guys had a fantastic trip! I LOVE all of the pictures.

I can't believe they put crocodiles on you.... that's insane.

silver star said...

You're brave to have crocodiles on you! It looks like it was an amazing trip, thanks for sharing your pictures w/all of us (even the Facebook ones)!

Stacey said...

Okay, so I want to know, just HOW MANY camels you are worth!! :) j/k That is priceless!

I have enjoyed reading about your trip so much! I love all of the information that goes along with the photos; what an experience...

Ummm...and those crocs...goodness...

Crazy Shenanigans said...

It looks amazing! I'm glad you had a great time! Love the pictures.

MG said...

Looks like a great trip! I have always wanted to go to Egypt as well. Maybe someday!

daniella said...

I figured it was a modesty issue. Next time you go, let me know ahead of time and I'll send you a whole bunch of linen pants and long dresses & skirts. They're awesome and very breathable. And cute. But you still looked hot...and most importantly didn't get kidnapped or stoned.

I had no idea Cleopatra wasn't Egyptian!

Allison said...

Looks like you kids had a blast! What an amazing trip. Glad you had a good time and that Jordan didn't trade you for camels : )

Jaime said...

how awesome! your pictures are cool and i know they can't capture all the depth and detail of everything there. i'm sure your jaw was dropping in amazement very often. if not, then there is something wrong with you. (i probably would have cried... i do that when i see utterly amazing and historic things.... i'm aweirdo, for sure)

Sara said...

Your gummy bear plane rocks. seriously, how many people can ever say they did that. Oh yeah, and Egypt too! Great pictures. And nice job being conservative for the country. Some people just have no idea how much trouble they can get into by not adhering to cultural norms in other countries.

Fantabulously Frugal said...

Your pictures are amazing! It looks like such a fantastic trip. Thanks for sharing!

Kaitlin said...

your pictures look amazing. Looks like the trip of a lifetime!

Full of Heart said...

Looks like a great trip! I had to make a model of Abu Simbel in 8th grade, it was a disaster. I'd love to see the real thing!
And I love Haribos!! Also, very random, I REALLY like your white tennis shoes you were wearing, where did you get them? I'm sure in some European place, but I'd still love to know!

Tania said...

Those are Jon's favorite gummi bears so he would have been very excited about the plane too!

Beautiful pictures...Egypt sounds amazing! I hope you get to see the pyramids on your next trip!

jlc said...

Glad you didn't give 'em any porn. ;) And I think all your outfits were super classy the entire trip through. Great pics! Yet the one of you and the alligator is just PRICELESS. You handle scared wayyy better than I would. Hahah!

FROGGITY! said...

... woah, baby let my people go huh! yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah... hahaha... you brought back youth group memories if that was the song you were referring to with the title there...


you look great, happy, and the pics are amazing!!

Cole said...

Fantastic pics!! I would have freaked out if I had crocodiles in my face. I'm impressed that you handled it so well!

So, you're worth HOW many camels?!?! Hahaha

The Mrs. said...

wow i made it to the end! Great pictures and I loved the info. Makes me want to travel but alas I'll have to settle for the world showcase at epcot. And sadly thats about exotic enough for me!

Where are you all thinking about heading next?

And the gummy bear plane WITH gummy bears on board. My boys would be ALL over that one.

Full of Heart said...

Thank you so much! I'll have to go look on their website and see if I can find them!
I realize it was way out of left field, but from what I could see I really liked them!!

LIZ said...

These pictures are amazing...I am so jealous!!

Have a Happy Easter!!!

Gleatie said...

Your pictures are amazing! I can't believe you got to go on a Haribo airplane. My favorite! :)

Ashley said...

.... Oooh, oooh. Gotta let my people go. Huh! Na, na, na, na, na. Singin' Pharaoh, pharaoh..

Okay, sorry... got that church song stuck in my head now.

haha! Cute pics. Glad you enjoyed your time in Egypt.

Andrea said...

Wow! Quite a history lesson with fabulous pictures! I'm glad that you had such a great holiday! I love the architecture there.

SassyEngineer said...

Oh wow! I think the pictures just got better and better! I loved your info at the beginning - I was wondering about some of those things :)