Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 29 Carnak Temple + cab ride

On Saturday we explored the Great Temple of Carnak. This was something I thought Johnny Carson invented. Turns out he took it from the Egyptians. This is the first temple we've been to that is large enough to get lost in. One section is larger than a cathedral with 138 columns 75 feet high and 6 feet in diameter. It is blazing hot today and we see one woman being dragged out after succumbing to the heat. The Temple is filled with bus after bus of European tourists

After Carnak, we went to a "Papyrus House" where they sell Egyptian artwork on papyrus. We bought some artwork and got to know the salesman pretty well. He asked us where we were going next and I told him McDonald's. OK. That's not very adventurous, but I wanted a milkshake in the worst way. He said he was going home and invited us to ride in a cab with him and he would drop us off at McDonalds. It turns out there are special cabs for the locals. They are a hybrid between a bus and a cab. They are a mini-van with four rows of seats that run a consistent route. People hop in and out thru the open sliding door and pass the driver a pound. (About a quarter) True to his word he dropped us off right in front of Micky D's and paid for our ride too.

One thing about Egypt is that it is still a cash oriented society. Our hotel wanted to be paid in cash. It took us about half an hour to find a machine that would cough up 1500 pounds. By that time we decided to forego the Felucca ride or the camel ride and just go back to the hotel for dinner.

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