The Pyramids. Round 1

Cairo Travel Blog

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Jiyoung and I agreed to share a private taxi with an Australian couple to take in the Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, and Dahshur. We headed out from the hotel at 8:30 am full of excitement. After crossing over the Nile, we began searching for our first glimpse of the pyramids. I looked to my left and saw one, in the car! It was Jiyoung's head.

After arguing with the driver that we did not, in fact, want to ride any horses or camels, he dropped us off at the gate. Behold, we'd arrived. Upon walking through we were up close and personal with the Sphinx itself, flanked by three marvelous pyramids. Actually, the smog and dust were a bit thick, so we couldn't see them very well.

Luckily, however, the wind began to blow and the air cleared.

We walked around the Sphinx first and stood around snapping pics left and right. Then we started walking up the causeway to the pyramid of Chephren, the second largest pyramid and the one in the middle, flanked on either side by the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the smaller pyramid of Mycerinus. There are six other smaller pyramids around these last two, which were the Queen's pyramids.

 We took tons of pics (all of Jiyoung's are inexplicably crooked) and even managed to enter one of the smaller Queen's pyramids through a long shaft in the ground. Then we caught sight of two Egyptian guys going at it in a fistfight until a policeman on a camel showed up with a big whip, which he cracked with a loud pop. Interesting.

 After having a meal at the KFC with an attached Pizza Hut that overlooked the pyramids, we headed to the oldest set of pyramids (4,500 years old, or something, like Jiyoung) of Saqqara.

Saqqara is a step pyramid. That's about all.

 From Saqqara we were able to look out across the desert and spot about ten more pyramids. One of them was the "Bent Pyramid", so named because halfway up the sides move in at a lesser angle, giving it an oddly shaped but very ascetically pleasing look.

We made our way to the Bent Pyramid but apparently we weren't going to be taken all the way there as it was a military zone, or there were minefields, or something. Bummer. We stopped at the Red Pyramid, about a kilometer away, from which we were supposed to take a picture of the Bent Pyramid. Stopping at the Red Pyramid was nice, however, as we were able to go inside! This involved a (very long) 5 minute climb/scramble down a long shaft which was no more than 4 feet high. The further we descended, the staler the air got.

We felt as if we were entering antiquity with each new step. Once we finally reached the bottom we were able to stand upright again but had to make our way up four flights of stairs. Then we were in another room, but it was empty and dark and that was about all. Jiyoung thought she saw a mummy, but she didn't. I think she was suffering from the lack of oxygen. We clambered our way out and were happy to emerge back into sunlight and fresh air.

Since we weren't going to the Bent Pyramid, Jiyoung and I ran across the desert a bit to get a closer picture. Yes, we were frolicking in the desert. We tried some handstands on the desert floor and then ran back to the waiting car which took us back to Cairo.

The pyramids: fantastic. We think we'll go back again to see them as they really are quite spectacular (and we need to redo some photos as all the ones by Jiyoung are crooked, haha).

Up next, the Egyptian Antiquities Museum and then southbound to Aswan and Abu Simbel on the sleeping train.

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Heading deep inside the Red pyramid
Heading deep inside the Red pyramid
photo by: vulindlela