Now I know what you’re thinking, those are two intrepid looking explorers right there; oh yeah!
Visiting the pyramids of Egypt was something that I wanted to do for..ever; for as long as I can remember I have wanted to see them with my own eyes. I was fascinated to learn about the Ancient Egyptians in school, and seeing the Pyramids and the landscape in films and on T.V. made the whole experience seem an almost romantic dream.
After my (then) fiancee and I were engaged and starting to plan our wedding, before any other plans were made, we had figured out our honeymoon. We actually booked our wedding to fit around the honeymoon.. There was a bit of a dilemma at first though when thinking of a destination, my fiancee didn’t like flying but I wanted to travel somewhere, I sure as hell wasn’t staying in England.
We decided upon a cruise, but we wanted it to be a good cruise that went somewhere amazing, that didn’t involve any flying first. We’d spoken about travelling when we were younger but never got around to it, so a cruise for us was a 3 week taste of what other countries had to offer. We chose the Eastern Med D203 cruise that spent two days in Egypt, I didn’t care about the rest of the destinations because I was going to Egypt!
Day 9 into our trip and the news broke that the ship would not be docking at Port Said which should have taken place on the 12th day. We would instead be stopping at a little Greek island called Nauplia. I was devastated. From Port Said we were meant to go and see the Pyramids, but then more news came that the Alexandria stop was still going ahead and the pyramid trip would be taken from here instead. Phew. I may not have gotten my two days in Egypt but at least I was getting one, and quite frankly, it turned out that the changing of the stop was a blessing in disguise.
Egypt was nothing that I had dreamt or hoped of. The night before the ship docked in Alexandria, we had spoken with many of the other passengers who were telling us their stories of the Land of the Nile. And they weren’t pretty. Because of these, we prepared ourselves for the worst, but obviously not enough. I opened my cabin curtains the next day to find we had docked, and on top of a building, right in front of my window, was a man with a very big gun. Good morning to you too.
As soon as we stepped off the ship (just to get into the tour bus) we were ambushed by salesman, as in, there was nowhere to go to get away from having statue cats and fridge magnets shoved in our face’s and this was the tone for the whole of the trip. Of the Egyptians that I met there, they are nice and friendly until you say you don’t want to buy anything or if they can’t upsell, then they turn nasty and a bit frightening. My husband and I actually ended up having to RUN AWAY from a group of ‘salesmen’ who were trying to take us away from the site. Scary stuff.
Did you know, the Pyramids aren’t even as big as what they once were? Layers of the tombs have been taken away over the years for the stones to be used in building houses etc. Each stone is flippin’ massive, you don’t even realise how big they are until you notice a person standing next to one stone and it completely dwarfs them! The Pyramids are absolutely huge so it boggles the mind to think they are actually smaller than what they should be.
The Sphynx? Tiny. Teeny weeny. I was so surprised and not only by its size. I always imagined the Sphynx was out in the wilderness, a surveyor of its land, a gateway protector, but it’s not. It’s small and hidden in modern day surroundings. And covered in the, now usual, pushy tat-sellers.
There is more that could be told, but who wants to be accused of moaning.
And that is my experience of Egypt. However, never forget that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I know for certain that certain others on the trip saw the whole day in a completely different light and loved every minute.
It’s a shame that that is my view of the country now. I know I will never go back but I am glad to say that I have been and I have seen the Great Pyramids.
Nauplia, as it happened, turned out to be our favourite stop of the whole cruise, and the ship wasn’t even meant to dock there. Funny how these things happen.
Check out the rest of my Bucket List HERE.
I actually want to leave you with some tips we were given, for if you do go to Egypt:
- Do not give your camera to anyone that you don’t know, to take your picture. It will cost you dearly to get it back. Even if they look ‘official’ e.g. police.
- Do not get on a camel for $1. It will cost you $100+ to get back off again!
- If you take a picture of a camel be prepared to pay the camel handler for the privilege.
- Females – cover up. Where light clothes but nothing revealing.
- Blondes, either cover up your hair or dye it, you will receive very unsettling attention if you don’t!
Just keep your wits about you.