Cairo, the Pyramids

Today is dedicated to the pyramids near Cairo. It’s 8:00 am and we are at the pyramids in Giza. I have wanted to see the pyramids in person for a long time and now we are standing, staring at them.

We are early, so the crowds are non existent, although the area is huge and can swallow many people. Jasmine, our guide, takes us on a walk around three sides of the Great Pyramid (138 m tall now) which contains the tomb of King Khufu, where no one else is. We thank her while we get great shots in the sun. She tells us so much information that it is hard to process it all.

Egypt pyramids
King Chephren’s pyramid with limestone face at the top

The second pyramid belong to Chephren (139 m tall now) and is actually taller than the Great Pyramid. The pyramids were covered in smooth limestone but various kings quarried the stone from old pyramids for their constructions. Shame on them! This second pyramid still has the limestone on the top portion as the thief’s couldn’t get at it to take it off. The Sphinx stands near this pyramid and there are theories that it was placed as a guard for the pyramid.

The third pyramid in the area is smaller (64 m tall) and contains King Mycerinus’ tomb.

There are camel rides, horse and buggy rides, vendors and motorized hang gliders but we bypass all the nonsense. Jasmine and I watch some tourists and they seem more interested in getting selfies than taking in their surroundings.

The bent pyramid
The bent pyramid

The bent pyramid and the red pyramid are a distance away, in Dahshur, but we go there to climb inside the bent pyramid. Why is it the bent pyramid? The bottom half is built at a 52 degree angle and about half way up the builders decided that the angle was too sharp and the interior would not be able to withstand the weight, so the change the angle to 43 degrees. Murray and I head inside. It was physically gruelling as we climbed down in a low ceiling square opening, and then up a staircase and then another extremely low ceilinged square and then another stairway. The tomb was an empty void with rough walls, meh. We decide all we can say is that we did it.

The step pyramid
The step pyramid

Last stop, after a delicious lunch, is Saqqara where the first ever pyramid is placed. It is a step pyramid and belongs to Zoser. No one at the time had ever constructed such a monument so it was leading edge.

We have sure had a day of pyramids and loved it all. Maybe not so much the leg muscle busting climb into the bent pyramid! Off to Luxor to start our tour.

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