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Camels in Cairo

Before Dan and I jet away to Peru for a couple weeks, I thought I would I leave you with a little something during my absence. You see, Dan and I have done a bit of travelling. Although we've crossed off the obligatory Minnie and Micky adventures in Disneyland, braved thousands of miles of open road in search for America's best National Parks, and lounged lazily at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, our journeys are not always limited to the safe and mundane.

We also like to ride camels in Egypt.


It was just about two years ago that Dan and I set off for a summer in Europe. Although each city and country impressed us with history, art, and cuisine, in the end, each excursion blended into one another. Just like all the good things in life, what was once exciting and new was slowly becoming routine. However would we break the monotony? The answer came a quick flight to Cairo later.


Cairo was chaotic, polluted, stressful, and most importantly unexpected. This was the culture shock we were after. If armed and uniformed men on every corner and heart attack inducing taxi rides weren't enough to send us running back to the comforts of Europe, the heat and filth surely ruffled our feathers. Yet, as quirky, scary, and dangerous as it was, we loved nearly every minute of.


What was so appealing about the Cairo Circus? The people: generous, kind, and helpful. Yes, sometimes they were just trying to make a sale, but even when turned down a thousand times, they still opened their doors and treated us like family. Pushing through crowded market places, it was as though the red carpet had been rolled out before our feet. Showing the eager sellers that we really had no money to spend, they still never faltered and welcomed us to try the fruits of their labors. All political, religious, and cultural differences aside, we never once witnessed anything but openhanded kindness from locals.

Early morning call to prayer from our hostel window

We spent our days discovering the many hidden gems within the walls of the Egyptian Museum, exploring the local marketplaces, and immersing ourselves in the culture of the people.


We took a dinner cruise down the Nile, taking in a night of feasting and dancing.


But, no trip to Cairo is complete without making the trek to the Great Pyramids.


As gracefully as possible we rode our camels around the desert with the help of a guide. Let me rephrase - our likely 10 year old guide. Not quite sure what we had gotten ourselves into, we hoped for the best. Luckily we were able to brave the blistering heat for several hours and got our share of photo opportunities with the shutter happy help of our kid guide. Sure, half our photos ended up just exposing the tops of our heads or the bottoms of our feet, but he was loving it to much to give him a proper photography lesson.


The camels were, well, not what we expected either. Sadly, we felt out camels had seen better days and guiltily we rode them about wondering if perhaps these weren't camels from the "government" regulated stables we were promised.


The Pyramids on the other hand were phenomenal. No words can truly describe how incredible it was to stand below such an ancient and imposing structure. You can't help but feel a sense of awe at the enormity and grandness of them.


As our camels carried us back we reflected on our Cairo experience. We had been searching for an adventure that would truly amaze and inspire, one that would cause us discomfort and unease at the unexpected, and one that would open our eyes to another culture. Cairo delivered on all fronts and we couldn't have asked for a more dynamic and enriching experience.

Posted by Jennylynn 19:05 Archived in Egypt Tagged tourist_sites

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I have never thought of Cairo as a destination but the idea is now in my head due to your pictures. Looked like a wild ride adventure to me! You are in peru? I. Am. Super. Jealous. Can't wait for you to come back and share.

by CanaGerm

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