Egypt – a major bucket list item for a lot of people, including me! It was one of the ports of call during an EPIC cruise. The tour I would take would come in 3 parts – The pyramids, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali and a catered river cruise down the Nile River! We didn’t know if we would make it or spend a day at sea due to the volatile political climate of protests, uprisings and relative calm. At 7am I woke up and turned on the TV which shows the front of the ship to discover we were pulling into port – I guess we’ll be venturing into Egypt.
The journey from Alexandria, the port city, into Cairo and the pyramids is around 3 hours. Luckily we had an amazing tour guide, educating us on the history of Egypt, the culture and some fun stories during our trek across the African desert. Looking out the window as we drove through Alexandria was a bit of an eye opener, seeing extreme poverty and buildings that looked unfinished or crumbling. I was also surprised to see modern US companies such as McDonalds, Toys R Us and H & M in a very nice looking shopping mall.
As the journey drew closer to our destination, I looked out the window as the bus took a slow turn. There they were! Rising up from the sand majestic and mysterious! The park area is big. Our host told us that for 5 Euros, we could go into one of the pyramids and explore inside. Well, that was a no brainer. OF COURSE I would be going INTO one of the pyramids. The corridor inside is narrow, so they would only let one person enter at a time. We were told no cameras, but I could have brought one in, since nobody checked. I ventured into the Pyramid of Menkaure and walked down a passage way. There wasn’t much to see down there, but what an opportunity to say I’ve actually been INSIDE the pyramids!
Our tour bus was parked in between the 3 main pyramids and we would have an hour to explore this area. You’re not supposed to climb the pyramids and armed guards will be standing around to make sure you don’t break this rule! Various vendors will be trying to sell you papyrus paper and locals offering to take your picture atop of the camel that they are sitting on.
Finally it was time to board the bus and move locations. The park area is big and we would need to change locations closer to the Sphinx. Once we moved, we would have another hour to explore the area near the Sphinx. Plenty of great photo ops present themselves in this part of the park. Navigate through a series of corridors to get near the sculpture. The area near the Sphinx is has a lot of vendors selling souvenirs.
In the next post, I’ll travel to the Mosque of Muhammad Ali in Cairo and then onto a Nile river cruise. The journey to the Pyramids was EPIC. I would love to return and spend even more time exploring.