Saturday, August 25, 2007

End of our summer holiday...

Well, we are packing up and preparing to leave Cairo on Sunday morning (Saturday evening in the US). We'll fly to NY and then on the Denver late on Sunday night (over 24 hours of traveling). We'll have a very hectic 48 hours as we prepare to go to Dominican on Tuesday evening.

We promise to do lots more pictures once we get to Dominican and we have some time.

Just wanted to share another photo from the pyramids at Giza of the Shetzer family.
Just the father and son's pyramids are pictured here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

August 15 - Cairo, Egypt

We arrived late in the evening (August 14) from Geneva, Switzerland and were met by our tour company as soon as the plane landed. We drove over an hour from the airport to our hotel (Le Meridien in Giza) and marveled at how horrible the Cairo traffic was. We would later learn that although there are some traffic signals in Cairo, they are not used and there are no rules of the road. Also about 95% of all cars driven do not have insurance.

We started out the next day by visiting the old town of Memphis and its open air museum. The city of Memphis was the capital of Egypt and was founded around 3100 BC. This is a photo of us in front of the sphinx weighing in about 80 tons.

We then made our way to the Step Pyramid of Saqqara. This is the pyramid of Djoser built around 2600 BC. Until this time, all royal tombs had been built underground using one flat layer of mud brick. This structure represented six layers of stone instead of mud brick and starts to form the pyramid shape that we are familiar with.

Our last stop of the day was to the ancient burial grounds of Giza on the west bank of the Nile across from Cairo. These three pyramids were constructed between 2686 - 2181 BC for three kings.
From left to right:
The Great Pyramid for King Khufu
The Pyramid of Khafre (son of Khufu) - It is actually shorter than his fathers although it doesn't appear so
The Pyramid of Menkaure (the grandson of Khufu)

Here is a close up of the second pyramid (and yes, the camel patrols around it). If you notice the top of this pyramid seems to be very smooth in comparison to the rest of the pyramid. This is the way the pyramids were all built, however later on, the covering of the pyramids was striped and it was used to line aquaducts for the ancient cities.

And last but not least is the Guardian of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx. This huge statue was supposedly used to scare away would be grave robbers from the tombs of the kings behind in the pyramids. Needless to say, it didn't work.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In Cairo Again...

Wow, sorry for not updating this sooner but we’ve been on a boat on the Nile River and haven’t had good internet communications.


We are now back in Cairo for a couple days before we head out on Sunday morning for home.


We’ve had a great time and the history here is unbelievable.  We’ll upload some pictures soon.


Angela & Matt

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Greetings from SNOWY Switzerland!!!

Well, lets just say that the weather here can be a bit unpredictable.
It started raining on us two days ago as we climbed the ladders out of Cabane des Dix.  Its been raining and snowing non stop ever since.  The snow level has dropped to about 1900 meters (about 6000 feet) and our hikes would have taken us to over 2900 meters.  So needless to say, we have had to skip our last three days of hiking due to the weather. 
We are in Grimentz now (about 1700 meters) and as we look up, we see the snow very close.  At this altitude, we are almost always in the clouds so it looks like a very thick fog.  Quite chilly & WET!!!  We are heading to Zermatt, Switzerland tomorrow by train and will hopefully be able to do some day hikes from there once the weather clears.
Take care,
Angela & Matt

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Greetings from Switzerland

Hi Everyone -  Just a quick note to say we are enjoying the hike and are leaving for Grimentz today,