On our first day in Egypt, the only country I’ve ever been nervous to visit and a place where I’d promised to be extra cautious and take no unnecessary risks, we went to Tahrir Square. “Look over there!” said Basma and Mamdouh, big smiles on their faces. “That is the building they burned during the revolution!” We turned, still foggy with jetlag, and saw a pair of barn swallows winging their way across the square and towards the soot-covered building towering over the museum. Thus far, Egypt was not what we expected.
The museum is a cavernous building, filled with fabulous artifacts- including the mummy of King Ramses II and the gilded contents of King Tut’s tomb. We wandered the halls in awe, as huge stone statues of pharaohs towered overhead and millions of dollars worth of gold jewelry, artifacts, and mummies lay in haphazardly placed glass cases. We could have spent a week in the museum and not seen everything.