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Giza Travel Blog

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The Step pyramid at Saqqara
First stop – Saqqara.

The step pyramid at Saqqara is a nice sight to build up the whole feel of seeing the pyramids. Designed by the architect Imhotep, the step pyramids, though nowhere close to the Great Pyramids, are a unique sight.

They are also the oldest known structure to be completely hewn in stone. Apparently, Imhotep, the vizer of the then Pharaoh Djoser, was the first to use stone as a major building block in architecture.

The thing about the tombs and temples at Egypt is that you really need to have someone to explain the stuff to you to fully grasp the magnitude of the structures and the civilization. At the step Pyramid, I did not intend to take a guide.
and the ruins all around..
. Especially because tourism in these places has been such an insane business prospect for the local people that they go crazy on the prices for their services. No one talks in Egyptian Pounds in these places. All they want to discuss is the price in USD.. or atleast Euros.

So my plan was to just stroll about and try and figure things out myself. The guides didn’t really get the concept of India being a poor country and Indians not earning in US Dollars! So I wasn’t really given any discounts!

But I soon realized that I was missing out on stuff without a guide to explain the significance of the monuments and the carvings on the tombs to me. And so, I had to give in and get me a guide. It was quite worth it, actually. I really appreciated the art work and the architecture once I knew the history of what I was looking at.
The entrance to the ancient tombs


There were several other temples and burial chambers in the area. For other kings of the same era.. and probably their queens and high nobles as well. Including one that was about 20 feet below ground level! There was this narrow tunnel like entrance into which we had to crouch and crawl to the chambers below!

The pyramid done, I headed towards the Imhotep Museum that showcases some artifacts found in the tombs and other excavation sites. There is also a lot of insight provided on the form of architecture used by Imhotep.

Next stop – the museum at Memphis.

Memphis was the old capital of Egypt. It was considered to be a strategic point as it marked the boundary between Upper and Lower Egypt.

There is now an open air museum here. The museum is dedicated to Ramses and houses some spectacular statues of him.
However, I really did not think it worth the 35 L.E. All it really had was this ultra huge statue of Ramses and some more statues and sphinx scattered about. A nice place to stroll about in, but definitely not on the must-see list.

Next stop – Giza

Finally, up close and personal with one of the seven wonders of the world – the Great Pyramids of Giza. The magnificence of the pyramids strikes you even as you drive towards it.. as it starts to fill the horizon.. until there is nothing else but the pyramids..
It is only when you are at its foot that the enormity of the structure really strikes you. There is a certain point a little further from the structure from where you get a lovely panoramic view of all the pyramids lined up. It is just breathtaking to be in the vicinity of such magnificence.
and the oldest known art forms!


And to think that mankind achieved this more than 4000 years ago.. It’s quite a humbling thought.

I was warned by my friends about the guides and the hawkers there who spoke only in terms of US Dollars! And so, I was wary. But it was funny you know. To be viewed as a money bag! I felt like laughing and telling them – hey, I’m just a poor Indian!

Anyways, so I didn’t get a guide at the Great Pyramids. But my taxi driver friend did manage to haggle and get me a good deal on a short camel ride around the pyramids. I’ve always loved camel rides! So, for a few minutes there, I was a kid having fun again!

You know what I hate about traveling alone? Apart from the super huge single supplements almost everywhere.. I hate that I never have any nice pictures with ME in them!! First of all, I find it slightly embarrassing to have to ask someone to click a picture of me wherever I am.
The Nile obviously played a huge part in their lives..
And the times that I do get over the embarrassment and go ahead and ask someone, I get a so-so picture. You know…slightly out of focus.. me either too small.. or too big.. the pyramids cut off… or my head not quite in the frame! And I cant possibly run behind them and criticize the picture and ask them to take a nicer one!! So, I am usually left with pictures sans me.

After admiring the pyramids for a while, I decided to call it a day and head home. My friends stay in this suburb far away from downtown Cairo. So I had a long drive ahead of me.
anupa_rk says:
Keith, I have to admit I just got lucky with guides all through my trip. At the Pyramids, I was accompanied by an Egyptian friend (whose sole aim was to ensure that poor ol me doesnt get fleeced!!). But even when I was by myself, somehow, I just got lucky and got great guides..
Posted on: May 03, 2010
anupa_rk says:
Thank you :)
Posted on: May 02, 2010
mcphistino says:
....like 5000 years back...........wooohoooo!!! 8-)
Posted on: May 02, 2010
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The Step pyramid at Saqqara
The Step pyramid at Saqqara
and the ruins all around..
and the ruins all around..
The entrance to the ancient tombs
The entrance to the ancient tombs
and the oldest known art forms!
and the oldest known art forms!
The Nile obviously played a huge p…
The Nile obviously played a huge …
I love how the colors are still in…
I love how the colors are still i…
My guide...explaining to me, the s…
My guide...explaining to me, the …
According to Wikipedia: the oldest…
According to Wikipedia: the oldes…
Ramses II at the museum of Memphis
Ramses II at the museum of Memphis
If you want to go to the loo in Eg…
If you want to go to the loo in E…
Ramses II - big stud in his time!
Ramses II - big stud in his time!
The Sphinx at Memphis
The Sphinx at Memphis
My first glimpse of the Great Pyra…
My first glimpse of the Great Pyr…
Me so small in comparison!
Me so small in comparison!
Up up and away!!
Up up and away!!
The city of Giza - from atop the P…
The city of Giza - from atop the …
ooooh thats a steep climb!
ooooh thats a steep climb!
Well you cant come to Egypt and th…
Well you cant come to Egypt and t…
And you cant come to the Pyramids,…
And you cant come to the Pyramids…
Easy Camel... Easy!
Easy Camel... Easy!
I attempt some photography while c…
I attempt some photography while …
Thats me!
Thats me!
I like :)
I like :)
And thats the much heard about Sph…
And thats the much heard about Sp…
A mighty combination - the Sphinx …
A mighty combination - the Sphinx…
Giza
photo by: Wildswan22