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lindamarlen’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 02 Nov 2008

Location: Cyprus

MapI have had one of the best weeks ever!

I finally took my GRE exam last Saturday. That was a crazy day. I almost didn't take the exam! My taxi driver took me to the wrong address, and he couldn't understand English so he didn't understand that I was telling him that he was going the wrong way. I ended up taking another taxi, by this time I was in the brink of tears because I thought I wasnt going to make it. I was 20 minutes late to the test location, and it took me another good 5 minutes to find the room. When I got there, there was a woman standing in front of the door. She just took one look at me and got to her feet, said, "You're in luck...they started late because there was a problem with the last room. Let me check if you can still go in." I walked in and I was soooo embarrassed, I walked straight to the back. They had just handed the students their booklets. Do you have any idea how lucky I was??? The next line of events didn't matter much, as long as I was in the room taking the exam. My pencil sharpener that I bought for 1 euro broke, so I couldn't sharpen my pencils, and one of them broke. I lost my eraser on the way their. And my hands were shaking for a good hour. In that second taxi ride, there were literally a million things running through my head....and it WAS a horrible day, but I cant help but laugh now that I think about it. Only Linda, only Linda lol

That Saturday I did nothing but watch movies and eat ice cream. It was GREAT!

On Monday I left for Egypt!!!

I got really sea sick that whole day. It took us about 12 hours to get to Egypt, and I was not enjoying my first day on the cruise. While most of the group was having a great dinner, having a few drinks and gathering on the dock....I had a date with my bed. I had no idea how hard the motion sickness would hit me. It was when the waiter put the dinner plate in front of me that I knew I had to leave. After a few hours, I was able to fall asleep (around 8 pm) and didn't wake up until the next morning. I had so much energy the next day.

It took us three hours to get to Cairo and we had a great history lesson on our way there. We had the BEST tour guide! His name was Hany and he is from Alexandria, Egypt. He taught us a lot about the pyramids, King Tut and his family, King Tut's love story, and much more. There were about 5 buses all together (they were all part of the cruise) and each bus had an officer and a government official in them. And our bus was in the front of the line, so we were led by a convoy and a police squad car. Crazy huh? High security, for many reasons but since we were all tourists, we had to be on high alert, especially since it wasnt not too long ago that 11 American tourists were kidnapped in Egypt. I did feel safe though, even though it was a little overwhelming.

Our first stop was the Cairo Museum. Im a history nerd, so I absolutely loved everything in there. For 8 extra euros, I was able to go into the Mummies Room....and guess what I saw!??? King Ramses's mummy! Along with 14 other mummies. It was creepy, interesting, and amazing as well. King Ramses still had his teeth and some of his hair. He ruled Egypt for over 50 years. I also had the opportunity to see King Tut's tombs, his coffin, the canopek jars where they kept his liver, stomach, intestines, and lungs, I saw the jewelry....basically everything from his tomb site except his actual mummy. It is in bad condition and is kept in the British Museum. Cant wait to the see that in the future! The jewelry was so beautiful, it is over 3,000 years old and still looks like new.

After that we headed on the the Nile River, where we had a delicious lunch.

After lunch we drove to the pyramids! This was the most exciting part because I could not wait to ride a camel! Almost all of us decided to ride the camels, so our bus dropped us off a little further, so we could ride for a while towards the pyramids. My camel's name was Michael Jackson (although later, others told me that theirs was Michael as well lol). The owner asked me if I wanted him to trot, only he didn't TROT, he SPRINTED! it was funny. We got to the pyramids and had a great time taking pictures. By the way, I have the BEST PICTURES EVER! I'll upload them soon.

We saw the sphinx as well! It is enormous.

By this time, we were all pretty exhausted, but Hany had promised to take us to the department store to buy some paintings made on Papyrus paper (this kinds of paper lasts forever). Earlier in the day, he also asked us if we were interested in buying Kartoushes (symbolic necklaces in which we can engrave our names in hieroglyphics). I bought a kartoush and I also bought a papyrus painting of The Last Supper for my dad. I cant wait to give it to him!!!!

The ride back home was much better. Do you know why? Because I took some medicine about 2 hours before I got back on the boat. The ride back was much rockier than the first night, but I didnt get sick....and everyone else did. I slept like a baby :)

End of story: I LOVED EGYPT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!