Day 8 – Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum is one of the top three most important archeological museums in the world. Needless to say, after learning the history, traveling up and down the Nile, and exploring the tombs and temples, we were excited to see the artifacts they had relocated from these places. Facing Tahrir Square (which, it turns out, is a grassy traffic circle) and located in a 100+ year-old structure, the Egyptian Museum is an imposing building. Various artifacts litter its outside garden (all originals), which we happily snapped pictures of since photography inside the museum is forbidden.
Once inside, we were relegated to wearing radio earpieces to hear H since the museum was loud and packed with locals and tourists. The space feels claustrophobic, and one can easily see why Egypt is currently constructing a new museum (set to open in roughly 1,000 days from now across the Nile near the pyramids in Giza). But aside from the overall layout, the sheer number of pieces on display and the scope of King Tut’s treasure is staggering (and even more ancient artifacts are in the storage room, hence the new museum). Leaving the museum as the last stop on the tour was a good decision, as it allowed us to soak in the history, the importance and relevance of the gods and rulers, and understand the timeline of the country. Whereas if we went to the museum on the first day, our eyes probably would have glazed over and we would have retained nothing except the memory of King Tut’s golden death mask (Which is awesome!).
Later that night, as our group ate one last meal together, we collectively let out a breath. There was no test to be administered, no pop quiz on all the things H had told us about, no essay due by midnight. But at the same time, we were now able to look at everything differently. We had seen mummies of men and crocodile, great pyramids, enormous temples. We had been swallowed by a sandstorm only to survive. We sand and danced Nubians and escaped from flies. We had been to Egypt during a time that others were afraid to go and we left more than happy that we had done so.
Day 9 – Departure day
Some of our group journeyed to other parts of Egypt as part of a different On The Go tour and others flew home. Mohamed with On The Go scored a 3 p.m. checkout for us, so we relaxed, swam in the pool and then finally made our way to downtown Cairo, where we stayed for two more nights before heading south to Johannesburg.
Disclosure: We traveled through Egypt with On The Go and have received a trip discount in exchange for sharing our experience. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely our own. We really enjoyed our tour with On The Go, as they have highly professional and well-trained staff. We would absolutely book a trip with them again.