The Pyramids of Giza
Trip Start Dec 04, 2006
63Trip End Aug 05, 2007
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So on our second day in Cairo we started early to see the pyramids and sphinx. Of course, the weather did not disappoint. It was hot, sunny and the sky was a perfect blue. The pyramids are quite close to Cairo so it's only a short drive and, before you know it, the three main pyramids stand out. The largest is known as the Great Pyramid of Giza (built around 2589-2566 BC) and it is the last remaining wonder of the ancient world. When it was built, it measured 481 ft high. However, it has lost 30 ft off its top over the years. Built out of approximately 2.3 Million blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tonnes each.
For those interested, it ranked as the tallest structure on Earth for more than 43 centuries, only to be surpassed in height in the 19th century. Hope the pics can provide some sense of the scale. Colossal buildings to say the least. We were lucky enough to have a fabulous guide to show us around which definitely enhanced the experience.
We then spent the afternoon at the Egyptian Museum (www.egyptianmuseum.gov.eg) which is literally packed wall to wall with objects large and small from the ancient world. The highlights for us though were clear. There is an amazing display of the treasure found in King Tutankhamun's tomb which was discovered intact in 1922. A key piece is his solid gold death mask that is unbelievable in its detail. His tomb dates back 3300 years.
The second key highlight was visting the mummy room where, as the name suggests, you can see the remains of 11 of Egypt“s most illustrious pharoahs - none more important that Ramses II a key ruler. Quite the experience as you're looking at corpses that are some 3500+ years old. Not going to lie, these mummies have seen better days. Nonetheless, it was worth the extra cost to get in.
The rest of our brief time in Cairo was spent walking the streets and soaking in the chaos. Stay tuned for part II. N&T.