Pyramids of Giza - Egypt
Simply prepare to be amazed. You have probably seen these pyramids numerous times in photos or on TV but nothing will prepare you for their enormity once you are at their feet. You begin to wonder just how they could build such magnificent architectural constructions with the simple tools they had thousands of years ago.
You could easily spend half a day here, usually more if you want a decent look.
The Great Sphinx of Giza: This enormous statue of a lion with a human head stands guard over the pyramids. At around 73m (240ft) long and 20m (66ft) high, it is the largest monolith statue in the world and also one of the oldest known monumental sculptures. Stand between the Sphinx’s paws to get a feeling of what it’s like to be a mouse chased by a cat.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu): The largest and oldest of the Giza Pyramids with over 2 millions blocks of stone being used to construct it.
Kafre’s Pyramid: This is the second-largest of the Giza pyramids though still enormous. It may look bigger than the Cheops one because it is on slightly higher ground.
Pyramid of Menkaure: The smallest of the three pyramids though with its own fascinating stories. Notice the “gash” in its north face when Saladin’s son tried to demolish it in the 12th century.
Note: No cameras are allowed inside the pyramids though you are free to take as many shots as you like from outside. Also you can normally only enter two of the three pyramids at any one time while one of them is being restored.
Getting to and from Giza
While the Cairo Metro (subway) does go to Giza (Line 2), it doesn’t go all the way to the pyramids. Get off at the Giza Station and the pyramids are about 8km from there. From here you can take a taxi or if you are more adventurous the green public buses (Numbers 900 and 997).
Safety and other concerns
The Giza Pyramids are probably the number one attraction in Egypt drawing thousands of tourists every day from around the world. However it also attracts unruly people who are out to take advantage of what they consider “rich” tourists.
There are very insistent hawkers trying to sell you everything under the sun. Ignore them. Avoid eye contact with them and if they insist say “Laa, Shukran” (No Thanks in Arabic) and raise your hand in a stopping motion. Some will go to the extent of opening a drink in front of you (unasked) and then expecting you to pay for it. Also some of the camel riders (or others) may try to get in your photo and then demand payment.
Count your change at any ticket counter as you may “accidentally” get the wrong amount back.
As with major tourist attractions around the world, be careful with your purses, handbags and wallets and try to not to be led astray by distractions which are they to attract your attention while someone deftly takes some of your possessions without you feeling a thing.
Map of the Great Pyramids of Giza Complex
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