Egypt

Egypt Part 4 : Giza – Info about the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the pitfalls to avoid around the biggest tourist attraction in Egypt 2018 addition

Sphinx 3

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From the heights of these pyramids, forty centuries look down on us.”

~Napoleon Bonaparte

Hey everyone!

Colossal structures of the Middle East, standing the sands of time, and captivating thousands around the world; the Pyramids are the most recognized landmarks of all time and for good reason. They are the architectural measuring stick of modern times, they have the most conspiracy theories of the true origin of their building process and are the most astounding structures in the world.

The height of intelligence of the ancient Egyptians is fully proved when you understand that the pyramids line up perfectly with Orion’s belt. There are theories that the bank where the pyramids and the sphinx sit was at one time full of water making moving the weight of the stones easier but like most theories it’s not proven, however of an interesting idea. There were several stages of experimentation of the pyramids design before the final result of the Great Pyramids. Also they are able to be seen from space which is a pretty amazing accomplishment considering the time period.

Seen from space

Let’s jump into it…

Please remember cardinal rule 1: No flash photography inside the pyramids or tombs.

The pyramids were built primarily as monuments to honor pharaohs and to hold tombs of their leaders. The most interesting aspect about the pyramids is that they face true north which is an accomplishment all by itself due to the time period without our modern day tools for navigation.

Pyramids of Giza

    • Ticket price : includes seeing the Sphinx
      • Roughly 160 -360 Egyptian pounds or $9-20 USD
    • Pyramid of Chephren or Khafre
      • Middle Pyramid
      • Oldest and greatest pyramid
    • Pyramid of Cheaopos or Khufu
      • Right of middle pyramid
    • Pyramid of Menkaura or Mycerinus
      • Left of the middle pyramid

Advice from locals:

  • For amazing pictures take them on the side facing the desert and not the main entrance – advice from locals
    • there are normal city buildings facing the other way and it will ruin your pictures
  • Scammers or panhandlers are usually near the base of the pyramids. They will claim to give out free gifts or take pictures of you, but then they will start asking you for money and can get aggressive. So be aware.
    • It’s a huge tourist spot and it’s the easiest place for them to make really good money. Keep in mind it’s still a third world country. *****

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Visiting-Pyramids-of-Giza-Egypt-Tips-Best-view-of-Pyramids

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Step Pyramid of Djoser

  • Ticket price:

    • 80 egyptian pound or $9 USD
    • Entry into Saqqara includes the step pyramid of Djoser and entry into the Imhotep Museum (designer of the step pyramid) that is on site
  • Built during third dynasty for Pharaoh Djoser in 2620 B.C.
  • Held 6 level and an underground burial chamber

Top tips for see the Pyramids:

  1. Go during winter because the desert can get extremely warm, which unless you are local you may not be accustomed to, and the temperature change within the pyramids can shock you.
    • But after the morning rush of tourist buses
      • Roughly 9-10:30 am (ish)
      • Plus it makes your views more beautiful since the pollution of the city will clear up further in the day vs. first thing in the morning.
      • Visit on Friday’s because it’s the traditional day of rest of the Muslim community in Egypt.
  2. Wear appropriate footwear. It’s a desert hence sandy and rocky terrain. Also there are possibilities for camel rides and sandals are most easily lost.
  3. Just like Harry Potter – keep a hold of your ticket, your entrance ticket that is. Scammers around the pyramids can take your ticket and hawk it for a higher price than what it is worth.
  4. Have your transportation to the pyramids take you to the vehicle entrance because prices for camel rides, horse tours, caravans, etc. will be much cheaper than if you go to the regular entrance by the Sphinx.

inside pyramids

Sphinx

Originally theorized to be created for Pharaoh Khafre (during the Old Kingdom of Egypt) because it’s human face resembles him the most and according to researchers it was erected about the same time period as his pyramid in the Fourth Dynasty. Interesting enough the Sphinx lines up with his pyramid and many believe that it already existed before his reign,  claiming he then decided to built his pyramid in the space lining up with sphinx, instead of building it afterwards. The Sphinx sits in the necropolis of ancient Memphis which was the seat of power for the Pharaohs and near the Pyramids which held the tombs of three powerful pharaohs.

Sphinx 2

Sphinx 1

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    • Ticket price:

      • Included with your ticket to see the Pyramids
    • One of the largest single-stoned statues in the world
      • Made from Limestone blocks left over from the Pyramids
    • 1905 was when the Egyptian sands parted to show the full head of the Sphinx, before that it was fully covered with the shifting sands of centuries
    • It originally had a beard, parts of which are located in the British Museum in London and the Cairo Museum.
    • Theorized that Napoleon’s troops shot off the nose but drawings from his campaign there shows the nose had already been destroyed
      • He had major admiration for the  ancient Egyptians even bringing scientists with him to study the monuments
    • They believe that the Sphinx is between 7,000-10,000 years old
    • During that time period the Giza plateau was wet and has plenty of rain causing the water erosion on the sides of the Sphinx
      • That part of the land was lush with animals and plants

Final thoughts

From all of my research from YouTube travelers or personal blog writers, seeing the pyramids in person is a mind blowing experience. You are able to trick your mind into thinking they aren’t truly that big in person. I’ve heard stories of photographers having to be almost a half mile away just to get a decent picture of them because they won’t fit in their frames. The most important advice I’ve heard is take the time to put your camera’s down and take in the wonders of the pyramids while they are right in front of you. It may be a sight you will only be able to see once in your lifetime and truly absorb it.

There is so many things we still do not know about these wonderful structures and all of their purposes. Enjoy your travels to this country and enjoy the history surrounding them in modern times. Get lost in the wonders of this land and be fascinated with the cultures in this part of the world. You might learn something new about yourself and come back changed.

 Future blog posts:

My next few blog posts will be about must have experiences in Luxor, Cairo, and Giza. Prepare to learn about Hot Air Balloon Rides over the Valley of the Kings, horse back riding near the pyramids at sunset, and the best meals to try. Many more amazing things to be exposed later.

Happy Travels Everyone!

~Julie

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Let me know if there is another other adivce you have heard on your travels about this location.

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