Go back in time to the Ancient World
Let your imagination come to life when you tour the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The Pyramids of Giza comprise of 3 pyramids constructed in the fourth dynasty. Situated on the west bank of the Nile River in northern Egypt on the Giza Plateau. These impressive pyramids are the mortuary complex for Egyptian rulers Menkaure, Khafre and Khufu (Pyramid of Cheops). The Pyramids of Giza are the last remaining Seven Wonders of the World of the ancient world. Today, only the Pyramid of Cheops remains standing.
Many people have wondered about the construction of the pyramids of Giza over the centuries. In ancient times thieves made it their mission to break into these burial grounds and to try stop the thieves, secret passages were built. But the thieves couldn’t be stopped and the 3 tombs were looted.
When you arrive at the pyramid complex, prepare to be blown away by the mind-boggling structures before you. Cast your imagination back all those years ago and try to picture what it was like to build the pyramids. It’s hard to believe that someone had such engineering genius. Allow yourself plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere. Not to mentioned being ‘smack bang’ in the middle of history.
Pyramid of Cheops – The Great Pyramid
The Pyramid of Cheops is the largest of the 3 pyramids and is also known as The Great Pyramid of Giza. The base stretches 230 metres. The Great Pyramid towers into the sky at 147 metres tall, which is the same as a 48-story building. It took 20 years to complete this burial ground of the Pharaoh Khufu, which was built with over 2 million limestone blocks. The Great Pyramid was also the tallest man-made structure for 3,800 years.
Outside The Great Pyramid you will be greeted by men on camels – be careful not to take photographs of them, as they will ask you for a fee. Make your way to this mammoth monument and enter a passage and make your way to the Grand Gallery. The passageway is quite narrow and is definitely not for people who suffer from claustrophobia. Visiting the Queen’s Chamber is not permitted.
The King’s Chamber is located at the centre of the pyramid and is accessible to the public – and it’s something that everyone should see. There are still markings on the wall of the chamber visible from where the workers would slide the huge blocks in place. The king’s sarcophagus is made of granite and the chamber itself is lined with granite. The sarcophagus is open and empty, so you won’t be seeing any mummy of the pharaoh. The chamber has an eerie feel to it.
Near The Great Pyramid you will see 3 high piles of rubble. These are were the tombs of Khufu’s wives and sisters.
It’s recommended that you visit the pyramid complex early. Everyone who visits Egypt should have the pyramids of Giza on their ‘bucket list’. Who else can say they have had glimpse into the ancient world… An once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Journey to the Sphinx
Here is your chance to ride a camel. Head along the Giza Plateau on the back of a camel to a great symbol of Egypt. The large human-head lion is carved from limestone. The Sphinx has seen some fair amount of damage over the years, but many say they actually prefer this site to the pyramids. It’s said that the Sphinx was built to be the guardian of the nearby tomb of Pharaoh Khafre. This world famous structure was built during the Pharaohs reign.
There are passageways under the Sphinx and visitors will notice small holes in the body of the Sphinx. Also see a pyramid and a pyramid temple while you are here. Be sure to visit the Sphinx before it closes at sunset.
Near the Giza Plateau is the Solar Barge Museum. Ancient Egyptians buried a ‘solar barge’ near the Pharaoh Khufu tomb because they believed he needed to be transported into the afterlife. In 1954, cedar wood parts were discovered in five pits near Khufu’s tomb. The boat measures 40 metres long and has a draft of 1.48 metres. The ship has been identified as the world’s oldest ship that is still intact. There are indications on the vessel that it was used at least once. It’s believed Khufu may have used the ship to travel and then it was buried for him to use in the afterlife. The vessel is also known as the Khufu Ship.
Food to eat in Egypt
- Kushari: This is considered a national dish in Egypt. This is a dish of pasta, lentils, onions and a thick tomato sauce. It is also served with rice.
- Fattah: A dish that consists of meat, bread and rice in layers. This meal is prepared usually after a woman’s first birth as well as Christian and Muslim holidays.
- Bram Rice: Rice made with milk and then stuffed with chicken liver.
- Shawarma: This is a sandwich made of beef, turkey or goat meat. It is served with pita bread and tahini sauce.
- Macaroni Bechamel: Penne pasta with a layer of meat and onions with a béchamel sauce.
- Ful Medames: A staple food in Egypt, this is a dish of Fava beans that is cooked with garlic, parsley and lemon juice. It is traditionally eaten with pita bread. It is also served with pickled vegetables and onions.
- Kibda: Fried beef liver. You can normally find this at a food stall on the street.
- Aish: A traditional pocket bread much like pita bread. While Aish baladi is a whole wheat bread.
Need to know information
The best time to visit Egypt is April and May when the temperatures are mild, making it the ideal time to visit any part of Egypt. From June to September temperatures are hot. Make sure if you are visiting Egypt during this time that you pack sunscreen and keep hydrated. November to February is a great time to cruise along the Nile River. The Red Sea Rivera has great weather all year round, making it the perfect destination for a seaside holiday.
While you are in Egypt take care of your passports and valuables. Crime in Egypt is relatively low, but it’s advised that you use hotel safes to secure your belongings.