First Impressions from Turbulent Egypt With Our Kids

It’s almost 2am in Egypt; the family is sleeping but I have to write. There is so much to share. It’s hard to believe that we are only on Day 12 of our Egypt adventure. There is SO MUCH to this country that a couple days here can feel like weeks. The history alone is mind blowing, let alone the political turmoil. The days have been so full that we get back to our hotel and crash every night. Choosing to bring our kids to Egypt instead of Hawaii was a little scary but has been worth it, and a family adventure that we will never forget! Here is a beginning look at Egypt through our family’s eyes–plus, a few crazy stories that you just can’t make up.

From an armed guard escorting us through an open market to a surprising situation that involved camels and pyramids to the breathtaking imagery that Egypt offers, this is our family’s first impressions in Cairo, Egypt.

Every photo was taken with one of these three SONY cameras; DSC-RX100, NEX6 or SLTA99V DSLR.

  • Streets of Cairo 1 of 11
    Streets of Cairo
    In the first 48 hours of arriving to Cairo, our family is in awe of all that surrounds us. The jet lag, the fatigue, the foreign sounds, smells, and tastes can seem to whirl past us, but at the same time we feel ourselves pulled in to the intrigue and mystery of Egypt.
  • Coptic Cairo 2 of 11
    Coptic Cairo
    Religion seems to be the heartbeat of this country--whether you are Christian, Muslim or Jewish. The Coptic Church reaches high into the blue Egyptian sky. Built in the middle of Cairo, it is only steps away from the synagogue and mosque.
  • Call to Prayer 3 of 11
    Call to Prayer
    Our Bedouin Camel Guide breaks for prayer.
  • Stuck Between a Rock and a Camel 4 of 11
    Stuck Between a Rock and a Camel
    The photo our family has been excited for! We were scheduled to do a camel ride the next day, but decided that you can't ride enough camels in Egypt. But once the guide, not the one in the previous photo, has us on the camels--out of sight from Sam, our Egyptologist, he asked us if we wanted photos. Of course we did! But when he was done he insisted on a significant "extra" tip, and I have to say we felt stuck between a rock and a camel. Brian gave him the money because what else are you going to do when you are twenty feet high on a camel's back? And then this young man asked us to not tell anyone this happened. Well, the first thing I did when I got off the camel was tell Sam EXACTLY what happened. This is one of many reasons I'm so thankful we went with Egypt Uncovered. Not only did Sam call this man's uncle, but the grandpa who owns the camel stables called to apologize too. Then the uncle showed up to apologize to our family, and we were told that the young man has been demoted and reprimanded. I get the feeling he won't being making that mistake again. We've done two other camel rides since, and they have both been amazing experiences.
  • Going Inside the Pyramids 5 of 11
    Going Inside the Pyramids
    Climbing into the center of the pyramid can feel extremely claustrophobic and causes your thighs to ache for the next four days, since you are literally doing squats for 1000 meters into the belly of the pyramid. The air is thin but also heavy, and the heat intensifies as you get closer and closer to the center of the pyramid's insides. But it is worth it! This was a major highlight for our kids too. The thrill of standing inside the belly of a pyramid that is thousands of years old is surreal.
  • A Foreign Land 6 of 11
    A Foreign Land
    Brian captured this photo as the pyramids were closing for the day. Due to the political changes happening in Egypt that began two years ago with the revolution, tourism has dropped so much that we were pressed to even see other Americans at the pyramids. Instead of being surrounded by tourists, we were swallowed up by the locals doing their own sight seeing on horseback or camels.
  • Citadel of Cairo 7 of 11
    Citadel of Cairo
    Sitting on the Muqattan Hill, near the center of Cairo, is the Citadel. Salah Ad-Din built the high walls for protection against attacks by Crusaders. Tourists come for the sweeping city views, but I was in awe of the breathtaking ceiling and single window of light. Again, I'm so thankful for Egypt Uncovered building the Citadel into our schedule because Sam taught us the history of Egypt, day by day, and every site built on top of the next piece of history.
  • Local Onlookers 8 of 11
    Local Onlookers
    Pascaline, my 11 year old, took this photo as we were walking the backstreets of Cairo. She loved the blue sky, shadowed buildings and the curious onlookers.
  • Building a Dream 9 of 11
    Building a Dream
    Brian and I have this crazy, fun dream to have our own family travel show. Why not give a shot in Egypt?! I love this moment of Brian gearing up to not only film me, but also Direct and be the Sound guy while the Bedouins relax in the background with their camels. You can't make this stuff up! Is this really our life? I LOVE it!
  • Finding a Retreat 10 of 11
    Finding a Retreat
    After a couple of full days, Pascaline finds a quiet retreat under the desk in our hotel room.
  • Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar and an Armed Escort 11 of 11
    Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar and an Armed Escort
    Visiting the Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in Egypt from the late 1300s, was the first time we've ever been escorted by an armed policeman. The current affairs in Cairo has left the government wanting to ensure the safety of tourists--going to extra lengths to make this happen. As we walked past the stalls with our "armed guard" shadowing us, I couldn't figure out if I felt more safe or more freaked out by the whole situation. But I think the answer is that I felt more safe because there is no other way I would feel comfortable pausing to get this shot at nightfall. I mean, you can feel free to take your time and compose the shot when you've got a guy with a gun watching your back, right? This market is famous for their lanterns, as a photographer, I was in heaven photographing it.

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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