During our christmas escape to Egypt we visited both Cairo and Alexandria, but the real highlight was our visit of the Pyramids of Giza at the end of trip.
Visiting the Pyramids of Giza on the 1st of January this year was definitely the perfect start into a year full of traveling and experiencing the world. The pyramids site is located about 13 km away from Cairo’s city center outside of Cairo and is well protected. The pyramid complex includes not only six pyramids (three very small ones for the daughters of the king), but also the Sphinx.
Standing in front of these incredible ancient pyramids is indescribable. As the only remaining of the seven world wonders, it was absolutely unimaginable how people more than 2500 years before Christ have built these enormous tombs for their Pharaohs.
The Cheop’s Pyramid is the largest and oldest of the three pyramids. It is approximately 230 metres long and has a height of about 147 metres. Inside there are several chambers, which are however, empty nowadays as it is believed that the pyramids were reaved hundreds of years ago.
The pyramid was built mainly from limestone. Its white covering has been detached from the pyramids during medieval times. Moreover, the Cheop’s Pyramid is the only Egyptian Pyramid to consist of two pathways, one leading upwards and one leading downwards.
The Chephren Pyramid is the medium sized pyramid of the three Pyramids of Gizeh. At first view, this pyramid appears to be taller than the Cheop’s Pyramid. Yet, this is misleading because the Chephren Pyramid was built with a different angle of inclination. Moreover, the ground it stands on is slightly higher than that of the Cheop’s Pyramid.
The Chephren Pyramid was also built approximately 2550 years before Christ. The son of Pharaoh Cheops, Pharaoh Chefren, was buried here.
Last but not least, there is the small pyramid of Mykerinos. Mykerinos was Chephren’s son. This is also the one we visited from the inside. At the entrance you can buy an extra ticket to visit either all or just one of the pyramids.
Upon entering you have to climb down a steep pathway (there aren’t any proper steps). Be careful not to hit your head as the ceiling is quite low (I obviously hit my head three times in a row!). Once you reach the bottom, you can see the inside of the pyramid, but because it is empty there isn’t really anything to see and it is quite steamy in there. In my opinion it’s cool to have seen a pyramid from the inside, but it’s definitely not spectacular in any way.
There is also a small museum on the grounds of Giza. Inside you can find the sun barque (a rowing boat) that was supposed to carry Pharaoh Cheops into the unterground.
When it was originally found it had been disintegrated into about 1200 individual pieces. It took about 124 years to reconstruct and repair it.
The Great Sphinx of Giza is the most famous Sphinx in Egypt. It resembles a lying lion with a human head. Assumingly it was built during Chephren’s reign. In comparison to the pyramids the Sphinx is very small.
The nose as well as its beard broke off. Parts of its beard can nowadays be found in the British Museum in London. The Sphinx was built from the remaining limestone hill, which was used as a stone pit for the construction of the pyramids.
Overall we really enjoyed our visit of this special place. The Pyramids of Giza are, however, in a rather bad condition as people tend to climb on them although it is forbidden. The camel drivers and vendors are more than annoying, when you simply want to enjoy these incredible constructions. However, we also went on a little adventure and tried out camel riding for a short distance. While it was quite bumpy, it was a truly amazing experience riding a camel next to the Pyramids of Giza.