Day of Rest in Giza

We arrived in Giza on Sunday night so that we would have a day of rest before the tour's first briefing and event. My sister is an accomplished rider and she rented a huge, white Arabian stallion (and a guide) and went racing around the pyramids and Sphinx for two hours today. The shopkeeper in the jewelry shop at the Mena House Oberoi set up the booking. He wanted me to ride also, so he offered me a sweet horse; I said “no thanks.” so then he offered me a blind horse; I said “No Thanks!” Then my sister offered to race around me on the blind horse while riding her strong and speedy 7-year-old Arabian; I said “I’m outta here!” I had a great lunch while she rode around the desert and the pyramids for 2 hours. My sister said that she had always wanted to ride like the wind on a big Arabian, so now she is happy. (She went swimming next at the hotel's pool.) The day is lovely and I am expecting the tour to be great now that my jet lag is OK. I'm told that there were 24 people on this departure and we meet up in the morning.


  • Have a great time on your Egypt/Jordan Tauck Tour! We loved it. The jewelry shop in the Mena has very good prices on gold and silver jewelry. You can trust them with your purchases. We brought home necklaces for all the granddaughters with their names in Egyptian letters.

  • I forgot to tell you that we avoided "Mummy Tummy" by chewing pepto-bismol tablets with every meal. Don't brush your teeth with sick water either at the hotels or ship. Just keep using bottled water.

  • Thanks for the tip, Sheila! The good jewelry shop in the Mena House Oberoi does lovely and fast work. I am admiring a cartouche that spelled out the name of a fellow traveler in hieroglyphics that she bought for herself on the day of early arrival. It was ready by this -- our second day of touring.

    The camel ride at the pyramids was a riot; I'm told (by Matt, our Tour Director) that there are longer camel rides ahead in Jordan. My Giza camel was one of the really cranky ones whose tongue hung sideways out of his mouth. He made horrible farting noises with his mouth and kept trying to bite the butt of the camel ahead of him in the line. Even my sister -- an experienced horsewoman -- declined to try trotting her camel; she said that his way of walking was too tippy for a fast ride. One camel tender rode his home for lunch at a fast trot and I could see him bouncing off into the distance. It looked painful to go fast on a camel!!

    Today was Bazaar Day at the Khan El Khalili and I guess that I did well because the shopkeeper told me to congratulate my husband "because clearly I kept his money safe." Here's where reading up on the Egyptian mythology beforehand paid off. I wanted a substantial-looking statue of Sekmet for my office. (Sekmet is depicted as the lion-headed goddess.) I used product imperfections to justify offering really low prices as I haggled. My favorite observation was that the statues could not be very costly to make since they all used the same body -- a male pharaoh's torso wearing the royal diaper. I told them that goddesses wear dresses and should show evidence of feminine breasts. Then I pointed out how the expression of most of the statues offered to me did not have the muzzle of a lioness on them. They could not counter either of my observations. Family members ran from shop to shop in the bazaar to bring me a statue of a proper lioness goddess -- one wearing the tight dress of a Queen (with exposed breasts). They did the searching for me and I got exactly what I wanted at an acceptable price. Good shopping experience!
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