Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dashur, saqqara, and giza pyramids

I'm traveling backwards in time to finish up some old posts I never completed.

It was very cool to see the pyramids in Egypt. As a kid growing up in America, that's one of the primary things you learn about in school. You learn that they are one of the ancient wonders of the world and also that they were built by a civilization of people that are the ancestors of who we are today as a race.

That being said, I expected to be blown away when I saw the pyramids, but it turned out to be more of a pleasant sigh. It's not that they're not impressive, they are just well... smaller than I expected them to be. They didn't shrink, no. They're still 140 to 150 meters tall, but I guess I never thought about the height, I just had a picture in my mind of what should look like.

I guess in my mind I had the expectation of what Will Smith sees when he eyes the spaceship on the movie Independence day. I was expecting something so large that it would knock me aback and make me gasp loudly at the sight of such a marvel. This was what was built up inside me after years of studying them in my younger schooling career.

Nevertheless it was still cool to be there. I paid a driver that was sponsored by the hostel I was at to drive me around the 3 sites for the day $30 and a $10 tip at the end. He was a nice guy trying to make a living. He told me to go inside Daishur because that one was free and not to pay for entry at the other pyramids because they are the same thing but cost admission to go inside.

The three large pyramids at Giza were lined up on my camera for a picture when my guide took me on my camel around giza for about 2 hours. In that time I got to run up to the pyramid and touch the rock, and also to see the Sphinx, which also felt a bit small. Nothing like how they show them in the movies. What I did learn that was impressive was that the Sphinx is made of 1 piece of stone. That's a large stone.

The camel ride cost me $50 and a $10 tip for the kid that spoke very good english and took me around. They told me that giza was huge and that a camel was necessary. They were sort of bullshitting. I guess normal people would like the camel but if I could do it again I would just walk it. It's not that far. And also once you see one pyramid there's no need to see the other 2 up close.

My favorite picture I took that day was of me jumping over one of the pyramids. Not literally of course but my guide had the idea to put the camera near ther ground to make the angle look that way.

If any American told me they were going to Egypt to see the pyramids, I would definitely not deter them. I would say though to keep the expectations in check so they don't feel disappointed.

Throughout the day the driver took me to some vendors because he has to. They were oil, papyrus, and carpet. I will tell you guys about that later.

Just in case you don't know, pyramids are just really the largest land monuments that the Egyptians built to honor dead kings. There are 97 total in Egypt.


Blogger suslee said...

there's a mystic to the pyramids; i'd like to see egypt someday.

February 18, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

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