Adventure Days · Egypt

Adventure Day: Cairo, Egypt Day 2

We decided to start early again with our guide to miss the traffic. So after another amazing breakfast in the hotel, full of fresh juices, honey from the comb, and fresh baking pastries we were off at 7:30 to explore more pyramids!

We started our day by going to Saqqara and the Step Pyramid, which is the first pyramid ever built. They have a whole museum dedicated to the architect of the pyramid since he literally changed the shape of Egypt.

A wooden sarcophagus
This mummy was wrapped in linen and had cartonnage around his face, chest, and feet. It was amazing!
The only actually mummy on site, and it was a tiny adult! Like maybe 4 ft tall.
After the museum we visited this nearby tomb.
No one around but us!
This was a tomb of a Vizier and had lots of scenes from daily life in Egypt. Very interesting!
Tomb of Ty!!!

After the tomb we went to the Step Pyramid, walked around the grounds and had a chance to go inside it as well.

Ready to go inside another pyramid!
Original columns
Looking at the center shaft of the pyramid.
Burial chamber below.

Next to the Step Pyramid of Djoser is the Saqqara mastaba. Which is kind of like a rubbled pyramid but the surfaces are contain alabaster and are wonderfully intact.

Doesn’t look like much on the outside.
This one was just fine for L, but getting smaller for adults.
In an anti-chamber the walls were covered in hieroglyphs.
A local guide showing us how the alabaster glows unlike the granite. Then he turned off the room lights and showed us a secret carving of the king.
Can you see his outline?
Here it is on the opposite wall. You would never know it was there when the lights were on!

After the Step Pyramid we drove to Dahshur to see the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid. Our guide kept asking us, which tickets do you want. Our response was we want to go in as many pyramids as we can! So we got tickets into both of them. We started with the Bent Pyramid. These tunnels are much smaller, deeper, and longer than the previous pyramids we’ve entered. Tight enclosed spaces are not my favorite but for the pyramids I was going to make it happen!

Since she has her hands on physical books again, she’s been so content! Thank goodness for the hotel library.
This thing was massive!
Smaller pyramid in the distance.
Very tight!
First down, then up.
Then up again.
Also through a tiny, dark passage!
Till you get to the final area in the middle of the pyramid. That just happens to be full of bats! We had no idea and so we couldn’t prepare R who is afraid of bats. She started freaking out and crying. It wasn’t a great ending.
Looking down into a burial chamber. Also those dark spots on the wall are bats.
Happy as could be, in these tiny passages. He barely had to bend his neck.
Back down, and then up the steep ramp out. It was almost easier to go on hands and knees since it was so low, and steep.

We got R calmed down a bit and headed to our last pyramid, the Red Pyramid. R was freaking out that there would be bats in this one as well, but we encouraged her on. We didn’t want her regretting or missing out on this adventure.

Looking positive!
Doesn’t look very red up close.
This one seemed taller than the Bent Pyramid. R was nervous again when she entered. I didn’t tell her till later but I saw a mouse scurrying around behind that pipe on the ground. Then again, she loves mice…
Down and then up. The angles of the ceiling were so precise it was amazing.

The pyramid started to smell really strongly of urine around the step area. It got stronger through a short passage way into the burial chamber. Which wasn’t anything to even take a photo of. So we didn’t linger, it was a quick look around and back down to the tunnel out. R was so thankful there were no bats in this one!

We then drove just a ways to Memphis to visit a giant statue of Ramesses II. Our guide seemed really into the details of this statue and the surrounding land. L was getting super fidgety and I was just educated-out for the day. So we wandered the grounds. It was another open air museum area, and we got some free scarab beads from local sellers trying to pull us into their booths.

Reminds me of Reclining Buddha
Why not sit in the ancient artifacts. We’re good tourists I swear…
The trash everywhere, especially around their water sources is boggling to me.

By this point it was after noon, and we were all getting hungry. We asked our guide if there was somewhere he could stop and we could pick up lunch on the way back to the hotel. He initially went into a quick mart and grabbed us a giant selection of chips, cookies, and chocolate croissants. This took the edge off but we still had a ways to go till we got to our hotel. After he kept asking if we wanted to go to McDonalds, we finally agreed on KFC. We knew it would be quick, and hopefully decent food.

R kept telling us this was a parenting fail 🙂

When we got back to the hotel I will have to admit that this fried chicken tasted amazing!! Also the kids got Pepsi and thought they had died and gone to heaven. After our quick lunch, we all relaxed for an hour or so. Then we had our free High Tea that was set for 4 o’clock. We got the kids and ourselves spruced up as best we could and braced ourselves for a high flaluting adventure. It would either go well, or be a disaster.

The staff here is overwhelmingly helpful. We were stopped twice on the way to the High Tea. Once we sat down three separate staff members came over to welcome us and ask if we needed anything. The tea was served and of course everything is immaculate. Some more staff came over, and when the manager found out we didn’t know the history of High Tea at St. Regis he arranged for another staff member to come and explain it to us. Which was actually super interesting. But after a point it became a joke how many separate staff would come and talk with us.

Dear God – please don’t let us break anything!
Such a departure from our KFC lunch! Also R is trying to look posh.

We survived High Tea! The kids did really well, and actually ate some of the savory food in addition to the sweets. I may have also smuggled the rest of the scone back to our room in my coat pockets. Because no matter how fancy of a place it is, I will always find a way to get some snacks for my kids!

Having fun with the elevator mirrors.

After the tea it was 5:30 and we decided we needed to swim. So back to the outdoor pool we went. Again we had it totally to ourselves. Swam for an hour before we came back to the room, for showers, an attempt at online Christmas Eve mass, and finally finishing the Christmas movie Klaus we’ve been watching all week.

But once we get to the room the door rings, and it’s our Butler bringing Christmas Eve cookies for the kids! They brought two plates like this!

The tree is made out of white chocolate and had a marshmallow, half a dried apricot, and a single cashew inside. The snowman is made out of fondant and the green is fruit cake covered in chocolate.

Ty had also asked the staff if they had any St. Regis bears available. We had gotten little bears for the kids at a previous fancy hotel stay and used them as ornaments so Ty was hoping for something similar. So about an hour after the cookies our butler shows up with an armful of stuffed animals and apologizing since none of them are bears. This place is just bonkers!

Every single one of these is free from this hotel!

I will admit the quality of these stuffies is super cheap. I’ve stitched up three of them already. But that’s totally beside the point. At what moment does this hotel become a magic genie that we can just ask for anything? At breakfast L was trying to use subliminal messaging on the staff. He kept whispering I’d like a rainbow candy cane for Christmas, anytime a staff member was around!

Ty and I talk about how staying in a hotel this fancy is a whole new experience and while it’s fun to do something new. It’s almost overwhelming the amount of times the staff members check in with us. I think the staff stopped by our room and then called us no less than three times about arranging these stuffies.

But we’re all about new adventures! We’ve set out our Harry Potter cookies, with a spare glass of orange juice. The kids have written notes to Santa and we have our travel tree and stockings hung waiting for the Big Guy to find us.

In our makeup nook of course!

Merry Christmas Eve!

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