Remember Lawrence of Arabia?
Riding horses and camels through the desert.
Pyramids against a setting sun.
Well, that’s exactly what we’re chatting about today!
My mother was a bit of a sci-fi fan and one of the movies I remember seeing was The Mummy. In those days he was poorly wrapped and dragged one leg through Egypt terrorizing people. And, of course, he lived in some tomb around this area. Interesting what you remember at times, right?!
I was SO excited. We had a day of camel-riding and Sphinx viewing scheduled…Omar, our Egyptologist, was coming along to help us soak up everything we could about the pyramids and the Pharohs who built them thousands of years ago.
I want to share some of his info with you before I start gushing about how jaw-dropping this part of Egypt really is when you stand in front of them.
“The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
Initially standing at 146.5 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. Over time, most of the smooth white limestone casing was removed, which lowered the pyramid’s height to the present 138.5 metres (454.4 ft). What is seen today is the underlying core structure. The base was measured to be about 230.3 metres (755.6 ft) square, giving a volume of roughly 2.6 million cubic metres (92 million cubic feet), which includes an internal hillock.”
A couple of things I noticed as I climbed….the climb is VERY steep…I have NO idea how they got tons of stone stacked like this without falling on the side of the pyramids. Omar shared that the casualties while building were massive.
The second thing I noticed was how narrow everything was…it appears that the Egyptians were a fairly small people. I always think of Charlton Heston or Yul Brenner…..
We rode around the three pyramids and ended our tour at the Sphinx. Seeing them in person is just magical. I cannot wrap my head around how well-preserved they are and how long ago they were built.
If you choose to ride around the pyramids, be sure you choose someone who has treated their camels well….our camels were pretty mellow and were great to ride!
My first comment about this amazing structure was that it was much smaller than I had expected. I think we watch movies, documentaries, etc. and have expectations of what these pieces of history are going to look like…
A sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion with the wings of a falcon. In Greek tradition, the sphinx has the head of a woman, the haunches of a lion, and the wings of a bird.
As our tour ends, we decide we’ve worked up quite an appetite – Omar chooses The Bedouin which is a glass-fronted restaurant straight across from the Sphinx. Quite an interesting menu. The Good Doctor was the bravest eater and chose Pigeon. Have you ever eaten it?
You guessed it….he thought it tasted like chicken.
Have you been to Egypt?
Is it on your Bucket List?