Continuing on from my last Egypt entry, the second day we spent in Cairo involved seeing the major sites including the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. We stopped in Memphis to visit an outdoor museum which had pieces of sculpture during Ramses II’s rule. There was a massive one inside an enclosed structure in which me and my friends took pictures with.
After our stop at the museum we went to see the very first step pyramid built. There was a step pyramid and another pyramid off to the eastern side which looked like a pile of stone debris (very old stuff!). All the while guided by our tour guide, we walked around this site and took many photos. There were medium sized dogs out in front of the step pyramid laying in the sand and waddling around. I felt so sorry for those dogs but at the same time grossed out because of all the bugs that were infesting them! They were covered in some areas by these non-flying insects and there was much evidence of these dogs being eaten alive. This was the only thing I really didn’t enjoy about that site.
The next place we went to was one of the many Carpet Schools nearby. Just to let everyone know, the tour included going to different shops so our tour guide took us to a few places since these shops supposedly paid the government to bring tour groups to their shops for profits.
So anyway, we go to this carpet school and expect just to learn about what they do there. The owners gave a great explanation and showed us how theses carpets are made. But soon after that we were brought into the main gallery of the school where the carpets are on display and where customers choose what to buy. So they sat everyone down and offered a drink of our choice like Sprite, Coke, or Coffee or Water. Everyone got their drink then the owner and a couple of workers started to open up folded carpets of all sizes, explaining the material and tossing them in the air as we watched them fly down to the ground until there were layers and layers of these carpets laid out in front of us! This was all just a marketing strategy that started right when we saw the poor 11 year old children working in the back of the building making these carpets. This presentation including the drinks were all done in preparation for selling these carpets, because once they were done tossing out every possible variety, the workers or salesmen who were once standing behind us came up front, choosing which one of us tourists to target, and started doing their persuasive marketing/salesmen gig on us! I think everyone bought at least one thing there in the end.
It may have taken an hour to complete everyone’s sales. It was really our FIRST time bargaining in Egypt or bargaining ever! At least it was for me. It was so obvious that they all were trying to rip us off and treat us so nice at times just to get a good deal out of us. I really don’t like this way of shopping. I mean, if you’re good at it of course you can get good deals and you’d love Egypt since EVERYONE there is all about bargaining, but if you’re not too great, it’s really frustrating and time-consuming.
Climbing the pyramid!
So after that fantastic experience we headed off to the Giza Pyramids! It was an amazing sight to see! The first of the pyramids was the tallest one.
I forget the details of the pyramids but they were just amazing structures to see in real life! I was also glad to finally get out of the city of Cairo and to experience what me and my friends imagined Egypt to look like even before we decided on going to Cairo! Of course everyone’s stereotypical view of Egypt is a lot of sand, pyramids, camels. Well, once we got to Giza it was very much what we thought it might be.
Of course being there I was able to experience the grand size of the pyramids and see and feel the texture of the pyramids and feel the sand and touch camels, etc. I really loved how the sun hit the pyramids and how it shined so bright during the day.
We then took a short ride to the second pyramid. Our tour guide gave us the option of going INSIDE this pyramid to see the tomb within! We all decided in about a minute to actually go for it! So we got our tickets and went inside for a once in a lifetime experience! And I say once because I know that I wouldn’t want to go in at a different time when I’m twice as old and I wouldn’t want to go in for a second time if I ever come back to Egypt. SO, this was a crazy experience. The tunnel going to the tomb was only about less than 4 feet by 4 four feet, I would say. Everyone had to hunch over and make their way down a sloped path and then make their way up another sloped path to get to the tomb in the end which had a higher ceiling. Not only was it a tough way to walk, it was very warm inside. The humidity was high and the air was thick from body odors and sweat. Once you get inside it feels like a sauna since you start sweating right away or your body captures the moisture of the air inside on your skin! So it’s like a sauna except very stinky. So we saw the tomb and had to travel back the way we came to get out. I was happy to get out of there, it was gross and a bit scary if I thought about where I was while inside for too long.
After this adventure we quickly went on another! We all rode camels!! It was a lot of fun! It was so funny too to see all my friends get on camels and it was fun taking so many pictures and some video of it happening. I really enjoyed it. From where we were all 3 pyramids were in plain sight so we were able to get a few of us riding camels and the background of they pyramids in our pictures.
Right after this we went straight to see the famous Sphinx (the statue of a lion with the pharaoh’s head on it). We were able to get close to it just for a few minutes then left since we did not eat anything since breakfast and it was getting pretty late! So everyone got KFC to go and were able to eat part of our meals, but we still had 2 more stops left��"the perfume shop and the papyrus paper shop. It was pretty late when we finally got back to our hotel. It was one LONG day seeing all the sites and traveling to different places and making a few stops along the way. It was a great experience though, I really had a great time that day! Egypt really looked lovely in my eyes after seeing the pyramids!