Blog Entry on Giza Plateau and Egyptian Museum by Professor Lobban in Egypt
January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012: Back on the Giza Plateau and the Egyptian Museum
I have visited the Pyramids in Egypt scores of times, but I must admit I never saw so few people. The events in Egypt have clearly discouraged tourists, but despite this important misfortune to the Egyptian economy, it is truly a time for shopping bargains and all of the significant sites to be easily visited without having to wade through huge crowds that had long been the norm making visits to sites as a sometimes logistic nightmare amongst polyglot guides, trying to find your tourist bus and make your purchases. Honestly, this is the time to go to Egypt.
Still no reports of injuries or incidents to tourists, but, as always, it is better to traveled escorted with a licensed professional guide to gain the most of such a “trip of a lifetime.” We were also able to visit the fabled Egyptian National Museum right on Tahrir Square. Still, there were plenty of visitors to the museum to see its great treasures, but nothing like the jammed corridors that were a normal frustration.
Certainly the signs of the year-old revolution were apparent with the burned-out headquarters of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party as well as Egyptian flags fluttering in the breeze above the Sadat Metro stop. Probably, visiting the Museum on Friday could be avoided since this is a public Muslim holiday that sometimes represents contested political space as the revolution evolved to the democratic elections, and as this evolves to form a new parliament and ultimately a new president as the relationship between the military and civilians continues to be redefined. As an Arabic-speaker, I walked in back neighborhoods and local shops and restaurants and only had welcoming reactions. For first-time visitors, who don’t speak Arabic, just bring along a good Cairo map.