My first cruise included a stop at Alexandria, Egypt where we could take a very long excursion to Cairo. I was not sure what to expect. I’ve heard and read so many different stories about Cairo, but I doubt anything truly prepares for you what you will see — or experience.
Our first stop, of course, was to see the pyramids. We were warned about some of the scams you can encounter at the pyramids — like negotiating for a picture on a camel, then being told it is another price to get down! Being alone in the group, I must have seemed like an easy target. I felt like everyone was trying to push something at me to buy and even saying, “No, thank you” in Arabic did not seem to help. Then, there was the nice man wearing a “security” uniform who offered to take my picture with the pyramids, doing some of the funny poses. Fortunately, one of the vendors saw him and I was surrounded by more people who helped me get my camera back from the nice man who was trying to steal my camera!
Our next stop was the Great Sphinx. This time, our tour’s security guard decided to stay close to me and took my picture here.
We then drove through Cairo to visit a few more sites.
And then it was a mad dash through Cairo, partially along what was a canal, but now is little more than a ditch. There was every type of transportation you can imagine — and no street lights — absolute chaos!
Before going to Tunisia, the only thing I’d ever really heard about Tunisia is that it is the site of Carthage, a place the Romans destroyed. So, I was excited to learn more and see not only one of the best collections of mosaics in the Bardo Museum, but other sites around Tunis.
I also heard that this is one of the best places to find jasmine-scented oil – my favourite scent!
I embarked on an excursion that would take me to Carthage, The Bardo Museum, the souk in Tunis, and Sidi Bou Said, famous for its white buildings and blue roofs. It was a long day, but I was not sure when I would be back here.
Of course, all that is left of Carthage are ruins, but I enjoyed seeing it – and it has great views of the sea.
The souk is a crazy labyrinth of streets and alleyways. I was glad I was with a guide, because it would be easy to get lost. Of course, we visited a rug merchant and a perfumery where I got my jasmine oil.
The Bardo Museum is fabulous and well worth a visit. I loved the mosaics and the architecture of the building. There were also some very large statues of Greek and/or Roman Gods.
Our last top was at Sidi Bou Said. The town is very beautiful with the white and blue motif. We stopped at a jewelry shop where I found a really nice lapis necklace. Bartering is not my strongest skill, however I ended up with two necklaces, a dolphin statue and a hand of Fatima charm. The owners of the shop pointed me to a little tea house across the road that had a private garden and a view of the town.