Friday, May 9, 2008

Sailing With The Sun

The other day Maryanne had some visitors and she decided that we should all go see the Solar Boat. I liked the idea of going on a boat again. For a moose, I have a lot of boat experience. I've been on the Nile cruise boat, the boat to Philae Island, and the boat with the window in the bottom in Sharm el Sheikh. That's quite a lot of boats, so a solar boat sounded pretty good, whatever kind of boat that might be.

Well, I was pretty surprised when we drove up to the Giza pyramids, got out of the car and walked over to a sort of banana-shaped building next to the biggest pyramid. What kind of boat are we going to see up on this rock covered hill, anyway? The closest water is in the bottles that the men are selling to thirsty tourists. We bought some tickets...Maryanne says that there are special prices for a moose...and went into a little room where some men gave us each some funny cloth slippers to put over our feet. This is weird. No one ever gave us slippers on any of the other boats.

There was a little problem for me with the slippers. They don't get so many very small visitors like Da Moose. They could find one slipper that was almost the right size but the other one was a bit bigger. Maryanne said not to worry because there were a lot of stairs to climb and she'd be carrying me. This boat was sounding stranger and stranger all the time. All the people coming in were putting on their slippers and then laughing at how their feet looked so funny..kind of like duck feet. Then we walked into another room that had a lot of pictures of people working around big holes in the rocks and there was a small boat in a glass case. It was a pretty nice looking boat with pointy ends and little oars. Maybe I would fit on it, but the big people were definitely going to be out of luck. There was also a big hole that people were looking into. It had been cut out of the stone and Maryanne said that hole was were they found the boat. I didn't know about that. The hole was too big for the little boat in the case, but how would you fit a real boat into the hole? And where was the water?

Then we walked into the next room and there was the boat! It looked just like the little one but it was really big. Maryanne said that the boat was about five thousand years old and that the people had taken it apart and put all the pieces in the hole in the ground. When other people found it later, they put it back together, sort of like a puzzle, and then they built the banana house around it so that it would stay nice and so that people (and moose too) could climb the stairs, walk all around and see it.

There was a little house in the middle of the boat but no swimming pool like on the Nile cruise boat and no window like on the fish boat in Sharm. Maryanne told me that the boat was made for the pharoah to sail down the Nile to his pyramid, so they didn't need much room on the boat. She said the the really big pieces of wood that they made the boat from came from a place called Lebanon that was famous for its cedar trees even now, but that there must have been much bigger trees back then. The other really interesting thing about the boat was that it was made completely from wood and rope. There were no nails holding it together at all. It must have taken a long, long time to tie all the knots. But the next time we get to see a boat, I want to go for a ride.

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