Cairo: The Pyramids, Sphinx and Saqqara

sphinx cairoEgypt is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Pyramids of Giza, located just outside of Cairo, never cease to amaze tourists. The Sphinx is also located just in front of the great Pyramids, same as  the lesser known Saqqara or the Step Pyramid.

The Pyramids Of Giza

From the center of the Cairo, you can take a cab or minibus, and then to get to the pyramids, you can take a horse or a buggy. Or for an ultimate desert experience, take a camel.

If you want to take a camel, haggle. Hard. Do not take photos of the camels if you are not going to pay. The experience though, is worth shelling out a few bucks.

Exploring the pyramids

Since the 1980s, it is forbidden to climb up the Pyramids. Aside from being dangerous, the jumping ruins the structure which has stood for millennia. Going inside the pyramids is not for the claustrophobic and the weak-kneed. Inside the Cheop’s pyramid, you will find yourself going down narrow passageways.

Going inside is kind of tricky as you would have to be hunched a bit. Also, it smells a bit (or a lot rather). Inside, you can check out the Grand Gallery, The King’s chamber, the Queen’s Chameber and the Underground Chamber. Most of the rooms though, were empty.

Many believed because it has been plundered. Getting out of the pyramids is even trickier. Since there is only one way in, you will have to climb out backwards and downwards.

The Sphinx

The Sphinx is believed to be carved from the bedrock of the Giza plateau. The Sphinx face is ruined a bit because the Turks used it for target practice, though the common belief is that it was Napoleon’s men who did it.

The paws of the Sphinx are 50 feet long (15m) while the entire length is 150 feet (45m). The head is 30 (10m) feet long and 14 feet (4m) wide.

There is a nightly sound and light show around the Sphinx. The shows are in different languages and narrate interesting facts about the Pyramids.

The Saqqara

The forerunner of the Giza Pyramids, the Saqqara dates back to 2800 B.C. and was commissioned by the Pharaoh Djoser, intending to have his mummified remains entombed in it.

The Saqqara pyramid complex was enclosed by a 10-meter wall and houses courtyards, temples and chapels. The Saqqara has 6 stepped layers and stands 204 feet.

As with most pyramids, the Saqqara was plundered, leaving nothing but the Pharaoh Djoser’s mummified left foot.

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