Tuesday 23 October, 2012

There are few man-made symbols that speak as loudly and as universally as Egypt’s massive Pyramids and their ever-watchful Sphinx. These massive monuments (the Pyramids were tombs of the Pharaohs, and the Sphinx was installed to protect their occupants and guarantee them safe passage into the afterlife) were built out of millions of stone blocks (each weighing an average two-and-a-half tons) … and it’s not until you stand before them on the desert sands just outside Cairo that you can really appreciate how overwhelmingly BIG they really are. Little wonder they were known for centuries as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!

Frankly, it was the Pyramids of Giza more than anything else that brought many of our Mad Midlifers to Egypt … and today, while Mrs Cooney and I were waiting for a delayed flight from Luxor, our Kiwi group kept an appointment with these giants – photographing them from every conceivable angle (like zillions of tourists before them) … following other brave souls down-down-down into the internal burial chambers of Cheops Pyramid (the biggest) … and being taken for a ride (in more ways than one) by the hordes of camel-drivers that lay in wait.

We met some pretty happy campers when we finally caught up with them – and Peter and Rodger happily agreed to some of their photos being shared with you and other adoring readers back home.

Last night, before heading for our beds at the elegant Cairo Marriott Hotel (famous for its palace gardens and views of the Nile), we drove again through crowded streets (past a kaleidoscope of people, faces, shops and animals – including corralled sheep awaiting sacrifice for the upcoming Muslim Eid Adha festival, starting 26 Oct), and returned to the now-dark Pyramids and Sphinx for an inspiring sound-&-light show.

This morning, after yet another posh hotel breakfast (not many more of these to go before we’re back home and back to Weetbix or toast), we spent an informative few hours in the vast Egyptian Museum, where the world’s most important collection of Nile antiquities is exhibited – including some celebrated mummies, and the knock-you-over treasures of the mummified King Tut.

Then a late-afternoon Egypt Air flight took us from Cairo to Amman (Jordan), where we down-luggaged at the 5-star Regency Palace Hotel in the heart of the city.


The stragglers are being mopped-up now, with a last-minute nomination being received for another quacky yellow duck:

  • The ‘Leading Sheep Astray Award’ has gone to Alison C – for marching into the men’s loo at one of our recent stops, faithfully followed by at least four other Kiwi women.


Magnificent, mysterious Petra (in Jordan)is one of the Middle East’s most unmissable sights … and a special ‘icing-on-the-cake’ bonus for us Kiwis.

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

Eid ADHA 26 Oct

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