Giza Pyramids and Saqarra
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 23 of 38 › view all entries
Today I hired a driver and went to see the Giza Pyramids, the Sphynx and the older pyramids at Saqarra.
I don't think I can explain how incredible it is to see and touch things so old (and BIG). We hear about them, read about them and see them on TV and in movies, but nothing can beat standing right there. It is just amazing.
The sphynx actually is smaller than you would expect, but no less incredible.
I wandered around the 3 main pyramids on the Giza Plateau (I can only remember the name of the big one - Cheops) for awhile, taking a ton of pictures. I then wandered down by the sphynx and took pictures around there. Then, some local guy took me down to some old tombs near the sphynx - those tombs are everywhere.
One thing to note around the tourist attractions: Everyone wants to help you out and are extremely friendly and helpful, but then they all want "a little something" for helping you out. They don't tell you this up front! I caught on to that real quick when one of the policemen offered to take my picture in front of one of the Pyramids, then wanted money afterwards. A policeman! When you give them "a little something" they are usually offended because it's not enough! From then on, anytime someone offered to help I would tell them that I had no money. The usual response is "no, my friend, I do this for free!" - which means, of course, that they want "a little something"! Apparently there is a distinction there.
The 2 pyramids at Saqarra are much older than the ones at Giza. There are additional ruins and tombs there as well. Unlike Giza, Saqarra is still an active archeological site. Of course, anything of real value has been removed from the areas where tourists are allowed.
I was able to go into one tomb that was filled with paintings and heiroglyphics - many still in color! This tomb and the tomb of his wife were both amazing, and unfortunately cameras were not allowed. I did get a couple pictures in the wife's tomb - it was underground and I was the only one there. Don't tell anyone - I don't need to cause any more international incidents!
(UPDATE: I have tried 3 times and for 1.5 hours to upload photos and it fails at then end of the upload. I guess I will have to try later or from Rome to upload pics. Sorry!)