Giza Travel Blog

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Giza Police
Our pyramid adventure began with taxi from our hotel on Saturday morning.  The driver was supposed to drop us off at the Sphinx, however, he decided to make a detour to his friends who offer tours by horse, camel and Giza Cadillac (horse-and-buggy).  Normally when this happens we just say no, however, the sun was quite something and I had no sunscreen and they were offering a tour guide so we splurged & toured in style by Giza Cadillac.  There are tourism police all over and at one point I was climbing on some rocks at the base of one of the pyramids and one was coming toward me yelling something so I thought I shouldn’t be there, but actually he was trying to tell me to go up the other side because I could climb higher!  Our tour guide also positioned us for a few silly/fun pictures and we were able to hang out for a while and take it all in.
 On our way down, we had to negotiate to stop at the Sphinx (no cadillac parking) but it was well worth the effort.  It is a lot to see, especially for someone who is in awe of just seeing horses running across the desert!  

After we ended our tour in Giza, we took a taxi to Saqqara to see what is believed to be the first pyramid in Egypt, and we also saw the Memphis pyramids in the distance.  It was nice there as there was much less commotion.  There are all sorts of ruins and tombs around and we were lucky enough that there was an English-speaking tour going on so we latched on a bit to hear about some of the engineering marvels of ancient Egypt.  We also toured a Mastaba which had all kinds of hieroglyphics and paintings on the walls (although most are headless as the tops have been stolen).
 Even in an imperfect state, it was breathtaking.  

Next we were off to the souk in Cairo.  Everyone had told me that Cairo is a dirty city and there is nothing to see.  While it isn’t New York or Paris, it has a few bright spots and the souk is one of them.  When people say souk, I picture the souks we visited in Morocco.  This one was so different.  It is crowded, high-energy madness.  There are people coming at you all around to sell whatever and the locals are all walking through at full force in every direction (which is the same way that they drive - more on that later!).  I got a little stressed out when a man came up and put a LIVE SNAKE in my face but overall I was fascinated by the whole thing.
 We escaped the madness for a quick bite and a stroll by the Nile (where we saw a sphinx with a head of a lion) & then took a taxi back to the pyramids for the evening light show.  

The taxis in Egypt are much rougher around the edges than anywhere else I’ve been.  I believe this is due to the manner in which they drive.  Have you ever been in the middle lane of a 2-lane highway?  I wish I was a cool enough person to say that you get used to it and it is even fun after a while, but no.  It is terrifying every time.  I nicknamed all of the taxi drivers we had Mohammed Schumacher (which, incidentally, I think would be an excellent band name)  Nobody drives between the lines (even if there is no one else on the road) and rather than using signal lights when changing lanes, they all just honk their horns at the cars in front of them as if to say ‘Don’t even THINK about changing lanes because I AM NOT STOPPING!’  We were trying to figure out what was worse - a taxi with a broken side mirror or no side mirror at all.
 Anyway, the ultimate highlight of our taxi adventures was when we were trying to get back to the pyramids and our taxi driver took us to the Ritz Carlton and then acted like he had NO IDEA WHAT THE PYRAMIDS WERE!!!!!  Can you imagine?  Luckily, taxis are plentiful.  The one we ended up with saw us from the other side of the street and did the second-scariest U-turn ever to pick us up - he did the scariest U-turn ever with us in the car - honking his horn as he crossed 3 lanes (which could be up to 5 cars across!).  Egyptian taxi could be the next amusement park sensation.  

We made it back to Giza safely and in plenty of time.  The pyramids are impressive up close but somehow even more impressive from a distance and with no people walking around.
 Walking into the light show theater was even more impressive than when we had been in the same spot earlier in the day.  There was some interesting entertainment before the show - an Egyptian bagpipe band!  They played all of the old favorites, such as ‘Egypt the Brave’ and ‘Pharaoh Doodle Dandy’ among others.  Once the sun had gone down, the light show started.  Aside from lighting up the pyramids (stunning!) there was history and pyramid facts and myths and all kinds of interesting stuff.  We loved it.  

We made our way back to the hotel and slept like never before.  We did all of this in just one day!  
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Giza Police
Giza Police
photo by: Wildswan22