Photo of the Week: Blast from the Ancient Past

Last week I was organising some photos and happened to find a photo, lost in the wrong album on a trip some time ago. Finding that photo made me think about where I was in years gone by and remembered that July 2009 I was ticking something off my bucket list; Seeing the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt. It reminded me about that sometimes things that you think are great can be a bit of a let down, as it was the pyramids… It was everything that is wrong with tourism: Locals trying to make a quick buck off a lost and slightly confused tourist, in a setting which was as mystical as a mall in Dubai. The pyramids on their own are amazing, but its setting and those they let loose on tourists was a bitter disappointment.

My greatest travel disappointment!

My greatest travel disappointment!

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One Response to Photo of the Week: Blast from the Ancient Past

  1. It is truly a shame. It seems there’s no mystical place left on earth where troops of sandal-wearing, superzoom-wielding, gatorade drinking foreigners don’t roll through talking loudly and congesting all the otherwise imposing greatness of a place and where poor locals, ignored by their government and eager to make a quick buck don’t pound the pavement to intercept these unwary vacationers. Question I always ask it: what would I have them all do? I can’t very well encourage more people to travel and yet ask them to keep out of the most amazing sites this world has to offer. At the same time what greater boon to local economies is there than tourism and if governments won’t step in to at least keep people honest then touts and swindlers just come with the territory. This is especially toxic in Egypt as you know but I try to think of it as part of the mystique…beggars and carpet salesmen are part of the scenery as you and Raquel have discovered having fun with her great negotiation skills.

    I think if we want mystique and quality local contact it’s a matter of working harder to get closer. Anything big and shiny and in the middle of a city will attract this kind of movement but as you’ve shown us, taking an extra step and meeting locals and heading off to some of the more difficult settings (desert safari anyone) will help filter out some of this corruption.

Thoughts? Let me know! :)

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