DSC_1163How can I come to Egypt and not talk about Pyramids!!! It is probably what you first think about when someone says Egypt to you….Sooooo let’s begin!
First stop is the village of Sakkara which is where the Step Pyramid, Djoser‘s funerary complex, is located and it is the oldest pyramid in the World.  A Pyramid even older than those from the Mayan Indians in Mexico built about 2600 BC.  Mohamed picks me up and off we go driving out of Cairo into the countryside of Sakkara.  I see beautiful farms of dates that are grown on Palm trees.  It is definitely a different view than the crowded streets of Cairo. The area is located in the old capital of Egypt called Memphis.    DSC_1171
One of the amazing things is as we get to the Step Pyramid, we are driving through amazing greenery, palm trees, farms and almost as if an artist has drawn a line across a canvas we run right smack into the desert!.. So on one side you see beautiful green trees and life and on the other a complete barren desert…amazing!
We get to the Pyramid and get off to go near the Step Pyramid which was built by Djoser with his architect Imhotep the genious behind the design,  in order to honor himself (these guys had huge egos!) and secure his way to the afterlife with all his gold, treasures and stuff…cause man they had stuff! The pyramid is currently under restoration to protect it as it is made of very soft limestone sand and it is breaking apart which means no one can go in.  It is the only complete Pyramid complex in that it houses the pyramid, the temple, the surrounding buildings that were in the original designs of the engineers and architects.
DSC_1201After spending time here we go off to the other pyramids…you know the ones EVERYONE knows about…!  The famous pyramids we all know about is located in the area in Cairo called Giza, (which is where I stayed my first week in Egypt).  It is where the sphinx is located too.  Now as we were getting closer, Mohamed warns me by telling me “Julie, don’t be frighten by people approaching the car suddenly, they are only trying to sell their camel and horse services”.  I nod ok, and say Machy, Machy, which means ok in Arabic…but he was understating it a little….Man talk about aggressive salesmen!!!!  Used car salesmen have nothing on Camel Ride sales people! Whoa!…They swarmed from all over as soon as they spotted our car shouting the camel/horse/trinkets whatever it was they were hawking…thank God Mohammed warned because I would have thought we were under attack!…Mario Andretti, I mean Mohamed, sped through this obstacle course of men and got us to the front of the pyramid entrance without breaking a sweat.  I look over at him and thank God again for putting this man in my path in Egypt!  He’s tour guide, driver, body guard, translator, negotiator, all wrapped up into one smiling Egyptian man!  DSC_1219
Anyway we first go to an area that it’s place to stop and take pictures to view the pyramids from afar.  Amazing!
 There are tour buses there but again business is no where near the normal and it is a breath of fresh air to see them without crowds or long lines or anything.  I guess maybe that’s why the camel ride sales guys were so aggressive too, not much business…..
  DSC_1300We then drive down into the pyramid area very close up .  You are allowed to get close but no one can enter them or climb them anymore.  These 3 pyramids known as the Pyramids of Khufu and Cheops, the grandfather, the father and the son were built around 2500 BC.   After the 3 pyramids were created and ransacked by grave robbers the high priests decided to bury the royalty underground and soon after the Valley of the Kings burial underground tombs where created.  Up close the pyramids are really incredible. How these gigantic things were built is still astonishing to comprehend.  The area also has three small pyramids the King Khufu built for his wives and I was able to go inside these but the main ones are not allowed admittance because of safety issues as well as they are no longer allowed to be climbed.  Oh well….saves me from climbing about 3000 steps!.
So off I go to the Queen’s pyramid to go into the burial chamber. This was super interesting! I had to climb down backwards and bent over (not for the claustrophobics for sure, and here again Kenny you would have loved this!!) I climb down and down until we get to a good size room where there are ledges around the burial and where the sarcophagus of the Queen would have been.  I breathe in the energy and try to see if I can link with the Queen’s spirit but she’s not listening….she’s probably with King Khufu somewhere in Paradise and has no time for a lowly Cuban woman….hmmm oh well.
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I head back out to begin the climb up this time. I loved it!
We now head to the last piece of must see monuments in Giza and that is the famous Sphinx….It is actually smaller than I expected but still impressive in its pose guarding the Pyramids.  Truly a majestic site!
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And talking about majestic, check out the site below of the pyramids at night….that was the view from my apartment’s rooftop……How fortunate I am……Life indeed is good!
Traveling Redheaded Lady (TRL)

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