Some places take hold of your imagination and capture you from afar, conjuring curiosity and wonderment over oceans and continents. Since school days, Egypt has been that magical place for me. It absolutely was the pyramids that initially seized my imagination. I had so many questions about them. Who built the pyramids? Why did they build them? Was it true that the pyramids were built by aliens?
Since the ninth of 13 children, we did not have much. It seemed impossible that I would ever have the resources to see Tutankhamen’s treasures, the mighty Nile River and the Great Pyramid of Giza. But I managed to get happen, by studying travel and tourism and eventually employed by Princess Cruises, where I have now been fortunate enough to take some life-altering journeys. Visit https://wikitravel.org/en/Cairo/Giza for travsel info about Giza
My very first cruise was an Amazon cruise in 1989. My mom, Hermelinda, not just joined me on that trip, but in addition all 21 voyages that followed. Now 82, she has called our yearly cruises the education she never got. My mom grew up poor and was never formally educated; she never dreamed she would get to have the wonders of the entire world firsthand and gain a thorough education in history. Luckily for me personally, I’ve had the pleasure to fairly share this technique with someone I enjoy, and I treasure the opportunities we’ve had to visit together.
By the time we visited Egypt in 2008, mom and I were seasoned travel pros. We’d gone to all the seven continents, including Antarctica. I’ve found she is up for anything; no itinerary is too much for her. When the opportunity to take a Mediterranean cruise came about, with Egypt a lead of the itinerary, I rushed to book it. Egypt was special as we were both fascinated by that area of the world. The sophisticated ancient culture suggested by the pyramids and their magnificent contents drove our need to go there. Our cruise were only available in Rome but I couldn’t wait until we arrived in Alexandria, where we’d board a motor coach and check out Cairo for just two days of exploring a few of Egypt’s most significant sites.
Our first day in Cairo was highlighted by a visit to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. This really is where King Tut’s most valued possessions, those he hoped to take with him to the afterlife, are kept. I had read about the boy king since childhood and remember my excitement when the riches from his tomb were displayed in the United States. While I couldn’t see Tut’s treasures during the U.S. tours, seeing them in Egypt more than made up for it. Once at the museum, we headed straight for the Tutankhamen area.
I was curious to see the sarcophagus and detailed gold mask that rested over his bandaged head and shoulders. The gold mask, made from almost 25 pounds of pure gold, is unbelievable to see. It’s said so it was made in his likeness. The red quartzite sarcophagus is equally splendid, as is the solid gold inner coffin that truly contained his mummified remains. The everyday items, inlaid chests, statuary, gem-studded swords and carvings which were deemed essential for the afterlife, were fascinating to see.
There is so much to see in this museum, so we took the time for you to admire some displays of beautiful, precious jewelry, stone carvings and hieroglyphic writings. I’m quite fascinated by hieroglyphics, so I got a cartouche of my name, using those symbols, at a jewelry shop in Cairo.
Meanwhile, my mom continued her usual travel shopping—she always buys something for each and every person in our (very large) family, filling an additional suitcase every time. And as we both collected memories, my mom also collected a few rocks. She sees stones out of every destination, and has generated a three-foot wall in her garden, surrounding a Virgin Mary statue with the rocks she has taken home from across the world.
A day later, we got up early for a morning meal cruise on the Nile. I really could sense a power there that was like nothing I’d felt before. There is something mystical concerning this land. On board the boat, I let my mind wander momentarily, wondering what Cleopatra saw as she sailed across the Nile. I was getting more and more excited as our tour of the pyramids approached, that was our main attraction to this destination.
First we visited Sakkara, an old burial ground that was the necropolis for the citizens of the ancient city of Memphis. In Sakkara lies the well-known step pyramid of six ascending levels, that was built for the pharaoh, Djoser, through the 27th century BCE—avove the age of King Tut, who came along in 1341 BCE.
Next stop was Giza, probably the most incredible destination of all. The tour bus dropped us off at an overlook where you are able to see the site’s three pyramids and the sphinx in the background. We stood there in awe, admiring that postcard view. It absolutely was a hot day, but fortunately the walk to the pyramids themselves was short.
At Giza, stands the Great Pyramid, one of many Seven Wonders of the World, built for Pharaoh Khufu around 2560 BCE. Standing near the Great Pyramid, I felt this energy in a concrete, tingling way. I had never connected with a location that way before. Something in the way these structures were built feels powerful and dynamic to me. Next to me, my mom took notes in her little journal. Throughout this trip—any one of our journeys for that matter—she takes notes in her journal. She doesn’t write much, just phrases and words which will jog her memory. Her job when she returns home is to report to the grandchildren by what she saw, that will be quite a job as she has over 50!
During those last moments at Giza, before we had to go back to the bus and ultimately our cruise ship, Star Princess, we drank in the majesty of the pyramids. Of the numerous pictures I took that day, none do them justice. You need to be there to have and feel the energy with this wonder of the ancient world. Along with the ancient wonders, I also found myself fascinated by the local culture. We visited through the holy amount of Ramadan, so while we were enjoying the local cuisine, our guides were fasting through the day. We saw many individuals setting up tables outside to serve the evening meal where they would break their fast.
But most of all, when I recall our visit to Egypt—indeed all of our travels—Personally i think so pleased with my mom. I recall how when I asked my mom to choose me on that first cruise to the Amazon in 1989, she worried that the ship might sink. From then on experience, I really could see the lamp going off in her head. Travel was wonderful for her, after having a hard life raising 13 children and often desperate to create ends meet. Travel has changed her life for the better. Visit https://www.tripindicator.com/giza-top-boat-cruises-sailing-tours/1/23032/N/3 for more information about giza boat and cruise tours.
Now, before each trip, typically a few months in advance, I call my mom to tell her what cruise destination I’ve booked. From there, she starts conditioning, walking a little bit more daily, to organize for the sightseeing ahead. We get excited, and I think oahu is the excitement that keeps her young. Someday, with the passage of time, our adventures will undoubtedly be closer to home. But for the time being, we like exploring the world. Actually, we enjoyed Egypt so much, we had to go back on another voyage a couple of years later—again, just me and my mom.