When I informed my family, friends and work colleagues that I am going to Egypt, they become worried because I am traveling alone and because of what we have seen and heard in the news about bombings and border attacks since 2010 up to this day. I kept my options open for other places to visit and I also read or watch news about the latest happenings in Egypt especially in Cairo. Yet, I really wanted to see the Pyramids. So on March of 2016, I went alone. Boarded on Gulf Air with a stop over in Bahrain for few hours, I safely arrived past noon with the driver from the Dahab Hotel/ Hostel which is located on the 7th floor of what it seems to be an abandoned building on the ground floor with a paternoster lift. It is walking distance from the Egyptian Museum, Tahir Square and Sadat Metro where you can easily go anywhere.The weather during the month of March is a good time to visit.
As soon as I arrived, I booked in Dahab Hotel for a next day tour to Giza Pyramid. They offer many types of packages that suits your travel schedules. To check more about the Dahab Hotel/Hostel, you can click here.
There are many Pyramids in Egypt but the Pyramid of Giza is the famous one. We visited the Red Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, Step Pyramid, Teti Pyramid, Pyramids of Giza, the art of making Papyrus, and a carpet school.
Red Pyramid of Dashour. This Pyramid is older than the Pyramid of Giza, served as the true pyramid after many attempts of building a pyramid during the time of Pharaoh Sneferu . It has a reddish color when exposed to the sun due to red lime stones beneath. It was once covered by white lime stones which was removed and used for some buildings in Cairo in the middle ages.Entrance fee for visiting is 40EGP/ Egyptian pound. The entrance to the chamber was under renovation when we visited.
Next Stop, Step Pyramid of Djoser with nearby temples and tombs around in Saqqara. It is called Step due to its benches and step form. Considered to be the first burial tombs of the ruling Pharoahs and it is the oldest pyramid . Entrance fee is 80Egp. There are many local tour guides that will insist on guiding you even you don’t want. You can bargain the price and please be clear on the prices before starting your tour. You can give them from 40egp- 100 depends on you. Also, they will let you visit the tombs where you can see the writings, hieroglyphic carved on the walls and even its forbidden to take pictures, the locals guarding the tombs will ask for tip or “bakshish” and will allow you to take pictures inside. So always keep small bills like 5, 10Egp, because every move you make, requires tip or payment.
Went inside the tomb of Inefrt and they let me take pictures.
Another pyramid in Saqqara is the Teti Pyramid which does not look like a Pyramid at all. It looks like a sand dune or a hill.There are tombs and smaller pyramid around as well but you will not notice it. I went down and the guard let me take pictures and I gave him 20Egp. There is not so much to see inside and for those claustrophobic, its not a good idea to go inside the pyramid.
The Bent Pyramid is the second Pyramid built by Sneferu with its unique appearance due to different angles. Some parts are crumbling away. Along with the Red Pyramid, this was closed for many years due to military activity on the area. Entrance fee is included with the Red pyramid.
Before heading to the highlights of all the Pyramid of Giza, me and my tour guide/driver-Mohammed went for lunch. The lunch was not included on the tour package. He took me to a restaurant called The Village, that’s the name he mentioned. The place is a restaurant and a resort with donkeys, children playground, and a collection of vintage cars. I saw some group of tourist also BUT tourism drastically decreased of 70% after the revolution and this terrorism/ bombing attacks in Egypt.
After lunch, Mohammed took me to Zosar Carpet School. To be honest no one was there except me. The revolution and the media play a great role for tourism in Egypt.They said visitors a year before revolution reached 70million a year and it decreased after revolution. Zosar looks like abandoned school.The sales attendant explained to me the types of carpet and how it is woven. They have alot of beautiful carpets that looks like a painting BUT it is a bit costly especially the big ones. I bought small carpets that can be framed for house display.
After the carpet school Mohammed took me to a Papyrus shop which I forgot the name. They showed me how to make the papyrus, but the prices of the Papryus paintings was so expensive from 500-5000Egp. They said that those papyrus that people are selling on the streets are not original. For me it doesn’t matter. It still looks Papyrus and the quality looks exactly the same. This type of establishments have tie up with tour companies, so they get commissions.
Okay, the end part of the tour is the Pyramid of Giza. I really can’t explain how massive it is. From the distance its just as the normal Pyramid that we normally see on movies and some posters but when you are on the ground, at its foot, looking at it, you will really wonder how did they built it. Jaw dropping in amazement and I ask Mohammed about aliens and Imhotep and he told me that Imhotep was the builder or architect and that it was really built by slaves. How they built? a question that no one can really explain.
Known as The Great Pyramid of Giza or Pyramid of Khufu. It is probably the most famous site in Egypt and the only one intact among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Great Sphinx of Giza or the Sphinx is a Greek mythological beast with a lion’s body, a woman’s head and the wings of an eagle who loves riddles. For Egyptian they looked upon the statue as a divine symbol.
There are 3 big Pyramids-The Great Pyramid and 3 smaller on the sides which is called the Queens Pyramid- for Khufu’s wives, sister and mother. There are many persistent vendors, drivers for camels and horse carriage. It depends on what you prefer to use, you can also hike. Just be clear with the price before riding a camel because they will say 100Egp going to the pyramid and that is not yet close to the pyramid, then they will add to the price if you request to a more closer view or even if u will request them to take you pictures.
Up to this day, archaeologist are still digging on some parts of Egypt and every time they found new discoveries.It was really a great great experience seeing the Pyramids. It was a good decision.I can honestly say that there are more to Egypt than what we are hearing from the news and media.
In everyone’s bucket-list, Egypt is always included. So what are you waiting for?