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Old 17th June 2010, 18:15   #1
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Default My Egypt Days : Photologue

Hi Guys,

This is my first thread on the forum. I intend to keep this thread as a running thread. Primarily, this will be a photologue. I want the photographs to do the talking. I am not a professional photographer. The result is from my Sony Cybershot.

My Stay

I am here since about six months and likely to be here for an year more. I have been to some of the places and during my stay I would visit many more places. So, some pics are about 4-5 months old. That time I had not joined the Team-BHP.

About Egypt

Egypt is located in the North-East corner of African continent. Its one of the oldest civilizations. About 90% of the population is Muslim. Rest being coptic christians. Other religions are non-existent. It takes time to explain "hindusi" (hinduism in arabic) is also a religion and what its all about. The people here are really crazy about Bollywood movies especially Amitabh Bachchan. They have a channel known as Zee Aflam (meaning Zee Movies) which keeps showing hindi movies with arabic subtitles. Another famous actor is Shahrukh Khan. The people here are very hospitable and soft spoken.

Scope

I will keep you all posted about the experiences, my travelogues and of course car and traffic scene in Egypt. I will build it over a period of time. The weekend is on Thursday and Friday. So thats the time you all will see the maximum activity.

Here I go... loading on pics after mods approve my thread...
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Old 17th June 2010, 19:29   #2
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Egypt is a place on my top most priority to visit. Well till I dont get to visit Egypt, let me see the places through your lens.

Roll on the images please.
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Old 17th June 2010, 19:49   #3
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Default Egyptian Museum

We (me, wife and daughter) celebrated our New Year eve in mid-air in Air India flight. We landed in Cairo on 01 Jan. It took about a week to settle down. The detailed settling-in proved to be a long time affair as things here move very slow. We were ready to explore the “Pharaoh’s Land”. First visit was to the Egyptian Museum.

About Egyptian Museum
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, commonly known as the Egyptian Museum, is located at Maydan-at-Tahrir in Cairo. It has an extensive collection of ancient antiquities. It has 120,000 items. This museum is huge still unable to hold all the antiquities. The new museum is being built in Giza near the pyramids.

The museum's Royal Mummy Room contains 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times in two separate rooms. The important ones being that of Ramses I, Ramses II and Queen Hatsheput. There are two main floors of the museum, the ground floor and the first floor. On the ground floor there are huge staues made of stones and coffins from different periods of pharaonic era. On the first floor there are artifacts from the final two dynasties of Ancient Egypt. It also houses the famous treasures of Tutankhamun. The first and only mummy to be found intact with all its treasures. It is one of the famous attractions among tourists.

Our Visit

We entered the museum at 10 AM and came out at 5PM at the closing time. We had to hurry up in the end. I am very fond of historic items and spend good time there.

Ticket : LE 60 for each adult for museum and extra LE 100 each adult for Mummy Room . Some tourists skip mummy room to save money. LE is livre égyptienne in French meaning Egyptian Pounds. It is also known as EGP sometimes. 1 EGP = Rs 8.6.

Not many pics here as photography inside is prohibited to preserve the antiquities.

The quality of pics not very good. It would be better as I move on to my later visits. The pictures are of outside the museum (in the evening) and mummy pics from camera.
Attached Thumbnails
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My Egypt Days : Photologue-dsc07937.jpg  

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Old 17th June 2010, 19:55   #4
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Been there once a long time back. Was miserable all through because I had assumed that it would be a warm place but for that week it was bitterly cold and all I had were bush shirts!!
Did go out and see the pyramids and caught the night time soud and light show at foot of pyramids. That is all so this is an unfinished journey for me.The other thing I remember is the India Coffee house in middle of Cairo labyrinth of streets and "side lanes.
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Old 17th June 2010, 20:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Been there once a long time back. Was miserable all through because I had assumed that it would be a warm place but for that week it was bitterly cold and all I had were bush shirts!!
Did go out and see the pyramids and caught the night time soud and light show at foot of pyramids. That is all so this is an unfinished journey for me.The other thing I remember is the India Coffee house in middle of Cairo labyrinth of streets and "side lanes.
Yes sudev thats the misconception most people have. We wore warm clothings as late as end April when Delhi was burning . The temperature here has not crossed 35C yet. The main reason behind it is the wind flowing from Red Sea which keeps the weather cool. There is no humidity. Except June, July and August you may need a jacket in the evenings. There is a breeze most of the times. The sound and light show is amazing. I have seen a video of that. I have not seen the sound show yet. I have been to Pyramids though.
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Old 17th June 2010, 21:55   #6
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Default Visit to Pyramids

I am not keeping the sequence of my visits. I am eager to post about pyramids first. I always dreamed to see the pyramids . I wanted the visit to be special with a lot of time. That’s why the visit was after 42 days of my stay here. Did not happen the way I would have loved it though. Kasar reh gayi thodi si.


Facts

The Pyramid complex consists of the Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu (also known as the Great Pyramid; greatest in size), the Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren mid-sized) to the south-west, and the Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinos; smallest) a few hundred meters further south-west. The Sphinx lies on the east side of the complex and has a lower base than the pyramids.

There are very small pyramids of queens and their relatives (mostly children) near the pyramids of the respective kings. Near the Great Pyramid there is a solar pit where the boat to be used by the king for journey in afterlife was excavated in the 50s. There is a Solar boat museum now at that location. The Pyramids were the tallest building built by mankind for nearly 4000 years.

At Present

Out of the three Pyramids one is always closed by turn for entry into the funerary chamber for maintenance. The experience of entry could be claustrophobic for some. There is also a restriction on the number of people who can enter inside in a day. There is a light and sound show in the evening in six languages.

The Visit

The most awaited visit took place on 12 Feb. We took a taxi at 9AM and were there by 10AM. I ignored the advise for reaching early morning and I paid for it. It was crowded and by the end of the trip it was hot. The pyramids are outside the city in the desert.

Anyways, as we were about to reach the pyramids few Egyptians stopped the taxi and one of them talked something to the taxi driver in Arabic and tried to occupy the front seat. Little did he know that I knew Arabic reasonably well to understand him. He was the guide and trying to force himself upon us. I told the taxi driver that either the man leaves the taxi or we will. The confusion was going on. I dialled a non-existent phone number and called in Arabic :

Tourist police, aiwa (ok/yes). Kuch log meri biwi ko pareshaan kar rahe hain.”

Agla jumlaa kehne ki jaroorat nahin padi. Woh aise gaayab hua jaise gadhe ke sar se seeng.

We went to buy the tickets. Lag raha tha aaj hi saare log Pyramids dekhne aaye hain. Lambiiiiiiiiii line.

Wife took the lead as there was no one in the line for women. Gentleman log ladies ko pareshaani nahin dena chaah rahe the. Sometimes I feel cheap (sasta ) doing this.

Lekin ticket ke mehngai dekhkar meri cheapness chali gayi.

Ticket Prices (for one adult) :

Pyramid and Sphinx : 60 LE
Entry Pyramid Khufu : 100 LE
Entry Pyramid Khafre : 30 LE
Entry Pyramid Menkaure : 25 LE
Solar Boat Museum : 50 LE
Sound and Light Show : 75 LE

Kai baar mein prarthna karta hun ki meri beti agle saal tak 5 saal se kam hi rahe to achcha hai mere bahut paise (read LE) bachenge!!! Bachchon ki ticket badon se jyada kam nahin hoti kyunki aaj kal ke bachche badon ke kaan kaat-the hain.

We bought tickets for Pyramid and Sphinx and entry to Pyramid of Khafre. The rest two being closed. The solar boat museum and sound and light show were left for some other time. (reasons later).

As we entered through the gate after showing our tickets, a young man approached us and asked for tickets with authority. I asked him who was he (in Arabic) and he was taken aback. He just disappeared. These people will keep the tickets in pocket and start guiding you uninvited. Little did he know that India is a diverse country and we are very diverse and advanced in employment opportunities. We are Jacks of all trades.

Beta ustaadi ustad se!!! Who bhi subah subah do-do baar!!! I have been through our motherlands diversity in employment opportunities many times.

Then I caught the first glimpse of the Pyramids. Saans upar ki upar neeche ki neeche.

I spent few minutes to let the feeling sink in. I know this experience is going to stay with me for life time.

The visit involved lots of walking around. We saw the pyramids from various angles and clicked photos. Then we went to see the Sphinx. Once you are in the pyramid area its difficult to notice the Sphinx as it is at a lower level. Then we clicked the photos between maraa-maari for clicking photographs in the various angles seen in the magazines and web sites.

I always move around with a backpack carrying our passports, water bottles and some snacks. The temperature was rising. The water in bottles started depleting fast. Daughter was feeling hungry too. We were at the other corner of the complex and yet to go inside the pyramid.

My daughter looked in my eyes with sparkles like Shin Chan (chiinggggggg) and I read it correctly.

Chal beta aaja daddy ke kandhe pe.

She had the biggest smile of the day and took no time in obeying her caring father’s command. Took my daughter on the shoulder (she is 5 years old) and the rucksack and proceeded.

Man mein socha 4000 saal pehle logon ne kissi tarah ye hajjaron tone ke pathar hilaaye honge, inhe dekhne ke liye main bhi 25 kilo wajan utha leta hun.

The wise tourists who came early were already leaving. Then we reached the entrance of Pyramid of Khafre . There was some shade. We sat there. Firstly, wife went inside with daughter then I went inside again with the daughter. (Daughter being two months less than five no ticket!!!).

Ek baar phir se thoda sa sasta feel hua lekin u know…I was legal.

The feeling is amazing when you go inside the Pyramid knowing that millions of tones of blocks lie on top of you. Finally, we called it a day as wife and daughter tired and we were low on energy providing items. Left the Solar museum and Sound & light show for some other day.

In the night on the bed I kept thinking how the millions of such blocks would have been cut and moved 4000 years back!!! How would the blocks weighing thousands of tones moved at a height of 200m!!
When we see the modern buildings collapsing, this one has stood the test of time. I read somewhere that 3m people worked for 20 years to make Pyramid of Khufu. One of the greatest efforts of mankind.



PS : Facing a problem being a nayee makhee (NEWBIE) as mods take some time to approve the post. So, I will post the pics after this writing is approved.
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Old 17th June 2010, 22:18   #7
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Default Pyramid Pics

Just compare and see the size of each block. Thats me with my daughter. My height is 5'10". Just compare the size of each block. The pyramid of Khafre is the one with plaster on the top. Still in nice shape after 4000 years.
Attached Thumbnails
My Egypt Days : Photologue-dsc08343.jpg  

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My Egypt Days : Photologue-dsc08414.jpg  

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Old 18th June 2010, 09:24   #8
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Default Visit to Phraonic Village

Not disappointed by the unusual unresponsiveness on the Team-BHP, I will continue with my next trip to "Pharaonic Village". A small island in the River Nile where you get a glimpse of the pharaonic times and insight into the modern Egypt.
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Old 18th June 2010, 10:02   #9
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can we climb up to the top of pyramid if we want to..??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
Just compare and see the size of each block. Thats me with my daughter. My height is 5'10". Just compare the size of each block. The pyramid of Khafre is the one with plaster on the top. Still in nice shape after 4000 years.
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My Egypt Days : Photologue-dsc08343.jpg  

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Old 18th June 2010, 10:38   #10
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Originally Posted by sanjaymugur View Post
can we climb up to the top of pyramid if we want to..??
It is possible to climb upto the top but keeping in mind the personal safety and safety of the pyramids it is prohibited. We can climb few steps though.
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Old 18th June 2010, 10:44   #11
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Fascinating stuff TaureanBull. Don't worry about non patronage of your thread, it will come around very soon. Carry on with your blog.
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Old 18th June 2010, 10:58   #12
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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Fascinating stuff TaureanBull. Don't worry about non patronage of your thread, it will come around very soon. Carry on with your blog.
Thanks a lot. I would continue this even at the expense of it becoming one to one forum with myself. As of now I am covering the experience of the past. Once I am through with it, I intend to begin a separate thread on Auto Scene in Egypt. That I am sure would interest lots of people.
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Old 18th June 2010, 11:08   #13
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This thread is shaping up nicely!
Bring it on TaureanBull.

One small suggestion -> Although I do agree that Hindi addes the Desi flavour to it, go a little bit easy on the hindi part. Reading hindi written in BOLD english font in not easy.

Question -> Around the pyramids area, are helicopter rides an option?
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Old 18th June 2010, 11:27   #14
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Egypt is one of my dream destination for the Pyramids and for my business(pharma), thanks TaureanBull for sharing some beautiful pictures of Pyramid. I will be visiting Egypt by the end of 2010.
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Old 18th June 2010, 11:45   #15
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I was waiting for the photos to come up. A pic speaks a thousand words. And now you are talking! So don't worry about response. It will come sooner or later.
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