avoid Friday, Sunday (crowded)
can also be reached by camel for E£150 (3 hours)
Mastaba of Merou
The entrance to this mastaba is unassuming, but inside, the reliefs and paintings are well-preserved. It's hard to imagine how the tombs looked when they were new, but inside these small mastabas, you can get a glimpse.
Our termporary guide -- who we ended up with because this was our first day and we weren't sure how to handle the constant barrage of offers and insistent sellers, was very nice and led us through the jumble of buildings. In retrospect, we should have just gone by ourselves, but...live and learn. He spoke very little English but still pointed out the cartouches for Unas, and the meaning of the scened painted inside the tomb.
There was another couple in the tomb with a guide who spoke English, so we got a bit more of the background, but it was an interesting experience, nonetheless.
Everyone wants to take pictures of us with stuff. Maybe most people love vacation pictures ofthemselves in front of the sites they see, but I really hate them. I hate pictures of myself (although there are still quite a few, since Mark had an annoying tendency to take pictures of me walking away. If someone asks for your camera to take a picture of you, they are expecting a small tip -- baksheesh -- for the service. A pound or two is more than enoiugh, although some will press for American dollars. If you don't want the service, simply thank them politely and refuse.
Arabic for "No, Thanks" is la's shukran (lah-ah SHOOK-rahn).
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