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Mary and Rick taking a camel ride to the pyramids. These are smelly animals! (the camels, not us!!). In the background is the Great Pyramid at Giza.

The population of Egypt in 1998 was 65,978,000.

Having a fun time next to the Great Pyramid. The people in the background give an idea of how large the pyramid's approximately 2 million stone blocks are. Each weighs over two tons. The pyramid is approximately 30 times larger than the Empire State Building and can even be seen from the moon! The base covers over 13 acres, which is the equivalent of 6 city blocks. It is one of the oldest structures in existence, having been started over 4,600 years ago.

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'Egypt' is from Greek word 'Aegyptus', which comes from ancient Egyptian, 'Hik up tah' (meaning House of the Spirit).

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Friends in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo. This is the richest museum of Egyptian antiquities in the world, containing over a 150,000 pharaonic artifacts going back 5000 years. It was built during the reign of Khedive Abbass Helmi II in 1897, and opened on November 15, 1902.

There are more than 500 mosques in Cairo alone.

Getting around Cairo during rush hour. After getting lost during a walk around Cairo - all the signs were in Arabic, but our map was in English, making it almost worthless. After wandering through several neighborhoods, never once having any reason to be afraid, we found this horse and buggy whose owner spoke enough English to understand where we wanted to go.

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Average summer temperatures can be up to 105F in the south, and 95F in the north. Average winter temperatures are between 70F in the south, and 55F in the north.

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The view from our hotel room in Cairo - across the street from the pyramids! Once a hunting lodge for a prince, the beautiful Mena House is considered to be the top hotel in all of Egypt. One morning Rick had the unique opportunity of a private tour by a friendly maid through the "King's Suite", which is the most luxurious accomodations at the hotel. It comes with a private staff of five, including butler and cook.

The population of Cairo in 1998 was 7,200,000. Including suburbs, the population was over 16,000,000.

Mary walking along the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, one of the oldest in Egypt. It is located at the Great Court of the Pyramid Complex of Djoser, the second king of the 3rd Dynasty. The complex represents the first major work in stone.

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Languages spoken in Egypt: Arabic (official), English, Nubian, and Berber.

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Luxor, a favorite city to spend a few days in. Here you can walk through history; past statues with the heads of gods and animals, beneath carved lotus buds and papyrus. Ride in a horse-drawn caleche, sail in a felucca, take a sunset cruise or see the city from a hot-air balloon. The most 'cosmopolitan' city in Egypt.

Cairo has the world's first university, al-Azhar, founded in 970 AD.

Khnum Temple at sunset. It sits in the middle of Lake Nassar, a huge manmade lake near Aswan. It was moved to this higher location to preserve it when the lake was filled. This required the disassembly of the temple stone by stone, often having to cut larger stones into several pieces, moving the pieces over a half mile, and then reassembling them with the same orientation to the sun. This is Rick's favorite picture from our trip!

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Except around the Nile Valley, Egypt is almost completely desert. Even the coastal areas are very dry. There are no forests anywhere in Egypt.

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Rick relaxing on our 5-day cruise down the Nile. Nile cruises are very popular and we saw several dozen cruise ships during our journey. Not as large as the cruise ships often advertized on TV, these ships usually hold less than two hundred passengers. We would slowly drift with the current at night, docking before sunrise so we could visit nearby temples during the day.

Cairo was established in 969 AD by the Fatimids when they conquered Egypt. The area had been populated for at least 5,000 years prior to that.

Sugar cane harvesting, a major crop industry in Egypt. Agriculture is an important sector of the Egyptian economy, accounting for one fifth of the county's output. Cotton, vegetables, fruit and cereals are Egypt's main crops.

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The majority of transportation in Egypt occurs on the Nile. Over 90% of goods shipped are waterborne sometime during their voyage.

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A man tends to his horse and buggy, popular transportation for local sightseeing, in front of typical neighborhood buildings.

Egypt is predominantly Muslim, making up about 90% of the population, while Christians make up the remainder.

Since we owned a sailboat at the time and regularly sailed the San Francisco Bay, the opportunity of going sailing on the Nile was another special treat we couldn't pass up. These boats, called felluccas, are little changed from sailing vessels in use over two thousand years ago.

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Here Are More pages with images of Egypt!

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