I have never before thought of seeing one of the wonder of the world, pyramid. It’s only thru the medias or published books that I have seen them often.When my company sent me for a marketing trip to Cairo in March 2007, it is going to be real..Really real . To be able to see the histoy of human civilizations traced back to thousand of years and to see the structure which ancient peoples built, the feelings is very hard to convey in words and it is a truly magnificient experience.
Because this trip is more towards business trip, not many days available for myself to actually explore Cairo. Only 2 days available for me and my collegue to do the tour to all the historical places within Cairo. So we have to carefully planned our itinerary to visit a few places in order not to waste our precious time. We rent a taxi for USD30.00 for a day trip. The taxi driver’s name is Mr Fauzi and he will be our driver from 9am to 5pm and will drive us to the places we wished to go. Mr Fauzi is able to speak english, so he can give us some information on board like a tour guide. A day before the trip, I have made some research by asking a few Egytian friends about interesting places in Cairo. A few quoestions like how to get there, how much tickets that I have to pay to enter those places and etc. This is to avoid myself being conned in paying excessive money. So, I’m ready with all the infomations to fight the waves of Nile.
Early in the thursday morning at about 9am Mr Fauzi came to pick us up from our hotel and there we go. It took us 30 minutes drive from our hotel to reach there. When reaching there, we were brought straight to the back alley where we saw many camels and horses there. My friend has told me that the horse is only optional for pyramid tour and you skip and can go directly to buy ticket at the entrance. But Mr Fauzi has told us differently. Only buses are allowed to go into the entrance while cars have to park outside and far from the entrance. According to him, to walk from the taxi parking area to the entrance is too far. So we have to rent horses or camels. We had no choice but negotiated the fare with the stable’s owner for USD10.00 each person for two hours ride. From there I can smell that Mr Fauzi actually have some kind of agreement with the stable’s owner to bring customers to him. It’s because after taking the horse ride passing a block of building, we can see the entrance to the pyramid area. It’s about 100 metres from the stable. What a scammed!. But we took it as a positive move as the ride is actually quite cheap. Even back to my country we can’t get that kind of fare to ride a horse for 2 hours. It’s a pleasant ride feeling like cowboys in the movie. Seeing others that have to walk from the entrance to the pyramid, I felt like I want to scream at them and tell them to take the horses as it is damn cheap and I don’t have to walk.Be positive! Be positive! With us there is one tour guide who explaining pyramid’s history and we paid him USD15 for his services together with two boys who were guiding our horses while they were walking.
Pyramid!.What can I say.? Here I’m, standing there in front of one of the wonder of the world. So magnificient considering the workers needed for the contructions. This shows the pharaohs are the most tyrant rulers during that time. To fulfill his ambition of living after death is such a tragedy for the people of Egypt during that time. Hundred thousands of workers has been used to build the pyramid. But after a while, or after taking into consideration of what I have seen during my stay in Cairo, I came into conclusions that pharaoh is not actually tyrant but the most visionary leader. (Warning: This is my assumption only!) He can see the future of Egypt. Why I’m saying this? It’s because unemplyment rate is very high now in Egypt. So, By building pyramids and other extraordinary monuments, the pharaohs has created a lot of jobs within travel industry itself and at the same time bring tourists money into Egypt. What a thoughtful leader he is. Don’t you agree with me. Of course Egyptians will say NO! err, Sphinx is not as big as in picture. We have been offered to go into the pyramid but you have to pay some money or ticket to get in. As been advised by our guide we have refused the offer. According to him, there is nothing inside the pyramid . All has been taken to the Egyptian Museum and it’s better to pay the entry ticket to the museum rather than paying to go inside the pyramid. Before ending our tour, we have told the guide that we do not want to visit any of the papyrus or perfurme shop as we have bought enough at the bazaar. So, without trying to bring us to those shops, he bring us to our Mr Fauzi after receiving his deserved tips. We paid EGP15 each for the two boys and EGP50 to the guide.
Finished with pyramid, off we go to the Citadel located in Old Cairo. It’s 20 minutes drive from the pyramid to the citadel. We have to pay EGP50 the entrance ticket. There are 2 mosques and 2 museums that we can visit at the citadel. The first mosque is El Naser Mohamed Ibn Dalawoon mosque. The architecture of the mosque is the same as Al Moayyed mosque in Syria. Infact, most of the mosques that I went to in Egypt has big influence from Al Moayyed Mosque is Syria in term of architecture. After that we went to Mohamed Ali Pasha mosque where the look of the mosque is so picturesque. It is said that the mosque was built by Muhamed Ali in memory of his son Tushun Pasha who was died. The one that should not be missed at the mosque is to enjoy the great scenery view of Cairo from outside of the mosque. It is so beautiful.We spent about one hour going around the citadel and after seing military museum, we decided to go out.
We have not taken any lunch yet as we are so occupied with pyramid and the citadel. We started to feel hungry only when we has finished our tour of the citadel. So, we have asked Mr Fauzi to recommend us a good, clean and cheap restaurant for us to have our lunch. He brought us to one restaurant where I forgot the name. It is nice and cheap where we paid below USD10 per person for our meal. We finished our meal and Mr fauzi sent us back to the hotel and ending our tour.