Entry #32: Sean Hits a Wall

Sorry that it has been a week since my last entry, but I hit my own personal "traveling wall." After 3.5 months of constant moving around, I had the overwhelming desire to stop and be at home. Maybe staying with the Weimers in their "Christmas Chateau" in the center of Cairo with all the decorations and the non-stop Christmas carols bellowing through the house, combined with me missing the traditional McGrail Family Xmas shin-dig that made me miss home.

Another contributing factor was that I had loose stools for the third time since leaving Boston and I felt less adventurous with the local foods (in Luxor I stopped into McDonalds for the first time on the trip because it was a place I could trust! I had a McArabia Sandwich with a side of fries- followed by a Twinkie for desert).

Staying with the Weimers definitely spoiled me a bit, as they have a guest apartment with a king sized bed made up in ultra clean sheets, many blankets, plus a hot and clean shower, a full kitchen and a full bar! It was wonderful not to have to worry about bed bugs as I slowly slipped off to sleep. Checking into my $2 hotel in Luxor after staying at their house made me really miss my bed.

Another bonus of staying with the Weimers was their driver--I didn't have to negotiate with a cabbie every time I wanted to go somewhere. It was like being at home where things were stright forward and easy, which made me miss the simple comforts I have gone without for 3.5 months, staying with other friends and family aside.
Plus, the sightseeing in Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel was a little lackluster.

In the Valley of the Kings (Luxor) there are several tombs of Pharaohs that died some 5,000 years ago. Unfortunately, all of the tombs have been stripped of their jewels and treasure and put on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York or the MFA in Boston. The tombs are nothing more than carved out caves with some hieroglyphics on the wall. Yawn. Once you've seen one cave with faded hieroglyphics, you've seen them all. So after about 30 minutes I had seen what the guidebooks said would take the better half of a day. That night I went to the Karnak temple, which has a semi cool light show. I say semi cool because it begins with a walk from one massive room to another in the dark, then the lights illuminate the whole space. Visually it is quite interesting, but then an overly dramatic narration kicks in, booming over the loudspeakers: "...and Ramses’ empire spread out over Egypt like a palm casting its shadow over the Nile...blah blah blah." I left half way through because it was just getting ridiculous—I wasn’t going to see any more rooms, and didn’t want to stand around listening to more over-acted, overly dramatic voices gab on about Pharaohs who I won't remember in the morning.

It was another of the many times I was glad I wasn't on a tour with 30 other people and I didn't have to wait for the bus back to the hotel.

In Aswan, it was worse as there was only the Aswan Dam to see...which takes 10 minutes. Hoover is better...because Vegas is around the corner! Vegas baby, Vegas!

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