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Rachel / Egypt / The Great Pyramids & the Sphinx

The Great Pyramids & the Sphinx

21 September, 201021 September, 2010 0 comments Egypt Egypt

On to the Great Pyramids at Giza! Although we enjoyed the other sites that we'd visited in Egypt, this was one that we'd really been anticipating! We drove to a spot that offered an amazing vista of the pyramids, and we were so entranced (and busily snapping photos) that our guide mock-chided us for not listening to him.

Sadly, our photos don't do them justice, because it was a bit hazy that day. Once he regained our attention, our guide, whom we affectionately referred to as H (not a reference to "CSI: Miami"!), offered some historical information--and there's nothing like learning about the Great Pyramids when you're standing that close to them! Before we headed down to get a close-up view of them, H suggested that we take a camel ride.

Dad was more enthusiastic about it than Mom, my sisters, and me. He opted to take the long ride, which meant that he went a bit further out into the desert. The rest of us were content with staying in the localized area.

Amusingly, our camels were named Mickey Mouse & Michael Jackson. Good times. When we finished, we moved down closer to the pyramids.

Amazing! Seriously, one has no concept of just how massive and impressive they are until one is standing next to them. In addition to inspecting them closer, we opted to visit the museum within the complex that features an amazing boat that was found buried there (it was actually one of a pair, but the other was left in the ground).

Cheops' (or Khufu's) solar boat is around 150' long, built from Lebanon cedar ca. 2500 BC. It's fantastic, and the museum really displays it to advantage: there are multiple tiers of walkways (you can see two of them in the above photo), which allows the visitor to see it literally from every angle! If you visit the site, you should definitely pay the extra fee for the museum entrance--well worth it.

When we finished examining the ship, we walked down the road toward the Sphinx!

Seeing the Sphinx (with the Great Pyramids in the background) was a little surreal. One grows up hearing about these sites from the time one is very small, so actually seeing them seems a little unreal--but awesome. After we'd feasted our eyes on the sight, we went down into the complex, through several of the rooms to see the decorations remaining and to get a feel for the layout of the ceremonial area.

Another traveler's note: this area is swarming with vendors! Be careful of your belongings and don't let yourself be bullied. If you want to purchase something, go for it, but be aware that the quality isn't always very good and that once you buy one item, you will be descended upon by other vendors in the area.

Something else that might be helpful: one doesn't see a lot of post offices, and we were at a loss as to how we would obtain stamps for our many postcards. Some of the vendors in this area carried around all denominations of stamps, and from what I can tell, the markup wasn't too bad. Consider buying stamps this way. You can then post your letters from your hotel's lobby.

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Rachel
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I'm sharing a few experiences from my family's trip to Israel, Jordan & Egypt.

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