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Cairo: The Pyramids at Giza

Sunset at the Pyramids Seeing the pyramids at sunset was a magical experience. On the left is an advertisement promoting the sound and light show that runs every evening


If you visit just one place in Egypt, it must be the Pyramids at Giza, which is seven miles south-west of the centre of Cairo. Built an astonishing 4,000 years ago, to house the mummified bodies of the rulers of ancient Egypt, the Giza Pyramids are an impressive sight.

There are three large pyramids, Mycerinus, Chephren and the Great Pryamid of Cheops which is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World still in existence. The Great Pryamid has three smaller pyramids beside it, designed to house Cheops's wives and sisters.

The Pyramids are truly huge, and it takes about 20 minutes to stroll round the outside of the largest one. People have asked us "did you climb up a pyramid?".

Well, not only is this not allowed, it would also be very difficult as each block of stone is more than a metre tall and the Great Pyramid is over 140m (450ft) high. It is possible to enter the Great Pyramid, but there is little to see and it can be a claustrophobic experience. The photograph below shows the entrance.

Beside Cheops's pyramid is the Solar Boat Museum housing a funeral barque dug from a pit at the site in the 1950s.

Our experience was mixed. We were amazed and impressed by the structures themselves, but be warned that you cannot walk more than a few paces without being pressured to buy a souvenir, have your photograph taken (at a price but very professionally), or have a ride on a camel or horse. The salesmen are all licensed, and are not unfriendly, but this was our first experience of this type of selling and it was shame that we felt happy to be back in the sanctuary of our bus.

Also on the site is the Sphinx, which is covered on another page (see link below).

The Great Pryamid of Cheops, Giza

More places to visit | About the Sphinx | About Cairo

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