Archive for September, 2008

Exotic Egypt

Posted in My-Travel on September 30, 2008 by prajwalpai

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Me and Charles were very exited bout exotic Egypt. I still don’t remember what made us decide on a trip to Egypt but here we were in the plane about to take our first step in the new continent of Africa. We landed Friday night 02:00 in Cairo. We were more than happy to see the driver sent by our hotel for pick up. Going around Europe from sometime now which are so deserted and lifeless, I was happy when I sensed life in Cairo city even at 03:00 in the night with the streets all crowded (check out the snaps).

The Hotel manager gave us hibiscus juice (welcome drink) and we sat in the common room and struck a deal almost immediately. For a decent amount of 1100 Egyptian pounds (£110) we got a nice Mitsubishi Lancer for our disposal, an Egyptologist (Walid, who has degree in Egypt’s history) and a guided tour around Cairo with breakfast, lunch and Accommodation in hotel included. Walid our guide planned everything for 2 days and took us to nice places to eat and organised it with perfect timelines.

Spending 3 days in Cairo, I still don’t know which part of the road they drive 🙂 , I guess, Only being on the road matters. As soon as we started out on day 1, Walid was able to sense the shock on our face and told that ppl don’t follow any traffic rules in Egypt but they are all professionals and we had nothing to worry. He had hardly completed his sentence when a car from behind banged our car. I was hoping to see at least some argument but the two drivers just had a small talk and both parted their ways.

Day 1

Saqqara:  Saqqara is an immense necropolis (cemetery) just south of Cairo and west of the ancient city of Memphis of which very little remains. Used as a burial ground for thousands of years, Saqqara hides its secrets well under desert sands. The site’s best-known feature is the Step Pyramid, the world’s oldest major stone structure. It was built in the 3rd Dynasty (around 2630 BC) for King Djoser and its construction was overseen by his vizier Imhotep

Tomb of Ti: http://www.egyptmyway.com/articles/mastaba_ti.html

Lunch: No clue what the place was but had delicious food. Check out snaps

Perfume palace: A huge showroom of perfumes where some guy showed us a variety of perfumes. A perfume for each mood made of flowers, blend of flowers and spices.

Institute of Papyrus: Where we saw how papyrus is made from the plant and did our papyrus shopping.

Great Pyramid of Giza: No words to tell about this. This in everyway is the star of our trip and icon of Egypt. Check out the pics in my album or for now, from here http://www.culturefocus.com/egypt_pyramids.htm

Sahara desert on Camel: We went to a camel stable, hired 2 camels and went to Sahara desert to see the sunset. We spent more than an hour on camel ride and close to an hour on desert gazing at the sun set.

Sound and Light show at Giza: I will upload my video soon, till then: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ulTt-Cxcg

We had dinner at some place nearby hotel and we roamed around streets of Talat Harb, Which was totally crowded even at 1 in the night. We were actually surprised to see full families with all kids and infants sitting in hotels at 1 in the night and many young boys and girls roaming around at some 2 in the night. That’s why I think Cairo is referred as the city that never sleeps. We called it a day at some 2 in the night.

Day 2

Egyptian Museum: The second day started with a visit to Egyptian Museum. It might take more than a day to see each bit of this museum but with Walid’s help we covered all this in close to 3 hours covering only the interesting parts which includes King Tutankhamen’s original mask.

The Hanging Church: The Hanging Church is named for its location above a gatehouse of the Roman fortress in Old Cairo; its nave is suspended over a passage. The church is approached by 29 steps; early travellers to Cairo dubbed it “the Staircase Church.”

Ben Ezra Synagogue: The Ben Ezra Synagogue was originally a Christian church, which the Coptic Christians of Cairo had to sell to the Jews in 882 AD in order to pay the annual taxes imposed by the Muslim rulers of the time.

Cairo Citadel: In the 12th century, Saladin and his successors built an impenetrable bastion in the Citadel, using the most advanced construction techniques of the age. For the next 700 years, Egypt was ruled from this hill.

Muhammad ‘Ali Mosque: The Ottoman-style Muhammad ‘Ali Mosque or Alabaster Mosque is the most noticeable in all of Cairo; for more than 150 years it has dominated the skyline.

Khan Al-Khalili : Khan Al Khalili is one of the biggest bazaars in the Middle East, maybe in the world. The Arabs call Khan a souk sharkiat, which means a market road. But Khan Al Khalili is more than a market. It is a town of markets and shops. It is situated in the East of the city, in what you call the Islamic Cairo. Craftsmen, businessmen and wholesalers crowd together along its narrow alleys. You get easily lost in Khan Al Khalili if you don’t pay attention to landmarks.

Nile Cruise: Best part of Cairo trip may be , It was a nice huge 3 floor boat with delicious buffet. The entertainment during the dinner involved Egyptian folkloric shows which even includes belly dance. Check out the pics.

Day 3

We had almost covered everything in Cairo in first 2 days and today was our day off. We had options to go to Alexandria or Luxor but we didn’t have enough time to go there. I woke up by 12 in the noon and had breakfast at hotel. I saw Ice age movie and an episode of Seinfeld before we ventured out into Khan Al Khalili again. We spent more than a couple of hours roaming around the souvenirs shops. We then spent a cool evening in front of Al-Hussain mosque, Where I spent an hour looking into the huge crowd and Charles spent an hour talking with his new egyptian friend Ahmed. Charles finally made use of his English-Egyptian translator book.

We came back and packed our bags and left back for our lively life in London. This was the end of enchanting, exotic Egypt.

Long time no B

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2008 by prajwalpai

It’s been real long time since I did some Blogging. I had reached a stage when I used to have a entry ready for my next blog. What happened in between then and now is this BLOG.

 Archaeological findings:

 I have always had some person in my life who complemented my brain waves. A person with whom i shared my thoughts and my excitements. I was blessed to have many such ppl around me most of the time. I used to tell them everything from the most mundane thing that happened to me to some life changing events. Over time my circle narrowed from many such ppl to few such ppl. And from few ppl to a handful of ppl gradually. The turn of events lead to the circle becoming a fixed single point outside me. I used to share everything with this point. Then came a time when this point got erased from my life. I had lost the bond with my old buddies and with this point erased now, I was piling up my thoughts with nobody to talk to. It took time for me to move on in my life, to let go of that point and to gradually look for the old feeble point on the circumference of my circles.

 Some history lessons :

 This phase was when I stumbled into blogs. I was doing many things and I had nobody to tell my comments on them, nobody to tell how excited I was, and nobody to tell how sad I was or how happy I was at any time. Many thoughts had piled up in me and I was like a gossiping housewife with some red hot news but have lost her voice. I exploded with blogs. I wrote many private blogs which I didn’t publish and I think have deleted all of them too by now. I found some medium of expression; I found a duct to vent out my thoughts. My public blogs wouldn’t give a complete picture of what all I had to say but I found out that writing down your thoughts really does wonders to you. Our thoughts are very random and its very natural for the train of thoughts to get derailed or just abruptly change destination. With blogs we learn to canalize our thoughts and keep them continuous and more organised. Organised thinking makes you wonder why you didn’t think of this before!!

 Latest scientific discoveries:

 Latest news is I have found a better way to vent out my thoughts. I have redrawn my circle of friends and I talk to them more often. I have made some new friends who really care about me. Let me use the analogy I had seen in American pie, off course in a different context. Blog is like playing tennis with a wall alone, It might give you satisfaction of playing tennis but doesn’t give the joy of winning or losing or joy of playing or learning new and improving yourself. A two way talk with a person does wonders when you are having a quality talk with a person who understands you.

 God bless my friends. Amen