My old roommate Pip always raved about Fayoum as her weekend getaway of choice for recovering from the stresses of Cairo life, so I was excited when Noel organized a trip there for a dozen CASAween plus Heather’s family. Fayoum is the first manmade oasis, built by the pharaohs, and was sacred to the crocodile god, so we began by visiting a pyramid.
This pyramid was once covered with limestone, but the Ptolemies pirated the good stone for their own structures in the later dynasties. All that remains now is the mud brick core of the pyramid.
Unfortunately, when we went into town to see Fayoum’s famous waterwheels, we also picked up a police escort. Any group of Americans larger than 10 is supposed to have one “for security.” From a tourist’s perspective, though, if you can avoid it, do! We spent all afternoon arguing with the police escort, who insisted that it was only “safe” to eat at the most expensive restaurants along the lake (where they could get a free meal for their trouble) and it pretty much ruined the rest of the day!