Friday, October 17, 2008

Back and sad :(

Well, we are back...and already missing the busy streets of Cairo. Going into this trip, I've been dreaming about Egypt for a long time....and thinking that I read so much about it, studied it a lot, planned it for years, that it would not live up to the hype, but it did much more than that. Egypt turned out to surprise and shock you when you least expected it. Leave the touristy areas, away from all the touts and scams, you witness the real Egypt, with friendly, welcoming and a proud people. Jordan also didn't disappoint, with such a variety of things to see and do for such a small country, it truly is a dream tourist spot.

There are so many things we will remember about this trip like horseback riding into Petra, camel trekking around the Ancient City, to Donkey trekking up the mountain to the Monastery. Weird and cool things like getting a $25 Iraq bill from a guy in Petra...the bill has Saddam Hussein on it still. From getting a mud body-wrap and face mask at the Dead Sea in Jordan, to visiting Wadi Rum desert and it's amazing mars-like views, and looking over the mountains to Saudi Arabia. And of coarse Egypt, from the extraordinary temples in Luxor, to the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, to Cairo and it's crazy traffic, to Giza and the priceless pyramids, and to the lesser known pyramids in Dashur and Saqqara. Climbing inside the hot, muggy and claustrophobic chambers in the pyramids themselves. To the complete opposite and empty White Desert, where camping under a bright full moon with weird white formations all around us was one of our best experiences ever!

We tried to fit in as much as we could in 2 weeks, with still enough time to savour the moments and enjoy the country and its people.

Well, hope you all enjoyed this blog...and until our next adventure...see ya

For some of our pics...check out
This is an on-going process, as we have over 4000 pics to go keep checking, as new ones will be added daily.
To be continued....I hear PERU calling!!!!
Coming soon in 2009!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Avoiding the dripping air conditioners in Cairo!!

Today we just took it easy and relaxed. I did walk to the Cairo Museum, about 15 minutes from our hotel.
Crossing the street at the main circle intersection was challenging and funny, as there are no crosswalks, and you have to cross about 12 lanes in total to get to the other side. Of coarse I used my Frogger skills like George Costanza, and made it across no problems! :)

I wanted to re-visit the museum, because they have a store which has many reproductions of famous Egyptian sculptures and artifacts. I found the replica of the Rosetta Stone, which is probably the most important find in Egyptology. Discovered in 1799, the stele has writings in hieroglyphics and ancient Greek. This enabled archaeologists to decipher the hieroglyphics, and translate them.

Walking in downtown Cairo is funny, as there are tons of air conditioners hanging from every building, so you have to avoid the dripping water, which occurs every few steps. Pretty funny stuff!! It's like a game, and the locals know exactly how to avoid each drop as if an art form.
Cairo is nicknamed "The City of A Thousand Minarets", but it should be the City of a million dripping air conditioners.

We are now just waiting an hour or so, until we leave for the airport. SUCKS!!! :(

See you at home!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Almost the end...

Well today we did downtown Cairo, and went to the museum, souk and a few mosques.

The Cairo Museum is really is so cluttered with Egyptian artifacts and history, that it is almost bursting with objects. Apparently, they are building a new state-of-the-art museum near the pyramids in Giza, which will replace this older one.

Some cool things we saw, were the Royal Mummies, which are in their own private room, with special entrance fees to get in. Mummies are always cool to see!!!

Also, half of the entire second floor is dedicated to the treasures found in King Tut's tomb!! The room where you can see the Death Mask was busy, I mean really busy...with people pushing themselves just to get a closer glimpse, as if the mask is going anywhere!

We then went to the famous Khan El Khalili souk, where you can buy anything and everything, and is one of the oldest in the world, and dates back to the 1300's. We walked around, and I finally found the Death Mask I wanted to buy...we bargained hard for it.. ;)
Aneta of coarse, was looking at jewellery, and bought herself a nice silver bracelet. She really bargained hard, and at the end, the guy called her Ali Baba!!!

To end the day, we went to visit 3 of the biggest and oldest mosques in the city...the architecture was really amazing, with wicked arches and stone work.

We also took a nice long walk in downtown Cairo, looking for this store that sells Egyptian alcohol (to add to Aneta's collection of coarse), just to find out the store was closed, which to begin with wasn't really easy to find. :(
We have to make the walk again tomorrow, and crossing the street is a challenge...Cairo is famous for it's traffic, and everybody makes their own rules, but somehow it works.

Now we are relaxing at our hotel....and think we might call it a day...maybe some dinner first...

Tomorrow, we really have nothing planned, I may walk to the museum early in the morning, and look around some stores, but other than that and the alcohol, I think we will just take it easy for the first time this trip.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It really is White!!!!

Just came back from 2 days, 1 night camping in the White Desert...and yes, it really is white.
We left yesterday morning around 7 am, and took us around 6 hours to get there.
We did stop at a Bedouin camp half way there, for some lunch and tea...Aneta really liked it there.

There are many spots we stopped before reaching our final destination. The desert here changes so many times, from pure sand, to sand and rock, to the Black Desert and finally the White Desert.
We did stop at some larges dunes for some is much harder than snowboarding or wakeboarding, as it is very hard to turn and it's a real beotch to climb back up the dune, in the heat and with the hot sand. After a bunch of times of going down, it got really hard getting back up the dune, as each step you took, your foot went deep into the soft sand, about 2 feet deep!!

We finally got to the White Desert about 1 hour or so before sunset. We took many pics around all these weird white formations. The sunset was amazing...
We set up camp, between all these formations, in an area that was protected from wind and was flat.

It was a full moon which made it incredibly bright at night.
I am not joking when I say my ears were hurting for the first hour at night from the is something to really experience first hand. Never before have I not heard anything like this. There was no wind, no birds or animals, just nothing but silence. It was one of those experiences, which made you think about how our ears are so accustomed to the noises of cities and urban areas, that when there is no noise at all, it feels weird. The thing is, even in forest up north in Canada, you will always have some type of noise, like birds, animals, trees moving in the, in the desert, there was nothing....

We ate dinner, and drank tea, while sitting around the campfire on Bedouin mats and sharing stories.

The temperature during the day must have been around 30, and right when at sunset, the temp dropped. It was still comfortable, until the morning when we woke was freezing!!! We had to wear toques!!!

We also stopped at the local village called Bawiti at the Bahariya Oasis. We sat and relaxed while eating dates with the local Bedouin.

On the drive back today, after stopping in the middle of the desert for washroom break and lunch, we heard a loud pop...flat tire... our guide quickly changed the tire, and we were off again. He usually carries 2 or 3 spares, as this is a common occurrence with the abuse of driving up and down dunes, over rocks, etc.

Right now we are relaxing at our hotel in Cairo...technically only 2 more days to go :(

Tomorrow the souk, museum and some mosques!!!

The call to prayer will wake us up early tomorrow.

Talk to you guys tomorrow...and remember today's lesson, never lift rocks in the desert, you may get a surprise viper or cobra attack and never shake peoples left hand in the desert!! ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sphinx and camels

Today we woke up early again, and went to the Giza Plateau, to visit the famous pyramids and the Sphinx. Since Aneta already went into the Red Pyramid yesterday, she decided to skip it today. I still went into the Great Pyramid, and the tunnel is long and really small, and first goes up to a anti-chamber, which is now closed, and then goes up again, where you can barely make it, in a tunnel less than 1 metre tall, and less than 1 metre width. It opens up at the Queen Chamber, where you are still not allowed to go in. Then it climbs once more, with a narrow tunnel, into the King's Chamber. The walls are cut so perfectly and precise. It is also very hot, and the air is very bad in the chamber.

After I got out, we went for a camel ride around the was pretty cool, as the camels have really colourful wool saddles. You will see pics when we get back.

After this, we went to see the Sphinx...again, words can't describe it...

This was my dream as a small kid, watching Indiana Jones when I was 6 years old, and falling in love with archeology....this whole trip so far, has not disappointed.

Tomorrow morning we will leave really early, for the Western Desert of Egypt...visiting places such as Bahariya Oasis, the White and Black Desert and some hot and cold springs along the way. We will be camping in the middle of the desert, about 6 hours from Cairo...apparently, the stars are the brightest you will ever see, as the closet city of artificial lights are Cairo, and there is nothing in between.

So obviously, we will have no Internet or computer, so we will not post most likely until really late Tuesday night or Wednesday....we are now about to go to another hotel in downtown Cairo, called the Osiris Hotel....

Sphinx you later!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A little too fancy for our taste...

So we arrived in Cairo last night, and went straight to our hotel. We didn't have time to go anywhere else, so we just ate at the hotel. Even though it's at a 5 star hotel, dinner last night tasted like a mediocre Caribbean resort. Today we got take out at a local Egyptian place, and the food was a lot better.

We woke up early in the morning, and went to 3 main areas. Firstly, we went to Dashur, to see the Bent and Red Pyramids. We went inside the Red was so tight and small, and very hot and stuffy inside, but worth it. The whole area is near a military restricted zone, so there are some areas that are off limits. We did meet some Egyptian soldiers, that were trying to sell us camel rides.

We then went to Memphis, which is the ancient Egyptian capital. The Nile Valley in this area is very lush, with many farms growing everything from cabbage to dates...

The last place we visited was Saqqara, where the first pyramid was built... the Step Pyramid.

Tonight we will smoke some sheesha and tomorrow off to Giza!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Curse of Tutankhamen!!!!

As you guys know, yesterday we visited the Tomb of Tutankhamen...and I think I got the curse!!! It hit me hard yesterday night, and lasted too long!
I think I lost 8 lbs.!!! damn the Pharaohs revenge! lol

Yesterday we also took a felucca ride at sunset. Feluccas are small Egyptian sailboats, which have been used for hundreds of years. It was cool bargaining with the captain of the felucca, and we got it down to a price which made him happy and made us feel like we didn't get ripped too much. During the sail, he made us Egyptian tea, and was talking about the Nile....GREAT HOSPITALITY, which by the way, Egyptians are very proud of.

On the walk back from the bank of the Nile, we walked towards our hotel. The Luxor Temple at this point was already lit up for the night. We took some pics and kept walking.

There are tons of touts, trying to sell you everything and anything possible. This one guy was totally funny. He must of followed us for 500 metres. He first started trying to sell us a horse and carriage ride, excursion to the market (which of coarse was on only that day, and only for the next 2 hours ;) and when all that failed, all his "ohhh, from Canada, Canada Dry, very cold", he obviously saw we weren't going to get anything off him, so he brought out his final offer, to try to seal the deal. "sir, sirrrr, you want some hash, come on, I know all Canadians like to smoke some!!!" As tempting as it was, with all the officers and soldiers walking around, might of not been the best idea.

Later, when we reached the hotel, we relaxed on the rooftop patio, where we met a photo-journalist. He was such an interesting guy, and we had a great conversation. Actually, the rooftop patio, was a great place for us to meet other travellers from around the world, and share some travel stories and adventures.
If you want to check out some of his incredible photos, go to his web at

Now we are just relaxing on the rooftop, and waiting to go to the airport, heading to Cairo.

The next 2 days, it's going to be pyramids, pyramids, pyramids!!!! Dreams do come true..hehehehe

Talk to you from Cairo!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In the Valley of Dreams!!

Today we left early in the morning at around 6 am to visit the Valley of the Kings, once called the Great Necropolis of Millions of Years of Pharaohs. It was about 30 minute drive from our hotel in Luxor on the West Bank of the Nile. Yesterday, we did the East Bank.

The Valley of the Kings has 63 royal tombs from 1550-1069 BC.

We visited 4 tombs, including Tomb of Ramses II, Tomb of Ramses IV, Tomb of Tuthmosis III and of coarse the famous Tomb of Tutankhaman.

We didn't get any curses from entering the tombs, although the tight spaces offered great varieties of BO from different people around the world.

We also went to Deir al-Bahri, to see the Temple of Hatshepsut, the famous female pharaoh. The colours here were cool, with bright reds, blues, yellows, greens, etc. After her death, her step-son chipped away at all her images, mainly her face, to try to erase her from the history books. Good guy!!!!!

Then we quickly went to the Valley of the Queens, to see the tombs there.

In between, we stopped at a Alabaster, Granite and Basalt art place, where they carve statues. I went mental in there, and you guys will see what I bought when we get home.

We are out for now, going to eat something and relax..

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hotter than HOT!

Today, we woke up early and went to visit the 2 famous temples in Luxor. the first temple we visited was Karnak temple, and it covers 60 acres. It was amazing , the further in you walk, the older the temple is. That's b/c different pharaohs built on it, since the original, even Byzantians, Romans and Greek built some parts. one place has many columns, all with wicked hieroglyphics, some had coloured walls, with depictions of various things.

The second temple we went to was Luxor temple itself, which covers 4 acres. Also very impressive, and also very HOT!!!

By lunchtime we got back to our hotel, and ate at a small local restaurant. The best experience!!! It is right beside the local souk, which sells everything from fruit, sheeshas, spices, cotton and linens, and souvenirs.

We are now relaxing on the roof top of the small hotel, enjoying the shade.
Planning to take a felucca ride on the Nile in the evening (if weather permits, frickin HOT), and hopefully get a good sunset. Should be good bargaining with the guys on the Nile bank :)

Oh ya, also bought papyrus, with a cool scene on it, from different gods like Anubis Horus, Isis and some more which I can't remember cause my brain is fried.

I think tomorrow, we will try to head out even earlier than today, around 5 in the morning, to avoid the heat, which is 40 degress right now!!! "stick a fork in me Jerry, I'm doneee!!"
At least it's dry heat, so in the shade, you feel good...
we are enjoying every minute of it.

We love it here, thinking about staying permantly (just joking Stasia)

Well, off to smoke some sheesha.....sheeesyaaa later!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

yadda, yadda, yadda and we called it a day!!!

Sorry that we haven't written in a couple of days, no computer. Yesterday we went to the desert of Wadi Rum to take a 4x4 jeep tour of the desert with our Bedouin guide.
We paid a little extra and he brought us outside the protected area to some of the best views in the desert. We could see Saudi Arabia from the top of the mountains.

We then took a small one lane road all the way down from the top of the mountains to the lowest point on earth - the Dead Sea. There we went to the beach and did a full body mud wrap from the shores of the sea. It's one of the weirdest places, you actually stay on top of the water. One thing to see it, but you need to try it to believe it.... amazing - reading a book while floating on the water.

This morning we went around the city of Amman to see all the sights. While shopping at a bazaar some Indian tourists asked for a picture with them to which Aneta replied - do we look that weird?

now its Wed morning, we just arrived in Luxor, Egypt.... yadda yadda yadda......

relaxing on a rooftop patio over-looking the city and some temples.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Horses, Camels and Donkeys, and the Ancient city of Petra!!

Here we are!!! Finally after transferring in Paris, we took a flight to Amman, Jordan.
2 hour transit in Paris, and we get raped for $20 USD for 2 croissants and 2 Fanta's!!! nice...forgot how ridiculous crazy expensive France is...thanks Euro...

Today we left Amman and got to Petra, Jordan, to visit the ancient city of Petra.
It was amazing...took over 1 gig of pics.
We took a 30 minutes horse ride to the valley, and the walked for around 2 km through the Siq, which is a narrow crescent (about 1-2 metres wide) surrounded by high cliffs and mountains...

Inside Petra, the ancient city is unbelievable...we took a long trek on camels all around the area, and then took a 45 minute donkey ride to the top of the mountain, to visit the famous Monastery.

Words can't explain the area, so I guess you will have to wait for the pics.

Sorry, can't upload any pics since the Internet connection here is ancient slow, probably Internet connection from the 1st century BC!!! lolol

Right now we are about to go eat at a local Bedouin restaurant...should be good...

We are not staying at same hotel we were supposed to stay, since it was all booked up, so we transferred across the street to the Petra Inn, phone # for family to call is:
Telephone# 962 3 215 6 401, room 406, but good luck finding us in the room.

Tomorrow we visit Wadi Rum early in the morning, and taking a 3 hour 4x4 desert tour...this is where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed. In the afternoon we travel to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, and take a relaxing dip in the sea, where you float.

Hopefully the town we are in tomorrow has better Internet connection, so we can post some pics, or at least take less than 30 minutes to post this...

sorry, no spell check, it would take to long to load the page and function...hehehehe...

btw, Jordian people are awesome...kind and friendly...always smiling!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3 days to go!!!!!!

The departure date is approaching, a few days away.
Our first post will probably be on Saturday, October 4 from Amman, Jordan.

We will try to post everyday, but there will be times when we will not have access to a computer, like when we will be camping in the desert.

Please leave comments if you like!!

We will see everyone when we get back!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Staying in touch with family and friends while we travel

Welcome all!!

Leaving early October, we will be off, backpacking and travelling through Jordan and Egypt for 2 weeks.

This blog will enable family and friends to stay in touch with us, follow our travels, and leave us comments and notes.

We will be staying 4 days in Jordan, travelling all around the country, visiting places like Petra, the desert and surrounding area of Wadi Rum, floating at the world's lowest spot at the Dead Sea (which is right at the borders of Israel and the Palestinian Territories) and the capital of Jordan, Amman, and much more.

We were intending to go to Syria for a day, but in the end, the passport visa was really expensive and the border crossing seemed to be too long and complicated for just one day of travel, so we gave up.

We do have 11 days in Egypt and we packed in as much as we can. We will be going to places like Cairo, Giza, Memphis, Dashur, Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Bahariyya Oasis, Black Desert, White Desert, Western Desert and much more.

This has been one of our dream trips for a while, so we are pretty stoked.
Check out the maps of Jordan and Egypt, so you can follow our path and areas we will visit.

You can also subscribe to this blog, and get automatic updates once we have new posts. See bottom of page...

We will post probably once more before we leave.