Egyptian Adventure Part 1/3

Maastricht during Carnival - the birthplace of Tawny & Angela's friendship

Tawny & I first met on exchange in Maastricht, Holland. Upon landing in Amsterdam, I met her on the minibus that took us to our residence. She introduced herself by name and let me know that she was from The O.C.

I am terrible with names and faces – such a bad combo. It’s as if you start to say your name and I shut my ears off. My eyes then look at your head as if it were a hazy white ball. I can never find anyone in a crowd.

Later on that day I saw a haze of what I thought was a Tawny and yelled “Heeeeeeyyyy, O.C girl!!”(associations help) and a friendship was born!

Please read below for Angela & Tawny’s Egyptian adventure!

AF-RI-CA-Habba Habba
Day 1

Tawny and I fly into Cairo, Egypt at 1:00am and my sister from another Mister and I decide it’s a good and safe idea to walk to our hotel. The adventure begins…

Day 2

We planned very little of our trip before landing in Egypt. Originally we had joined a tour but quickly learned it was a scam when $500USD for the whole tour turned into $500USD/day.  We quickly jumped off that ship but only had a day to plan our Egyptian adventure. As such we booked a one night stay at a hotel and grabbed a copy of Lonely Planet Egypt at the airport.

As such on Day 2 we check into a hostel in the downtown area and though ill advised to book tours through a hostel, we did it anyways.

We spent the day alone exploring Cairo! Off to the Egyptian Museum we quickly learn that it is more of a warehouse for Egyptian artifacts than a museum…small disappointment but Tawny had a great time! She made us visit King Tut’s mask TWICE because as a kid she had a crush on him. A little odd but I can relate, I had a crush on Jessica Rabbit. Dead mummies, fictional cartoon rabbits. Kids are silly. I do want to mention that Tawny’s crush on King Tut led her to use the app “What will your baby look like?” with her and King Tut – sounds more serious than a small childhood crush…

Next up, Khan Khalili-the bazaar!

Upon arrival the bazaar does not look like your typical kaleidoscope of colors and junk…A man with a crazy eye approaches us and tells us that we tourists are in the wrong place. This is the local bazaar for fruits, veggies, and meat. What he really means to say is rabbits and hijabs.  Since neither of us are in the market for a burkha we decide he is right.

Famished from our day of exploring, we mention that we’re hungry. Tawny & I are both way into exploring culture and eating authentic food and so we follow crazy eye down a labyrinth of tiny streets to a hole in the wall. The food is AMAZING and dirt cheap! 18 Egyptian Pounds = 3 Canadian Dollars each!

During dinner we discover that he is a delightful man – around our age he is curious to know much about North America and eager to share his story. After we dine, he suggests we come check out what he does for a living…UH – that most definitely sounds dangerous! And so, we go.

He leads us up two flights of stairs – him first, than me, than Tawny. If something crazy were to happen it was up to Tawny to turn around and run for help!! However that didn’t need to happen. He brought us to a Papyrus shop! Famous in Egypt, Tawny and I both leave with beautiful works of art.

We also would like to put it out there that following strangers is always dangerous! Be careful!

Finally, we’re on our way to the real bazaar, Khan Khalili. The night ends with some Egyptian hospitality at Fishawi’s for sheesha. Our sheesha was paid for by a woman who said that in her country they like to welcome and hope that when she travels abroad the same courtesy is bestowed upon her.

Day 3

Can you see me?

The tour we booked begins! We wake up a the crack of dawn to take a million hour journey into the desert.  Upon arrival we discover that the desert is actually quite cold. Not the suffocating hear I had expected. I was fully prepared to die from a combination of sunstroke and dehydration but was happy to learn that that need not happen.

Our group is 5. Our crazy tour guide Zaki who threatens to kill me but proposes to Tawny. Our driver who doesn’t speak any English but instead in the universal language of cat. He meows a lot! And a flight attendant from Indiana, Josh.

Does this look like it was taken out of Star Wars? Yes it does!!

The desert is incredible! We visit Crystal Mountain, a hot spring, and the White Desert. The White Desert looks like something out of Star Wars and appropriately Tawny and I bust out our imaginary light sabers and battle it out in the galatica.

Dining room AND sleep quarters...Egyptian MacGyvers!

At night, the driver and tour guide set up camp in the desert using blankets and the side of the car. Provisions are then whipped out and dinner is made. Afterwards, we join another camp and dance to Bedouin music with the Bedouin people. Similar to gypsies, The Bedouin people are nomads that move from place to place within the desert.

We sleep under a blanket of stars. The moon is oh so bright the sky is actually blue at night. An incredible experience we also see some wildlife! A fox comes by to eat our leftovers.  Salem Mr. Fox!

 

Egyptian Adventure to be continued…

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