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Egypt 2006

Information about my trip to Egypt. I’m keeping a separate site but with some extra Egypt stuff/widgets. It’s at http://MyTripToEgypt.com/

Written By: Gary on August 20, 2007 No Comment

Smithsonian Magazine’s site has an article on a theory on How the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid at Giza. Pyramidsmithsonian

Tackling an ages-old puzzle, a French architect offers a new theory on how the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid at Giza

I think this is from the August 2007 issue, but it might just be only on their web site.

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2007 2 Comments

Found this cool 360 degree panorama of Karnak Temple. It requires Quicktime (I was there last year, BTW).

(I was actually looking for something on The Moon Landing which was 38 years ago today….)

Written By: Gary on April 18, 2007 3 Comments

2006-04-20 15-10-44.Img 0735So today’s LensDay dealt with flowers so this week so I submitted this photo that I took in Egypt. I thought most of the flowers from there seemedso bright and beautiful. The other people on the trip compared it to flowers in Hawaii but since I’ve never been there I attributed it to the Egyptian mystique…

I just thought they all seemed so bright and beautiful….

Written By: Gary on December 28, 2006 No Comment

EgyptringI found my ring!!!! I lost it a few months ago and I realized this I was leaving my house. So I retraced my steps and dug through the garbage and everything. Plus, I examined my car from head to toe to see if I dropped it in there. But I never found it and it just had to be here somewhere…

So, I was just digging through my laptop backpack and I found it way at the bottom. So I’m pretty excited about this.

This is the ring that I bought in Egypt with the Hieroglyphic Alphabet all the way around it. It was always a little big, so now I guess I know it’s too big. It wasn’t very expensive but I’ll get it sized a tiny bit smaller. You can click the image for a larger view.

Written By: Gary on August 12, 2006 3 Comments

Hopefully you’re not getting too tired of the Egypt photos, here’s just under 100 from day 6.

On the Nile
Scenery, pollution and a big-ass bridge.
Riding to the Temple of Edfu
A quick view of the town during out carriage ride.
At the temple of Edfu
Some huge walls of hieroglyphics. Some interesting shots with light.
The ride back (and the visit to the StarGate)
Goats and a Stargate.
On the Nile and around the Ship
The view, the pool, some sailboats (falugah?), a traditional evening and more scenery.

Oops, here’s the link to the photos

Hopefully if you’ve just recently starting reading the blog you’ve read the older Egypt entries. Those were posted while I was in Egypt and that’s where the longer stories are…

You may have seen these, I had posted them a bit back but not written a post to go with them yet nor added descriptions (maybe 20 of them). They were at the bottom of the egypt photos page so if you were looking around.

Written By: Gary on July 18, 2006 No Comment
What is the furthest North and the furthest South you’ve ever been?
North would have to be somewhere along the coast of Alaska. South would have to be Egypt or Costa Rica (I’m going to guess Egypt since it’s a lot hotter there). Coincidentally, they are the first and last places I’ve traveled on my own.

From Question of the Day.

Written By: Gary on June 17, 2006 No Comment

Some more photos from my trip to Egypt (from April). This is day 5 and has about another 90 photos broken up into a few sub albums. Many of the photos have captions explaining what they are but here’s the gist of it in case you just jump into slideshow mode.

Sunrise breakfast in a village on the Nile.
We took a boat to the West side of the Nile and had breakfast. With then took a little tour of the village where we ate. Wouldn’t it be strange if travelers ate breakfast down the street from your house and then walked around your neighborhood looking around and taking pictures?!?
Valleys of the Kings and Queens.
It was a very very very hot day in the Walley of the King and Queens. We went into a few tombs (no pictures allowed) and looked around, it was incredible! You’ll need to read the posts from April to find out a bit more.
The first day of our cruise on the Nile.
The ship was awesome and it was a great pleasure to arrive on after our long hot day. I’ve got lots of scenery and other things (including pirates and a trip through the locks).

The day five photos are located here.

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Written By: Gary on June 12, 2006 2 Comments

I know I’ve been back for over a month but here’s another 80 photos from Egypt from day four, we’re still in Luxor: there’s a lot of local shots, some temple photos and a felucca sailboat ride..

  • Around town – Various shorts from around Luxor (Marilyn and I walked ALL over town). Photos of a place where I bought a scarf, a few odd internet places, some apartments and a few street scenes.
  • Temple of Luxor – Some more photos of the outside of Luxor Temple (as were were walking around town).
  • Faluga Ride – A sunset ride on a felucca sailboat ride which is named for it’s different shaped (but we had no wind).
  • Luxor at night – A carriage ride around Luxor at night, dinner and some photos from around town.

    I know I’m only on day 4 of the bulk photos, but it’s been busy. I’ll get some more out the next few weeks, it’s less cRaZy at work, plus I’ve got a few more days off.

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    Written By: Gary on May 19, 2006 One Comment

    From Day 3 in Egypt I’ve got 150 more photos up. We travel to Luxor and visit Karnak, a school and the temple of Luxor (at night).

  • Karnak: Lots of photos from Karnak, I think it’s the world’s largest covered (enclosed?) temple. Lots of photos, sorry for the repetition.
  • School: We visited an elementary school. It was an all girls elementary school (700) of them. They had to learn English and as you see they wear uniforms. It’s also an orphanage for a small number of girls. We got to visit a few classrooms while they were waiting for parents to pick them up. I took a lot of pictures of the posters on the walls and other similar items.
  • Around Town: Flowers, buildings, the hotel, the view from the hotel, the McDonald’s with the delivery scooters, the group waiting to go out and Jack dancing.
  • Temple of Luxor: This is a large temple in the middle of town (well, they built the town around it). Some shots in the daylight and a lot of night shots). Notice the Sphinxes in the last few photos, you can see them lined up, they go the whole path back to Karnak with Sphinxes on each side every 20 feet or so for about 2.5 kilometers.

    A key thing to know about monuments (and I’m not sure how they define ‘monuments’) two-thirds of the world’s monuments are in Egypt and one-third are in Luxor.

    More notes: From reading about Karnak in the WikiPedia I guess there are 4 parts and we likely only visted the larger area of Amen-Re, this is the first and hugest place we visited and I’m sure a lot went in (and out) of my head (because this doesn’t sound familiar at all).

    The Sphinxes I pointing out in the last few photos, I thought lined a path between Luxor Temple and Karnak but somewhere else I read they were “ram headed”. So I’m not 100% sure on this.

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    Written By: Gary on May 16, 2006 4 Comments

    So I’m sure you’ve heard of Skype, right? You can use it to make “phone calls” from computer to computer for free. I used it to make phone calls from Egypt to the US while I was there, it cost me about 2.1 cents per minute to make a call to any telephone in the US (I could have called another Skype computer for free).

    They’ve just made it more free. Yes, I said free, to call the US and Canada for the rest of the year (2006). It shouldn’t matter where you are in the world, to call me would be free for the rest of the year. So download Skype now and give it a try.

    FYI, I’ve ditched my landline phone at home and have just my cellular phone. So I programmed Skype with my local police/fire number so if I ever have a crisis I can at least use my computer for an emergency phone call (if needed). I just called up and said, I’ve just got a cell phone what’s the best non-911 number to call when I have an emergency.

    Here’s how it normally works, they lease a bunch of phone lines around the world, it’s your job (using the Internet) to place the call using the Internet. Depending on the location they set the price, Egypt for example is 18.5 cents a minute, they don’t care where you are calling from (the USA, Egypt or from the same house you are calling to) it still costs 18.5 cents for them to make that call to Egypt. Except for now, calling to the USA and Canada is FREE.

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    Written By: Gary on May 14, 2006 No Comment

    NohonkingSo as I mentioned before all the drivers did as they went around was honk, honk, honk. I thought it was funny when I saw this sign that said they shouldn’t honk.

    At least that’s what I thought it meant, I don’t recall any less honking.

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    Written By: Gary on May 10, 2006 One Comment

    ExitheiroglyphicsSo when I was in one of the hotels in Egypt I saw this “hieroglyphic” sign and it struck me as funny so I took a photo of it.

    Written By: Gary on May 10, 2006 No Comment

    This batch of 40+ photos from my second day of the trip consists of one album that jumps around a bit. Be sure to look back at the third week of April to see the original comments about the trip, I’ll try not to repeat myself too much.

  • Everything in Cairo seemed far away so we got to see lots of the town as we drove around: the homes (with laundry drying on the ledge and satellite dishes galore) and the awful traffic.
  • We also travel to the museum in Cairo which while it had wonderful artifacts was dusty, dirty and in need a major repair (I believe they are currently building a new one). In the museum no photos were allowed but outside was okay so I took a few of the outside and of Marilyn + Thelma (who were on our trip) and Asmaa (whom I met and chatted with at the museum).
  • Some more photos from around town as we traveled around and other odd places. Some sheep under the overpass, a few shots at the mall, a view of the pyramids as the sun sets and some kids with their camel and then back to the hotel for the night.
  • Remember: In any of the photos, if it’s water, it’s probably the Nile.
  • Written By: Gary on May 7, 2006 One Comment

    So I’m putting together collections of photos from the trip. In an attempt to not overwhelm you (and myself) I’ll do one of these every few days highlighting a day (or maybe just a portion of the day depending on how many photos I took that day).

    This first day consists of two albums.

  • The trip from the airport which shows a lot of the city (Cairo is a city of 20 million people), some billboards and roads. The murals were along the walls of a military academy which was one of the first places we passed. This also contains my first glimpses of the pyramids and the Nile (if it’s wet it’s probably the Nile).
  • This has some shots of the grounds of the Mena House Oberoi hotel, my room, the view of the pyramids during the day and night and my first can of Coca-Cola in Egypt.

    You can view these photos here.

  • Written By: Gary on May 6, 2006 2 Comments

    So I was playing with Yahoo! Photos and put up about 100 random Egypt photos of mine.

    You can view Yahoo! Photos on TiVo and I wanted to see how they worked out…

    Written By: Gary on May 5, 2006 3 Comments

    ShipsideoarShipstonepitSo as they were excavating around the pyramids they found a pit. The pit was covered with a row of cover stones that they say kept it hermetically sealed. Inside it they found 1024 pieces of wood and rope. After examining it they decided it was a ship and it was marked reasonably well on how to assemble it. So they did!

    They built a museum around the location of the pit’s original location so that you can see how and where it was originally found. They then proceeded to build an elevated museum around it and the full ship is assembled inside. It’s absolutely ginormous, the pictures do not do it justice at all. While they did use rope from the current day and age to assemble it, the original rope was in incredible shape.

    ShipwholeWhile they found two other pits, they decided to leave them as they were, the boat was deteriorating and the left the others to be “taken care of by the gods”.

    Plus, they made us wear goofy slippers over our shoes when we came in to cut down on the dust and dirt in the museum. We all felt like we were wearing clown shoes.

    Written By: Gary on May 3, 2006 One Comment

    Egypt map from wikipediaDid you know that Egypt is actually on two different continents. If you look on a map it makes sense but I never really thought about it being in both Africa and Asia. I was in the Africa part, we pretty much traveled between Cairo and Aswan along the Nile.

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    Written By: Gary on May 2, 2006 No Comment

    So I had taken the day off to recover from the flight from Egypt, pick up my mail, go to two doctor’s appointments that would be needed after the trip (allergy shot and to get my neck/back worked on) and other stuff. Since I got trapped in NY I had to move the allergy appointment but the other was later so that was okay. So I set the alarm clock for three hours later and took a nap. I ended up sleeping 11 hours, missing the appointment and now I’ve been wide awake for the last three hours. Although I did get the laundry done and watched a little TiVo, I hadn’t turned a TV on in weeks…

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    Written By: Gary on May 1, 2006 One Comment

    So I’m finally back in Michigan! I will be posting more entries and photos over the next few weeks as I think of more things, finish thoughts I’ve started and mange to sort some photos.

    I didn’t sleep well last night, so I made it to the airport on time. Although they did hit me with a $25 fee since my luggage weighed too much, I tried to sweet talk them out of that with the all the flight problems but no such luck. It was a tiny little plane and had a lot of tired familiar faces on it from last night.

    I’m off to take a nap…

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    Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 No Comment

    It took them over three hours to decide to finally cancel our flight. That’s three hours after it was scheduled to depart, that’s not even factoring in that they had to have some idea there would be problems before the flight was even supposed to leave . We had a plane but no pilots, you’d think that wouldn’t be so hard to keep track of and keep us informed. I know I’m a little crabby from traveling but I’ve definitely been treated better than I was with the way the system worked tonight. If they would have canceled it hours before that I’d have been fine with it but I should have been home two hours ago and I’m just finally in a hotel. They’ve got free WiFi in the lobbys/resturants which is a bonus, but I’d rather have the A/C working…

    Please let me clarify: I understand things can be beyond their control, but at 7:30 when they are telling us at when the pilots land at LaGuadia around 7:45 they’ll taxi over and it takes until 10 PM to tell us they can’t get pilots they don’t really care about the customers. All they have to do was keep us informed. If they would have told me at 8 I would have gladly went over to the hotel, ate and gone to bed. They just dragged it out and the story they gave us doesn’t make sense.

    We didn’t get anything but a hotel room and a $7.00 voucher for dinner (that’s about 1/2 a burger at the hotel, everything at the airport was closed). Anyone have a good number or address at Delta for me to complain to? Please let me know. (Delta, if I misheard and there’s a free round-trip ticket in the mail for me, I’ll gladly correct this post…)

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    Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 One Comment

    So my 7:00 PM flight hasn’t boarded yet. The time on the display has jumped from 7 PM to 8 PM to 10 PM and none of the five employees currently standing at the counter knows why. They didn’t even notice it jumped to 10 PM until I asked. This was all within 10 minutes of them telling us we’d be boarding in five minutes…

    They aren’t even sure if the pilots have left St. Louis (the plane is here). This doesn’t even factor in the fact that this gate closes at 8 PM so there shouldn’t be any way it’s actually leaving from this gate.

    Wait! It just totally fell off the display now, and they can’t tell me why (“it’s okay” they said).

    7:35 PM Update: So they just bumped us to another gate. They’ve got pilots going to LaGuardia (I’m at JFK) who will then shuttle over to here to fly us away. Guesstimate is about 9 PM but maybe as late as 10 PM. I’m usually pretty patient with this stuff, but I’ve been up since 9:45 PM Michigan time yesterday and we headed out to the airport at 11 PM Michigan time (maybe I slept 1.5-2 hours) and I’m beat.

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    Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 No Comment

    THE SphinxSo they call the big Sphinx “The Sphinx” since it is so much bigger than all of the other thousands of Sphinxes in the country. I think they said it was carved out of one huge piece of rock. It was big, but it just didn’t do it for me, maybe because it was towards the end of a very long day. There was also a bit of scaffolding in the way that they were using for repairs that didn’t do anything to increase my level of awe.

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    Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 No Comment

    So the pyramids were absolutely mind staggering in the size and then I realized it wasn’t even the largest one of the three. Of course there were people all over the place trying to sell you water, soda and trinkets.

    One of the best parts was when I walked around one of the big ones and the crowd was dying out. As I rounded the corner one of the smaller ones came into view and there was no one around. It’s was just amazing as the sound dropped and I was able to walk around that side in awe. It was so peaceful as I walked along alone, it really gave me the opportunity to appreciate it more. I think it was the largest of the three at Giza so if you have an opportunity to walk around it give it a try before the sales people and other tourists start to wear you down.

    We didn’t go inside. The tour person didn’t recommend it, said the walls were pretty empty and it was a big empty room in the center. It was only $4 or $5 extra for one of them. I asked some people who were coming out and they said it was very hot and and they had to walk about 300 meters bent over pretty far and their wasn’t much too see.

    On the other hand I didn’t not go to the laser light show at the Giza sight and I heard it was great. Some people in our group said it was great and so did some others who stayed in the hotel so you might want to see that if you ever get there. It had just been a long day with lots of pyramids and I was too tired…

    Written By: Gary on April 30, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’m at the Cairo Airport ready to head to JFK and they’ve got FREE WiFi! In case you haven’t noticed while things are cheap here, nothing is free. So we’re very early for our flight but I’m ready, two weeks was long enough to be away from home. Egypt was wonderful, but I’m ready for my own bed and to have the ability to drink tap water and not be afraid to accidentally rinse after I brush my teeth.

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    Written By: Gary on April 29, 2006 No Comment

    The pyramids at Giza were Great! I uploaded some photos today (15 more) and some are the pyramids. I gotta catch a bus in 5 hours to get to my flight so I gotta hit the hay. G’nite!

    Written By: Gary on April 28, 2006 No Comment

    We finally got up close to the pyramids today. Amazing!!!!

    More later…

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    Written By: Gary on April 27, 2006 No Comment

    They do the change due to Daylight Savings tonight so while it feels like 10 PM it’s really 11 PM (so I’m off to bed)!

    Written By: Gary on April 27, 2006 One Comment


    Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

    So we went on a camel ride yesterday!

    We rode them up a dune (15 minutes) and then back down across the Sahara desert (and hour?) to a village where we had a tour.
    It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be!

    Written By: Gary on April 27, 2006 One Comment

    I heard there was another bombing. I’m in Cairo and plan to be in the immediate vicinity for the rest of the trip (just so you know).

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    Written By: Gary on April 27, 2006 No Comment

    So now we’re off to Cairo, with a stop over in Luxor on the way. Security did a big inspection on my laptop bag. With a few spare batteries, four or five chargers, cables, adaptors, a variety of gizmos it’s probably a total of 20-30 feet of wiring and cables. Fortunately, I don’t get stopped more often. The upside was that I did find something that I thought I lost earlier in the trip.

    We had a second security checkpoint and they ignored the bag but I had to remove my belt and check my pockets. I accidentally threw my chapstick in the bin and he opened it up to check it. In Abu Simble (the part I didn’t go on), they said there were eight checkpoints (although that was the day after the bombing).

    Later: So after a what seemed like a long flight we spent forever in traffic. But I’ve had lunch now and we’re back in the neighborhood of the pyramids!

    Written By: Gary on April 27, 2006 No Comment

    So I haven’t had a chance to talk about security here, it’s been on my mind since day one. We’ve had an armed guard with us whenever we travel as a group. This didn’t surprise me, I actually expected a police escort so it was tamer than I thought.

    Plus every hotel or museum has one or metal detectors and may check bags (but not likely). I know it sounds crazy but you really get used to it.

    I got so used to the guns that one night a few of us were walking in an area that got kind of dark and heard footsteps behind us when I looked and saw it was men with guns my thoughts of fear went out of my mind.

    Security seemed to pick up when we went south (especially in Aswan). In the south we did have an escort pickup with one to four security folks and the security guy on the bus.

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    Written By: Gary on April 27, 2006 No Comment

    So I’ve done really good in the haggling so far. Sometimes insulting the guys by offering too little, but then I factor that into my exchange with the next booth for a same or similar item. It’s amazing on how you’ll be walking away and they’ll keep offering lower offers. If they just had it priced in the first place I probably would have paid a higher price that it might have been marked.

    The best I did so far was some guy wanted 120 LE for an item and I got him down to 50 LE for that item plus a larger similar item. Who knows, maybe I could have actually done better.

    I’ve walked into a few shops and I can see them debate the price before they figure out what to charge me. Sometimes I just give them this look like “are you kidding?” and it seems like they don’t nail me too much. Most things as still less than you’d pay anywhere else. Even in a fancy resturant I don’t think I’ve every paid more than $2.50 for a Coca-Cola, most times it’s less that $1.

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    Written By: Gary on April 26, 2006 No Comment

    So the time and dates that come with these messages may not be perfect. Most are when I write them (actually when I start to write them) and I’ve posted them later. I’ve just recently finished a few that I started days ago so you may have to scroll down to see them.

    We do their DST time change tonight (I think) so that will throw me off a little bit (and maybe the computer). I’m probably going to lose an hours sleep too :(

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