The Pyramids of Giza


pyramids of giza
 DAY TWO, the Pyramids of Giza! We woke up at the crack of dawn to arrive at the Pyramids at opening hours to both avoid the crowds and the heat. We went by taxi, as it really is just on the outskirts of the city. Our taxi driver said he would wait for us in the parking lot.

The gates were still closed, and groups of tourists were already piling up. It was surprisingly cooler than I expected then, but I was burning with the excitement of getting in, especially as we could see the tip of the Great Pyramid peeking over the hill.

And boy, was it worth the early wake up and the wait in the cold! I was definitely not disappointed as well all spilled into the Pyramid grounds! My excitement was only slightly dampened by the hoards of "guides" that flocked around us offering to take {lame} pictures of us with our finger on the tip of the pyramid, or tell us the history of the pyramids, or get pictures of us on camels (ok, I admit I fell for the last one).

I ended up with a decent picture with said camel and pyramid, but substantially less money..... (see Thursday Trivia). In fact, after insisting on taking my picture, my "guide" helped himself generously to all the cash he could get in my bag. And I mean it quite literally, his hand went into my bag, and out with my cash to pay for the return trip back to the hotel.... He was trying to get his hand into my boyfriend's back pocket. Less space for maneuver there..! Whatever, I ended up with a nice camel shot and he and I both got a blue scarab each (the 'guide' told us they represented eternal love or something like that, turns out they represent rebirth... ).

pyramids of giza outfit

The Pyramids are wonderful though, just remember to separate your cash into as many seperate pockets as possible (check {thursday trivia})! Keep your bag zipped up or buttoned up. If you don't have a bag and have your cash in your pockets, keep your hands on your pockets. Best of all, just try to avoid these "guides" as much as possible. I realize they're just trying to make a living, but that's not the way to go about it.

 {the dung beetle. but, let's face it: scarab sounds better}

We ended up escaping the guides by running to the Pyramid entrance. No cameras are allowed in the Pyramid so you have to leave them with the (extremely friendly and chatty) guards at the "door". Turns out it's too dark and narrow to really take pictures inside while you're climbing up the "Grand Gallery" to the burial room (claustrophobics beware). I am not a tall person at all, but even I had to crawl up all hunched up. The King's chamber is a bit of a let down, as it is completely empty and bare. But the thrill of being inside... well, that's pretty darn cool.

courtesy of History on the Net.

The actual grounds are huge and include - of course - the 3 Great Pyramids but also about 6 lesser ones, as well as some other ruins and the Sphinx. Although we went there are early as possible, we still spent the whole morning there, which gave it time to heat up. I ended up wrapping my scarf around my head...

pyramids of giza day bag
1. Your choice of bag is very important. I use this one on almost every trip because it wasn't expensive, so I don't mind that it gets dirty; it has 5 pockets; it can be slung over your shoulder, and the strap gets tight enough that it can be worn as a belt, or the strap can be removed and it can be hooked onto your belt hoops | 2. Your hotel key. 'nuff said | 3. A map of the city. I hide it as much as possible and only pull it out when absolutely necessary. Nothing shouts tourist more than a map.... | 4. Money. Duh. But hide it in the numerous pockets to avoid what happened to me | 5. Your camera | 6. Hand sanitizer | 7. Wet wipes | 8. Lip balm | 9. Blotting tissues | 10. water | 11. a small bottle of sunscreen | 12. Sunglasses | and I forgot to number it, but I can't live without my iPod touch which has the list of things I want to see, tips and recommendations, my hotel's address and all sorts of other valuable information.

After the Pyramids, went to check out the Pizza Hut and KFC with view on the Sphinx (weird) and then headed back up to the taxi and back to the hotel. All in all, it took about a half day. But we were exhausted, so had lunch a nap before wandering back out into the city for an evening stroll.

cairo sheraton hotel view

Check out more pictures here and here. Don't forget the packing guide.


Open Mon-Sun 8:00-17:00
fee L.E. 60 (L.E. 100 for entry to King Khufu's Pyramid)
no cameras allowed in the Pyramids

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