In November, 2007 Art found a tour in Egypt that he found intriguing. It was called Imaginative Tours. When we first met our guide in Cairo at the start of our trip I was a little disappointed because he was actually British, not Egyptian. He turned out to be the best tour guide we've ever had. He knew the history, knew a lot of the local people, spoke some of the language, was outrageous at times, always responsible and full of fun.
I've been watching the news about the revolution in Egypt. It's sad to see people getting hurt and killed. I'm excited for them, but nervous because the collapse of the Egyptian government could cause a great deal of instability in the region giving the religious extremists a crack from which to crawl through and cause havoc and devastation.
I remember Cairo as a bustling city, clouded by smog with drivers who didn't think road rules or traffic lights needed to be followed.
Imaginative Tours is not a comfort tour. You carry your own bags and have to be relatively fit to walk up and down stairs at the train stations while carrying your suitcase. But it was fun! We even got to climb into King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings and saw his mummy.
We got to see all those antiquities we'd read and seen photos of in history books. I couldn't believe how well preserved the hieroglyphics and carvings were.
We rode a felucca (sailboat) on the Nile River and climbed up a sandy hill in the Sahara Desert. That was pretty darn awesome!
We visited a Nubian school on Sohail Island and listened to a presentation. Many of us gave donations to the school.
We were told that children were required to say something like, "President Mubarak is great," before they started the day. I guess the young minds were being conditioned to revere President Mubarak. Needless to say, it didn't work.
Egypt is such a beautiful country. We met a lot of very brilliant, ever friendly Egyptians and tasted their delicious food. I hope they are safe and that their country will survive this turmoil to give them a better life.