Updated: May 29, 2021
What a week this has been! As I reflect this week, I can't help but think about one of my most exciting experiences. I went to Egypt many years ago and I am still blown away by the things that I saw and what I actually experienced. I immediately thought about this trip as I read an article about archeologists in Egypt making an exciting new discovery! They uncovered a lost 3,000 year old city! On Thursday, April 8, 2021, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced that the "Lost Golden City" — which was still active during the reign of King Tutankhamun — had been found in Luxor.
Believe it or not, I was only in Egypt for two days, yes two days! That was all I needed. We were on Spring Break (2 weeks) and I had just returned from Phuket, Thailand (Oh what a beautiful place!) I decided to hop on a plane to Egypt because the flights were super cheap. We flew EgyptAIR and boy was this a rocky flight. It was a short flight, but for whatever reason this was one of the most turbulent flights I've ever had. Luckily for me I sat next to an Egyptian national. He was very friendly and interested in what life was like in America. We talked and exchanged stories the entire flight.
We landed in the wee hours of the morning and the airport was quiet. I was surprised because a few days before several protests had taken place and the protestors had even burned a government building. Thankfully we were escorted by one of our Egyptian co-workers and her brother. He was a Godsend. This man stood at 6"5 and was about 350lbs. No one messed with us! Lol! We stayed at the Fairmont Nile City hotel located in Cairo and it was SPECTACULAR! https://www.fairmont.com/nile-city-cairo/ We pulled up to the gate and the guards immediately checked our vehicle for bombs. Whoa! --- it was that serious.
As we entered the lobby we were warmly greeted and given glasses of champagne. Check-in was a breeze. I went to my room showered, changed clothes and contacted the concierge. He came to our room to pick us up and we were immediately whisked away to some sort of elite lounge that overlooked the Nile River! Yes, the Nile River! Oh my God I was on Cloud 9. We were given refreshments and more champagne. I felt like a QUEEN! As we relaxed in this fabulous lounge, we scheduled our tours, and we were given the following options
-Mitsubishi Mirage and a driver
-Mercedes Benz, driver, and multilingual tour guide
-Bently, driver, and multilingual tour guide
We decided to go with the Mercedes Benz option. Our tour guide was a guy named Mina Samuel Botros and he fluently spoke 6 or 7 seven languages. Our driver, Ahmad was extremely nice and definitely not someone to be played with. He glided through the city with ease and precision. Ahmad protected us by any means necessary! Our first stop was the infamous Pyramids of Giza. Ahmad literally drove us through the desert and right up to the pyramids. Ahamd was a no nonsense guy and allowed no one, and I mean no one to get close to us. I felt very safe. We got a chance to enjoy the pyramids, ride camels and even see the Great Sphinx.
We left the pyramids and went to the Egyptian museum where we saw the real Rosetta Stone --- GAG! We moved swiftly through the museum where we viewed ancient artifacts. I was most impressed by the mummy exhibit, which included some major players (EGYPTIAN KINGS). We were not allowed to take pictures here and there was an additional fee --- totally worth it! We took a few pictures outside and went to an art gallery/ museum and we learned about papyrus paper and how it is made from the papyrus plant.
This was amazing and we even got a chance to see a demonstration of the process. Papyrus is a plant (cyperus papyrus) which once grew in abundance, primarily in the wilds of the Egyptian Delta but also elsewhere in the Nile River Valley but is now quite rare. Papyrus can only be found here. I purchased about five pieces. After this fun-filled adventure we were exhausted! We headed back to the luxurious Fairmont Hotel and crashed!
Since this was our last night in Egypt, I decided to order room service. I had the French Onion soup, and it was scrumptious! I'm still trying to find a French Onion soup that is comparable. We left the next morning and I remember very little about our departure because I was still in disbelief on what I had just experienced. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have been afforded such a wonderful experience.