Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Well after a long day of travel, we finally reach Cairo, Egypt.  Almost immediately after leaving the plane, we head over to probably the world’s best known structures: the Egyptian Pyramids.

The Sphynx and Pyramids

The Sphynx and Pyramids

There are over 100 pyramid structures in Egypt.  Most were built as tombs for the Pharaohs, or rulers, of ancient Egypt. 

The best known Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo.   These are the ones we will be visiting.  Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built by man, earning them a spot on the Man-Made Wonders of the world.  After paying a fee to enter the area surrounding the pyramids.  To preserve the interior, Egyptian authorities bar people from actually entering the pyramids.  Despite that, the view from outside is certainly a spectacularly one.  I for one, am still amazed at how these ancient Egyptians could construct such gigantic monuments which continue to exist to this day.

Later, after enough photos are taken, our group heads to the Step Pyramid complex of Djoser.  This pyramid is the first of the many pyramid tombs built in Egypt.  Here, limestone blocks are stacked one on top of another like legos to construct a step-like angled wall of the pyramid.  Although in terms of majesty and size it does not hold up to the Great Pyramids, this one probably tops them in terms of historical significance.

The last stop in Cairo is the Great Sphinx of Giza.  This giant statue of a reclining lion with a human head also stands on the Giza Plateau with the Great Pyramids.  This is the largest statue in the world, standing 74 meters long and 2o meters high.  This is also believed to be, by archeologists, the oldest monument.  It was probably built by ancient Egyptians in the Third Millenium (BC, that is).  His enigmatic expression has puzzled onlookers since travelers began to come to Cairo.   The Sphynx is supposedly guarded the entrance to Thebes by forcing visitors to answer a riddle,

Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?

She strangled and ate anyone who could not answer.  Hopefully, we will not meet the same fate.

To exit Egypt we hire a barge to take us down the great Nile River, the ultimate source of life in these parts.


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The Great Pyramids of Giza

 The Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt have embodied the ancient world ever since they were discovered by the western world.  Their mystery have captivated millions of people including Napoleon and Churchill.  You too should experience these amazing structures.

The Khufu Pyramid or Great Pyramid is the largest in the world.  It was built around 2500 B.C.  with nearly two-and-a-half-million limestone bricks.  These bricks each weigh two-and-three-quarter tons!  Naturally, a huge work force, one of 20,000 slaves and workers, was required to build this pyramid.  There are also two smaller pyramids and the Sphinx (a figure with a man’s head and cat’s body.  Each night the sunset brings the pyramids alive and paints them an eerie blood red color. 

You can take a camel, a ship of the desert, up to the very base of the pyramids.  The Archaeological Museum of Cairo is also unmatched for mummy and ancient Egyptian artifacts.  It is a must-see for any history buff.

Unfortunately, urban sprawl has accompanied the influx of tourists.  There is only the benefit that lodgings are easy to find.  Although the Pyramids are still essentially untouched, the land surrounding the structures and the Nile River are filled in with slums and cities.  The best time to visit here is from November to March.  Despite this, the experience of seeing the grand Pyramids is absolutely an essential check-off for travellers. 

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