Gizeh Pyramids, Cairo
Visit Giza! You can skip everything in Egypt, but having missed the pyramids is a mortal sin. See my Giza travelogue for all the pics.
Fondest memory: Roaming around the ancient site, wandering of in the desert a bit to appreciate these man-made mountains in the scoarching heat.
The Step Pyramid Complex
Fondest memory: Around 2630 B.C., in the 3rd Dynasty, a man named Djoser-Netcherikhe assumed the throne of Egypt. He made his capital just south of what is now Cairo, The Greeks called this place, Memphis. Like all pharaohs he began making preparations for his afterlife. He assigned a scholar named Imhotep the job of building his tomb.
. . . . .Imhotep's plans would incorporate many new ideas. The building material of the time was mud brick, but this would not suit a pharaoh as mighty as Djoser-Netcherikhe. Imhotep had a radical idea, he would use stone, a material never used before in large scale building projects. Originally the plan called for a mastaba tomb, a design the Egyptians had used for centuries. Imhotep had a better idea, he began stacking mastaba on top of mastaba until he realized the design of the Step Pyramid. It was a shape the ancient Egyptians recognized as the legendary mound of creation that had risen out of the primordial ocean of chaos. It was also the shape of things to come. For almost 1000 years the pharaohs built pyramids as their eternal resting places. Abandoning them when they realized that under these giant monuments of extravagant wealth, they could no longer protect their afterlives from plunder.
Peer at mysterious face of the Sphinx.
Fondest memory: After dusk one can see an extraordinary action next to the Sphinx! The statue is said to be speaking about the history of Egypt in different languages. And besides, there is wonderful illumination. Unfortunately, I did not see it myself... But those who visited were in delight.
Favorite thing: Cheops Pyramid: Not much is known about Khufu (or Cheops, as the Greeks called him). The tomb had been robbed long before it was discovered by archeologists. He is thought to have been the ruler of a highly structured society and he must have been very wealthy. At Giza the pyramids reached its climax and the standard features of the Old Kingdom pyramid complex. Yet after five and a half centuries this flourishing civilization collapsed, plunging Egypt into disorder.
Walk around the Great Pyramids of Giza, check out every stones & reflect on its magnificence & the ingenuity of the Egyptian people.
(1) PYRAMID OF KHUFU (CHEOPS) - 137 m high, 2,350,000 cubic m of stone blocks, this is the biggest of the 3 pyramids.
(2) PYRAMID OF KHAFRE - 136.5 m high, 1,660,000 cubic m of stone blocks.
(3) PYRAMID OF MENKAURE (MYCERINUS) - 66 m high.
Fondest memory: Some of my tour companions have fun 'galloping' on those camels & perhaps trying to haggle for a 'good price' with the camel owners...
See the GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA & SPHINX (considered to be one of the 7 Wonders of the World!). Without doubt this is the centerpiece of Cairo & focal point of anyone's journey to Egypt.
Fondest memory: The marvelous thing about the Great Pyramid is not so much the look of the structure but the very fact it was built manually & the unexplainable architectural techniques of this ancient wonder.
Food for thoughts: How did the Egyptians moved 3 million cubes of stones each weighing at least 2 tons & installed in a structure almost 150 meters high?
This is a MUST to any Cairo's visitor. You can find them on a desert plateau approximately 15 kms out of Cairo. Entrance fee for tourists is LE 20 for the grounds of the three pyrmaids. Entry into the pyramids is LE 10-40 per pyramid. Entry to a platform by the Sphinx is LE 10 for tourists.
There are three ways of getting to the pyramids. The first is by the new air-conditioned bus No. 355. Pick it up from Midan Tahrir at the Egyptian Museum and take the 20 minutes bus ride for LE2. You can also take a microbus, easier to pick up from the pyramids (at the corner of Desert Highway and Pyramids Road) than to find downtown (ask for the bus to 'Haram' - try the Ramses Hilton). It costs 25pt and you will be dropped off short of the pyramids, so look for the Oberoi Mena House Hotel. The third option is a taxi that will cost you about LE15 one-way.
Do not pass up on the opportunity to enter the pyramids (at this time it is possible to enter Cheops and Mikerinos). Although not as decorative as the tombs at Thebes, there is something magical about standing within the pyramids. One thing I must add from my own experience and those of visitors to the pyramids: it is easy to be distracted by the intense harrassment of the highly aggressive merchants, camel and horse owners, and impromtu 'official' ticket checkers, all out to part you from your money. Do not hand your ticket over to anyone except the uniformed agent beside the ticket box at the entrance to the site and at the
entrance of each pyramid or else you may have to pay to have your ticket returned. Do not hesitate to be aggressive back and seek out the tourist police if you are not eventually
left in peace.
The Solar Boat Museum is located behind Cheops Pyramid (LE 20 for tourists) and houses the boat that may have carried the body of Pharaoh Cheops down the Nile from Memphis. Discovered in 1954, the boat is over 4,500 years old and show signs of use.
Just driving down the road and there are the pyrimids .......I was expecting to go out to the desert.....no just at the end of the road..........I suffer with my backso was advisd not to enter into them..but my husband did .......wow.......
Fondest memory: Museme is just out of this wold the finest collection in the world.....bring camera without flash if you want to use.
Whne visiting the most exciting thing was going inside the great pyramid of Giza. GOing inside was a great experience and very intersting with all the tunnels and paths you can take and of course seeing the actual tomb. Then right across for mthe seeing the sphinx himself.
Fondest memory: The fondest memories are of course the pyramids of giza and the sphinx. Also seeing the world famous museum of Cairo.
See the pyramids, see the fake that every travel agency make about those pyramids. Its easy to imagine these monuments to be out in the desserts, but they aren´t, couse cairo grows so fast as a city that the pyramids soon will be in the middle of the city..
Fondest memory: A funny story our guide told us, as we enered the bus she started to count so everyone was present, she had to do so couse there was a coupple once that was on one of this guided tours, and when the tour was over the guide asked in the buss if someone was missing someone, there where no answer so the bus took off. After a while the guide suddenly rememberd a man that was missing, so she asked the lady sitting alone:
- wasnt there a man sitting next to you?
- yes there was, answered the lady
- But i asked if someone was missing someone, why didnt you say he was missing?
- Well maybe you miss him but i dont, said the lady!
The coupple had have an fight earlier the day, so the man had to take a taxi for 500 km.
Efter that the guide always counted the passanger...
and this is a true story..
Favorite thing: Be prepared to defend yourself from aggressive hawkers. They will try to give you something and say it is free (a gift for you), not take it back and then want money.
go with camel to pyramides, and walk like an Aigyptian.
this area is not the right place for buys.
very big... very old !
Favorite thing: A trip to the Giza is incomplete without the camel rides. Imagine you're Lawrance of Arabia galloping on these beast of burden in the desert with the pyramids looming ahead.
Favorite thing: Get to Giza and wander among the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Take a look at my travelogue on my Giza page.
Favorite thing: Our visits to Giza were fantastic. Go during the day and then back again for sunset and the light show at night.