TS#9 – Egypt : Don’t eat the salad

[Travel snippets – TS – a series of reflections on past travels and adventures]

I like salads, and at my age, you kind of have to. However, the first rule of traveling is don’t eat anything that is washed in the local water, and then not cooked. Unfortunately, salad falls into this category, and when I went to Egypt, my traveling partner ate the salad – he was not a happy camper after that. So if you go to Egypt, and possibly anywhere else, don’t eat the salad.

However, you should go to Egypt, because of its history and culture. When I was there, the air pollution was thick, due to the burning of refuge in the streets of the surrounding suburbs. On the street, we also came across some very chatty locals, who invited us back to their store – so watch out for that as well. However, if you can deal with all that, the marvels of antiquity await, including museums full of things people tried to take into the afterlife with them, pyramids, statues, papyrus, and more. Oh, on my trip there, I took a friend with me. What can I say, a dad’s gotta do, what a dad’s gotta do.

The thing I was not prepared for was how in Cairo, modernity comes right up to the pyramids. I guess I was expecting some long trek out in to the desert, but no, paved road right up to the pyramids, with buildings along the way. It’s not a bad thing per se, it just takes a little of the romance out of the adventure.

That said, the pyramids are a wonder to behold. They are special, inside and out, and there is at least one pyramid in Cairo that you could descend in to when I was there – you tall people, watch your head. Of course, the pyramids of today are not what they were back in the day, from the perspective of the outside finish, but with a little imagination and CGI, you can get a feel for that. BTW, you might find taller pyramids in Las Vegas, but you won’t find pyramids as interesting as the ones in Egypt. While at the great pyramids in Cairo, you might be tempted to take a small camel ride from one of the locals waiting to take money away from tourists. I went for it, I had a little bit of fun over a small distance, though it scared the crap out of my traveling companion who thought he would never see me again. Your mileage may vary.

The Sphinx is of course a special deal all on its own. I went to a night time show of dazzling laser lights, music, and narration, in addition to seeing it during the day. Unfortunately my back in the day camera was not much good at the night time thing.

South of Cairo there are many destinations for further attractions, and a variety of different pyramid styles.

When it comes to history, it is hard to beat Egypt, but what ever you do, don’t eat the salad, try some of the local cooked stuff – tastes better, and it won’t make you sick.

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