2010-06-04 -- Cairo/Giza

A morning trip to visit the pyramids up close and personal, then an afternoon at the Egypt Museum.

We started with a five minute bus ride to the complex, then walked around the Pyramid of Khufu to the museum of a boat found buried at the base of the pyramid. From here, we took the bus to the "panoramic lookout point", and then back down to go inside the Pyramid of Menkaure. By now, we were all remarkably drained, and we went back to the hotel for lunch.

After lunch, some of us explored the Cairo Museum, which was hot, dusty, and dim. I sure hope their new museum is better.

Dinner was also at the hotel. Entertainment was provided by a guy (with an amazingly versitile voice) singing songs from the 50's and 60's, followed by a spinning guy, and a belly dancer.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
So there. I saw the pyramids. They're big. Real big. So big that they just fail to be photographed properly. Or maybe people just got small that day.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/6.4, ISO 100
Side view near a corner. Bricks were removed here because they were easier to remove, and wouldn't destabilize the structure as much (or so the guide claimed).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II at 16.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
The corner view is the most interesting one I could find.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
Right below this picture (barely visable at the bottom) is the end of a large parking lot and a stone wall.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800
Pile of ropes used to lash the planks of the boat together. By itself, not a terribly great picture, but they're thousands of years old. They look like they are just tightly coiled, not braided. The plaque called them "ropes from halfa-grass".



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 40.0 mm; 1/40 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
A boat.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/50 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800
It looks like a break in the wood, but it's really a joint between two long planks. Notice the locking notch in the middle? If these were lashed tightly together, they won't slip. Clever.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 24.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
Steve (or was it Thierry) had a better picture of us, where the pyramid was next to us. Oh well, this is good enough.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 28.0 mm; 1/320 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100
Tourist.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1/1000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
Sphynx and pyramid.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 85.0 mm; 1/1250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
While running back to the bus (I seem to always be the last one).



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 67.0 mm; 1/640 sec, f/9.1, ISO 200
From the bus, a little better composition.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 60.0 mm; 1/500 sec, f/9.1, ISO 200



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 55.0 mm; 0.3 sec, f/9.1, ISO 1600
We were entertained during dinner by a spinning top (which we could take photos of), and a belly dancer (which we couldn't take photos of). The spinner was fun; he literally spun around for ten minutes straight. He had on a couple of skirts, one of which he took of (over his head) while spinning, and then walked through the audience spinning that above his head.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 47.0 mm; 1/13 sec, f/4.0, ISO 6400
Dinner was Ostrich on a bed of mashed potato, with a delicious pumpkin and ginger soup before, and an appetizer of quail. Not such a huge fan of quail, but the ostrich was definitely good. The texture reminded me of pork, it wasn't as greasy as lamb, and the flavor wasn't gamey.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 32.0 mm; 8 sec, f/11.3, ISO 400
The pyramids and Mena House hotel, from my balcony.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 90.0 mm; 8 sec, f/11.3, ISO 400
Pyramid at night.



Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS at 105.0 mm; 1 sec, f/11.3, ISO 400
Mena House Hotel in front of the pyramid. Place holder for an HDR image.



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