7am and the wakeup call is headed toward our room. This day we visited the pyramids and the Sphinx. The pyramids are very close to the city Cairo. There were quite a few tourists but not as many as I expected. Because of this difficult time for Egypt, their tourism is very low right now. But this is great for us because the sites are not packed with people and we are able to see everything at our own pace.
There are 3 pyramids and they are HUGE in person! The middle pyramid, khepren is the only pyramid that has the original casings at the tip. We got to climb one of the pyramids, not very high but at least we still got to. We took pictures as best as we could because they are so large it is nearly impossible to fit the entire thing in the picture, unless you stand really far back. We had the option of going in to one of the pyramids but decided not to because it's too claustrophobic for me.
There were guys on camels everywhere and of course people trying to sell us things. Then we went to an outlook where the three pyramids were in the distance. This is where we got to take more pictures and do the silly poses like pinching the pyramids, holding it in our palm, etc. We then ventured onto the Sphinx where we got to walk around and die of heat. I don't know how the vendors do it; there is no shade whatsoever and they are all fully clothed in pants and long sleeves.
We walk inside of a temple and walk up toward the Sphinx. Once again taking silly pictures with the sphinx, an Egyptian helped us get the poses just right. These monuments are unreal! To think that they are manmade and built during B.C. era is unbelievable. You can tell how weather has taken a toll on these sites but yet they are still very much intact. After those sites we headed back to the resort for dinner with special guests.
The next day was the visit to the Egyptian museum where there are over 165,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt! We needed to get there early to avoid lines and the decision of Mubarak's sentencing because Tahirir Square is so close to the museum and that is where all the protests
The museum was 4 levels and hot! No air conditioning but we had the best tour guide ever who was with us at the pyramids and for the museum. So knowledgeable about the history and could explain anything! The artifacts throughout the museum were beautiful! There were coffins, tombs, hair and makeup utensils, jewelry, knives, furniture, statues, and anything you could think of that people would use to live.
One thing that I was really excited for was King Tut and his belongings. King Tut's mask and everything he owned was amazing! Everything he owned was pretty much made out of gold and was painted in beautiful colors. He had 4 gold boxes, somewhat like storage units, one inside of another until the last one where all of his items were stored for his afterlife. This is what most Egyptians did at the time.
There was a special room where we had to pay ten dollars extra to see actual mummies, so cool! They were preserved so good that you could see their hair, nails, teeth, and their bodies. It was amazing because they have been there for thousands of years but have not rotted away. There were about 6 mummies in there, each in their own clear boxes. Some of the mummies have a little box with their organs inside.
Then was the Coptic center where the hanging church is built into the walls of the Watergate of the roman fortress and I think one of the oldest churches. Still not quite sure why its a hanging church. Also visited the Abu Serga which is one of the places where the holy family rested after fleeing the Holy Land from King Herod. This was an underground area where they hid out. Third was the Ben Ezra synagogue, one of the oldest in Egypt.
Women were required to wear robes but all people are required to take their shoes off. Our robes were white with a pointed hood with beautiful embroidery down the front. We hung out there for a while and learned about their religion. Muslims pray 4 times a day, sunrise, noon, sunset, and 3am! There is a prayer call played at those times where Muslims must get to a mosque or synagogue to pray in
These two days were one of my favorites because I learned a lot and had fun learning new things. Seeing one of the
Seven Wonders of the World has always been on my bucket list and I can finally check this one off. :-)