December 4, 1961 – Egypt

Nile Hilton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt – Foggy, cool

     My alarm went off way to early at 6am and I really wanted to sleep in but I couldn’t because I wanted to see some more of Cairo so I got up.  Edith was in the same boat but she got up too.  Both of us were moving slow but eventually we joined the others downstairs for breakfast.

     Our morning excursion today took us five miles outside of Cairo to Memphis so we could see the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx.  We had to travel the final stretch to the ruins in the desert by camel which turned out to be a challenge in itself.  Inside the pyramid we saw the sarcophagus of 23 Sacred Bulls which was quite impressive.  In the area we were I could see seventeen pyramids but Ali told us that all together In Egypt there were seventy eight of them.  Seeing those ancient structures was awe inspiring and I couldn’t help but imagine how long and hard it had taken to build them.

On Way to Memphis

Tour Group

Step Pyramid

Another View of Step Pyramid


Another View of Sphinx

Cheops, Camel and I

Sphinx Pyramid

     Once we were back in our cars and on our way back to Cairo I couldn’t help but notice that the Nile Valley was very fertile and lush with growth even though the normal rainfall was only one inch per year.  There was such a contrast between the dry barren desert with its rock formations we’d seen near the monuments and the lushness of the land where there was irrigation.  It was a joy to ride along the boulevards of Cairo and see the large shade trees.  They made the trip pleasant.  We saw parks everywhere and they all looked inviting and serene.

     We had the afternoon to ourselves so after having a nice lunch Edith and I were both sleepy so we decided to take a nap.  Both of us felt much better after we woke up but we decided to stay in the rest of the day and make it a quiet day.  Edith got caught up on her correspondence and I decided to write another letter to Ramona.  I was frustrated that she hadn’t acknowledged my request to send $500 instead of $300 to Italy so I thought I would send yet another reminder:

Dec 4, 1961 – Cairo, Egypt

Dear Ramona;

     Your letter arrived, 2 of them, #16 & #17 with enclosures from Janice and David.  I am so frustrated though.

     #1You never say what # letter you get from me. 

     #2 I have written four letters to you asking for FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS and I get an answer from you.  Quote “I haven’t forgotten about sending you the $300.” 

     Don’t you look closely when you read my letters?  Now if I don’t get the FIVE HUNDRED ($500) will you enclose some (about 6 checks) personal blank checks so I can get some money.  I’M BROKE!  Send them to the (Palace Hotel in Madrid).  If you send the $500 FIVE HUNDRED then you needn’t bother with the checks.

     Now – Cairo is a beautiful city and we saw the pyramids this morning also the sphinx.  We rode the camel and it wasn’t so bad – nice ride in fact. 

     I loved getting the letters from Janice and David and I’m glad you are getting some packages.  Hang the brocade jackets up.  Do you like them?  I had the black one made for me.  Edith and I went with 5 others to a night club last night and saw some Egyptian dancers – belly dancers.  It was good. 

     Our room is right on the Nile and we have a balcony.  We are on the 11th floor.  We can see the pyramids from our balcony. 

     I have been paying all Edith’s doctor bills and expenses since Calcutta so you can see why I am broke.  However, we both bought some perfume from here and we are sending that home.  Hope we get it.  We are travelling on a shoe string believe me.  So send the FIVE HUNDRED or the checks.  PLEASE.

Love Mother

     After finishing the letter I sealed it up in an envelope and took it down to the lobby to mail.  It was ironic because once I’d done that the clerk handed me a letter from Ramona and later when I had a chance to read it I found she did indeed recognize that she needed to send me the $500 instead of the $300.  I wished that I hadn’t already mailed that letter to her and hoped it didn’t upset her when she got it.  I decided that I would have to write her again soon to apologize for this last letter.

     Edith and I decided to have an early dinner tonight so we could turn in early.  The nap had helped but we were still exhausted and I knew we had to get up at 3:30am to catch our flight to Luxor.  After getting ready for bed I decided to spend some time enjoying the view of Cairo.               

     I loved to sit and look at the lights.  By the time I went to bed I was nice and relaxed.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 11:29:42

    I’m curious. There’s 2 pictures of the “Rock of Moses” but no description of what that is about. What’s the story behind this?


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