Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Travel Blogging IV

Cairo. We saw the pyramids yesterday morning, amid a growing sandstorm. "Sahara" is Arabic for "desert," and the sand is very fine so the wind can pick it up and blow it around. By the end of the morning we were at the Sphinx which is a few hundred yards from the nearest pyramid and there was so much blowing sand and dust you couldn't see the nearest pyramid at all.

Subjective reaction to the pyramids and sphinx: they were huge structures for the time they were constructed but not by today's standards. By today's standards they are merely very large - no longer huge. I had the same reaction to the leaning tower of Pisa. On the other hand, St. Peter's in Rome is still huge by today's standards.

We also visited the so-called Solar Boat exhibit, which was found alongside the largest pyramid in a stonecut tomb of its own. It was part of Cheops' burial goods, his Nile cruiser, and an impressive piece of naval architecture several thousand years old. The joinery was of a high standard.

The other DrC took a camel ride and pronounced herself very satisfied with the experience. I think she liked it better than horseback, which she tried 2-3 years ago. Your humble scribe decided to forego a camel ride, I didn't need the experience and neither did some poor camel.

Most of the group is going to Alexandria today, we opted not to go. We were in Alex less than 3 months ago and didn't feel the need to "do it again" so soon. Alex is worth one visit, probably not two.