On my back way from the “Sound and Light” show at the Plateau of Giza I was happy to watch a part of Egyptian wedding. It was a very exciting performance (the second for me this night!). I offer to watch my video clip and get a pleasure of this wedding.
You may watch my VIDEO-Clip from my personal YouTube channel: 1 min 25 sec Egypt Giza Wedding 2007
In ancient Egypt, when a person died, he would start his final journey - which would be accomplished by boat. To make sure this happened it was necessary to have a boat, obviously. They called them "solar boats"
Next to Khufu's pyramid these boats were found, in a pit. The lenght of a pit was of 51 metres. The solar boats are now housed inside a "space-like" structure, and are on display to visitors. Take a good look at the picture... See how small the cars are, and how big the structure?
Solar boats are long, narrow and rectangular, and contain the disassembled parts of real boats. There are twelve oars, fifty-eight poles, three cylindrical columns and five doors. To be placed in the present structure the boats (there's two of them) were divided into 651 pieces, and then removed piece by piece.
OK. Let’s stay focused here people. Now for part 2 about the most useful, yet despicably foul animals in the world. For those keeping up, we are still on the Arabian Camel with 1 hump. That hump is were these guys store their food so to speak. They can live off their stored fat for weeks! When they do start to run out their hump droops to the side. I have never seen this, but I have also never been with nomads in the desert for weeks either.
So Mr. Camels can lose 40% of his body weight then just suck up 32 gallons (145 litres) of water to re-hydrate. Wow.
Then he has an inner eyelid, in addition to his outer, which protects the eyes from sandstorms while still letting in enough light to see where they are going. They have huge eyelashes on their outer eyelids to keep out sand and can even close their nostrils completely for the same purpose. The last bit? they have broad feet so they do not sink into the sand!
A few stats:
* Life span of about 50 years
* Gestation is 12 to 14 months
* Offspring are usually 1 at a time. 2 sometimes
When you are a women in Egypt please respect the Egyptians customs and cover up it will save you alot of hassle. Egyptian men beleive that north american/ europen women are all loose and show them little respect. And all the girls walking around the pyramid sight in short shorts and tank tops dosen't help the situation, my fiance was wearing a longed sleaved shirt and a long skirt which covered her ankles and they were still throwing out little comments, one guy offered me 100 camel for her. Please cover up and save yourself some hassle.
Camels are know as the ‘Ships of the Desert’ and rightfully so. They can easily survive where other animals cannot. They are amazing strong, versatile, useful, but inherently vile and evil beasts. Just remember that they are foul tempered and will happily bite you and/or spit in your face. Just keep to the sides or rear and you will be fine. There are 2 kinds of camel – the Dromedary Camel (also known as the Arabian Camel) with 1 hump and the Bactrian Camel (or Asian Camel) with 2 humps. 90% of the world’s camels are Dromedaries and these are the ones you will find all over Africa, from the North to the South and even on the Canary Islands.
How useful are they? They can carry 200 pounds (90 kilograms) of weight, walk 20 miles (32 kilometres) a day in the desert and go without water for over a week and without food for months! Their coats can be used for wool; you can drink their milk, eat the meat (tough!), make leather from their skin and burn their droppings for fuel. Very versatile indeed!
One of the customs we found odd in Egypt was that more than any place else we've traveled to, people in Egypt seem to have gotten accustomed to automatically asking (often demanding) a hand out for practically no service rendered.
For us westerns who may not think twice about offering gratuitous advice, we may find this behaviour rather confictive.
Example: If you ask for directions from someone, although readily given, their next action may be to extend their hand and rub fingers together indicating desire to get paid for their "trouble".
In a restroom, although the person (doorman) may just stand there - even outside the actual restroom - they'll readily extend their hand for a tip when you exit.
NOTE: Tip will be duly posted under warnings throughout our Egypt pages as we were really discussed with it!
Under clear view of a "NO TIPPING SIGN" at the airport, while following the clearly marked signs indicating restrooms, our women had 1st one gentleman, then another jump in front of them, point out the obviously labeled door with the universal sillouhette symbol indicating that it was a woman's bathroom then demand payment for pointing it out!
Only after I stepped in, asked in a stern voice if anything was the matter did he leave them alone.
Another time, while confirming my plane reservations between Aswan and Cairo (I'm a travel agent mind you and quite able to perform this simple task), a representative from our ship jumped in, grabbed up my tickets, continued the confirmation process for me and then demanded payment first from me, then later that night, from my women friends!
DO NOT ENCOURAGE BEGGING OR FREE RIDES! Tell them to pound sand up the galabeas and continue walking!
When it`s Eid(either Eid el Fitr after the holy month of Ramadan,or Eid el Hajj)Locals tend to visit the pyramids to do BBQ and gather their families for picnics.
Children will be playing and women preparing food.
Many Asian and African countries, including Egypt, are predominantly Muslim, so the religious sites you are most likely to encounter, are, predictably, mosques. This is a brief tip of advice, written from the point of view of a non-Muslim, female traveler (yours truly!!!):
- Do dress modestly, covering arms, legs, shoulders and the like, no frivolous dressing will be allowed. Hire the modest dress if needed;
- Check whether you are allowed into the mosque at all, since most of them admit you only into the courtyard, and some do not admit non-Muslims at all. However, in several countries you may be able to visit the interiors of many mosques;
- Respect the boundaries laid and do not attempt to enter further (I saw such a thing once, and it did arouse ill-feeling);
- If possible try to avoid going even to the courtyard on Friday afternoon, since I remember this is the most important praying time of the week;
- If you are curious, feel free to ask questions (though not of people hurrying to pray) and most likely you will be answered: I’ve always found people proud of their culture and heritage and ready to explain it;
- Do not criticize things we in Europe and in the West might (such as separate praying space for men and women), for such are the customs of the land and mosques are the least appropriate places for such topics.
This advice is based only on common sense, but it allowed me to see something of the mosques and learn loads of interesting info on Muslim countries, their religion, and culture. Really helped me when we had a general education class on religions at University:))
As far as I could learn, there used to be two kinds of religious temples in the Ancient Egypt: different in some things, and very much alike in others. These were the funerary temples and the cult temples. The titles show the use of each kind plainly enough. The main purpose of the so-called ‘cult temples’ was to venerate the gods and their son, the pharaoh, while the son was still alive. The funerary temples do the same, but only when the pharaoh’s dead and buried often in the temple itself.
Sheikh Al' Mario Mohamed Portugal is showing himself off :)
These photo shots were taken in Giza in September 2011.