One of the world's wonders ...
Considering there are only seven of them, waking up in the morning and realizing you'll be seeing one of the Wonders of the World is an unbelievable feeling.
We began our journey early in the morning in the main lounge at 6 a.m., but no one seemed to mind due to the excitement coming our way. Also, it helped that we had a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride ahead of us in which we could nap!
All the UI EXPLORERS passengers were organized on the same bus together, and there was a lot of anticipation about our adventure. Our tour guide, Mohamed Ali (his real name) was extremely knowledgeable. He began the tour talking about Cairo and the city life within. We learned that the majority of Egyptians live in just four percent of the entire country, an area near the Nile River.
As we drove through the countryside, it was fascinating to view the large pigeon nests next to the houses. The locals use them to assist with fertilization of their land, and they also serve as a dinner entree! Most of the houses do not have roofs, though some houses did have roof coverage made up of large leaves. The residents receive less than a half-inch of rain each year, so strong roofs aren't really necessary.
As we entered the vibrant city life of Cairo, the hustle and bustle was evident right away. We hit a traffic jam and watched the daily life move along at a fast pace. After a quick turn the pyramids suddenly came into view, and the site was breathtaking. Admittedly, I expected them to be far away from the city, way out in the desert. In reality, many of the people living and working in Cairo see the magnificent structures every day.
During lunch our group had a nice conversation about how every child learns about the Egyptians and pyramids, and how we were all thrilled and lucky enough to witness such a huge part of history. In the afternoon, we saw the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx, and I can't conjure the appropriate words to describe the awe I felt -- truly amazing. After a shopping stop, where many of us purchased beautiful cartouches, we headed back to the ship. When we arrived onboard, it was a wonderful feeling to be greeted by the crew with refreshing drinks, hand towels and music -- the perfect end to a perfect day!