The Pyramids of Giza...
Getting close with the Sphinx.
Walking like an Egyptian.

May 24, 2006

Today was the day that I saw the last remaining ancient wonder of the world: the Pyramids in Giza (just outside of Cairo).

Short and simple, these were tombs that were constructed by the pharaohs. Tens of thousands of people are said to have been
part of the construction process. The oldest and largest pyramid is the Great Pyramid of Khufu. You can actually enter the
pyramid but when my guidebook says it’s ‘completely impossible if you suffer even the tiniest degree of claustrophobia’, I take
that to heart. In the meantime, I’ll just live vicariously through other people’s experiences.

The second largest pyramid is the Pyramid of Khafre. This is the one that is most often pictured in the background of pictures
with the Sphinx. This pyramid can also be explored from the inside. Once again, there will be no first-hand experience coming
from me. As for the Sphinx, the nose was hammered off in between the 11th and 15th centuries. Sadly (per my Lonely Planet
book) it also seems to be decaying from the inside and they haven’t found a solution to the problem.

It isn’t until you get up close to the pyramids that you realize their magnitude. It blew my mind that people were able to build
such structures. Each stone is pretty big and I’m going to go with the assumption that they’re pretty darn heavy. I would have
probably been able to help out with the first level (who are we kidding…there’s no way I would do such hard manual labor in this
heat)…but to get the stones to the top level??? Are you kidding me?

From what I had heard from others before arriving, I was prepared to deal with annoyances worse than Petra in regards to
people offering camel and horse rides at the Pyramids. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it really wasn’t that bad. There
were lots of tourist police out there and I know that they have tried to put the smack down on that kind of stuff (I actually saw a
policeman and a camel dude almost get into a physical fight when the policeman was moving the camel out of the area).
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