Meeting the Great Sphinx face to face is a moving moment, like being dwarfed
CAIRO, EGYPT: How on earth was this possible? That was my one and only question staying near the Cairo Pyramids of Giza. When gazing at this Great Pyramid I have to admit; This is a colossal structure giving me the feeling of being dwarfed.
Early morning in Giza
My very first encounter with Pyramids was like a wakeup call and happened an early morning in Giza, after I woke up at Mövenpick Hotel and still dark outside. Suddenly, from my room I was captured by the sight of two large Pyramids. Far closer than I expected and far bigger than I realised from pictures. Later this morning, as I stood close to the largest Pyramid, the sight was nothing less than an out-of-the-world experience. Only some screaming Chinese with cameras damaged first part of my visit.
The main question, as always
I’ve seen a lot, but this experience next to the largest Egyptian Pyramid looking at stones weighing between three and five tons, simply needs explanation of archaeologists able to put things in perspective and come up with answers to the essential question: How on earth did they manage such 146,5-meter-tall construction more than 4500 years ago?
Life inside. From the main entrance of the tallest Pyramid there is a 100m long narrow corridor to a chamber with little fresh air inside. If you attempt to go inside, you will have to bend down all the way till you reach the burial chamber. Perfect for small visitors and finally – inside I didn´t hear a single word from the guests from China.
The Great Sphinx
Nothing can prepare any first-time visitor for the awe-inspiring of meeting the Great Sphinx face to face, formed as a face and long lion, with big eyes gazing to the east. No matter who you are and feel, meeting the Great Sphinx and Pyramids will not leave you unmoved, even with screaming Chinese around.
The new museum
My visit was before Grand Egyptian Museum opened next to the Pyramids in Giza, designed to include the latest technology. The old Egyptian Museum at Tahrir Square, has for long been home of world-class ancient artefacts. Including treasures such as King Tut Ankh Amun as the main fascination. A qualified guide will be an additional well invested experience, provided by a tour operator or by the tourist authority. My guide, Egyptologist Mahmoud Nawar, lead me into the mystery world of Pyramids, Great Sphinx and Egyptian Museum.
Shopping and market
Lanidor, Portugal´s leading Women´s Fashion with 98 stores all over the world, has an outlet in Citystars in Cairo. Khan El-Khalili market is something total different. It´s narrow, twisting shopping streets covering a huge area for sale of everything from to touristic knickknacks. Next to Cairo´s oldest mosque. The market has existed for nearly 700 years and is – like Cairo itself – a blend of ancient and modern with hundreds of stalls.
Tour in the fast lane
Crazy streets. Forget rules, this is wild, wild stuff! Cairo is one of the world’s worst cities for traffic congestion and a tour in the fast lane is an attraction in its own. But make sure your heart is in perfect condition. You must learn some unwritten rules. First, you have to be on alert every single second while on the road. The worst thing that can happen is to have your horn not working, a driver will feel paralyzed. The bigger your car, the more authority you have on the road and you will get used to people who throw themselves out of the blue in front of your car. My driver has all the experiences from the busy roads of Cairo, but he gave me plenty of adrenaline every time I got into his mini-bus. Be prepared, everyone drives in full speed, it´s like you drive in a video game. This is Cairo.
Meet up in Luxor: Eye to eye with King Tut
Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Flights to Cairo will arrive at Cairo International Airport Visa: US, UK, Japan and Australian citizens plus some European and South Eastern countries can get visa on arrival to Egypt. The most common transport for tourists is Taxi.
Stay: If you plan to visit the Pyramids, I recommend staying at Mövenpick Pyramids in Giza, located 3-minute drive from the Pyramids.
Eat: Koshary is Egypt´s much-loved street food and national dish they can´t get enough of that stuff made of rice, macaroni and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce and meatballs. According to local advice, Chophouse Bistro located in Heliopolis, is one of the best place for steak around that area. My Surf & Turf served at Mövempick Pyramids revealed they master the art of cooking a perfect steak.
Play: Cairo International Film Festival is always a cool breeze in December. The fashion stakes are high, special at the opening at Cairo Opera House.
Mini Guide: Night at the Complex. Visit the Pyramids at night attending the Sound and Light Show In Egypt you are treated like family and no one will ever let you sit alone. Egyptian genuinely care. This is the mother of the world, home to two-third of the globe´s historical monuments. Centuries of rich culture and arts, the gateway to Africa. Around 865,000 British nationals visited Egypt in 2015. Most visits are trouble-free.