Where We Be
|We get our first view of the Pyramids of Giza from the
rooftop terrace of our hotel at the Cataract Pyramids
For twenty years now we've wanted to visit
Egypt -- and now here we are, on a rooftop
terrace at the Cataract Pyramids hotel, watching
the sun set behind the Pyramids of Giza. This is
the only place at the hotel with a view to the
pyramids, and there is quite a bit of city
between us and them -- but still, we’re seeing
them with our own eyes for the first time. The
magic of the moment increases when we hear
the call to prayer by muezzins from a dozen
different mosques. Downstairs we see the bank
clerk in the hotel bowing and praying to Allah.
All of this -- watching the sun set near the
pyramids, hearing Arabic music blast from local
boom boxes, listening to the overlapping calls
to prayer from amplified speakers atop mosque
minarets, seeing donkey carts trot by on the
streets, smelling the distinctive applewood-
flavored smoke from sheesha pipes -- brings
home that we are in Egypt now.
|We happen upon an Egyptian wedding ceremony complete with belly dancer. The
atmosphere in Egypt is festive right now because we've arrived near the end of Ramadan.
|We catch a glimpse of this crowded Cairo marketplace from our taxi. Our taxi ride into Cairo is eye-opening in its own right. Three lanes become
four based on the needs of individual drivers at any given time. Donkey-drawn carts and trucks filled with bananas share the road with us.
|Colorful sheesha pipes are on display at a Cairo marketplace
|Palm tree and setting sun
|The smog-filled sprawl of modern Cairo nearly hides the ancient Pyramids of Giza -- but not quite!