My mom came in to Egypt yesterday afternoon. Today (Friday) being a weekend here ………….we went to see the Pyramids. This was the first time for me as well (although its been more than a month since I came).
The morning was pretty tense when we forgot my camera in the lobby. We went to the Pyramids and then realized that we had missed the camera. We rushed back and found the Manager of the Reception holding onto it and fidgeting with it. Insha Allah!!!! we got it. The Pyramid of Giza are pretty close to our area and hence we could afford this up and down journey.
Again we went to the Pyramids.
The entrance to the Pyramids are scouted by goons who try to forcibly enter your car and demand money. We got away from that by a whisker. We entered the campus and bang in front was the Pyramids of Khufu. The campus has three main pyramids, the sphinx, many small pyramids and big pits for the solar boats.
These Pyramids have been built over 4500 years back. Truly remarkable. When I see these things – I keep getting the feeling that we know very little of history beyond 1000 BC. So much of it is so inaccurate – be it the people of those ages or even the technologies they used. I was viewing a program on the excavations of Dwarka the other day …….. when it turned out that there are many layers of previous cities underneath and they did find a seal dating to around 800 BC. A similar seal has been mentioned in the Mahabaratha. Also astrologically the Mahabaratha has been dated to around 800 BC and the Ramayana to 5000 BC (Again assuming that the Ramayana and Mahabaratha are not pieces of fiction). These are just examples. However there are so many more things which add to the mystery of history.
Coming back to the pyramids : Taking a photo of the pyramids turns out to be a very two dimensional affair. The pics don’t show the depth of the actual edifices. The Pyramids are really huge. The biggest one at Giza is perhaps twice the height of the Gomateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola. Has been constructed by placing huge square shaped rocks next to each other. Originally a casing had existed – but there is none left now (except for the Pyramid of Pharoah Khufru).
On the same campus is the Museum of the Solar Boat. Around the Pyramids were found 5 big pits with huge boats in these pits. These pits were covered with huge cylindrical rocks. The boats were supposed to signify the travel of the Pharoah to the next life. These boats are really ancient and one of them is exhibited in the museum. See pics in my album.
There are plenty of camel riders around these pyramids – who first ask you to take a picture of them for you as a souvenir. Then they offer to take a picture of you next to the camel. Then they try to position you on the camel and then the camel gets up. They try to put the arab robe on your head. Later they ask for Baksheesh of 20 pounds. I gave only 2 pounds.
Arab women all around kept glaring at my mom. One of the girls also asked my mom for her bindi and her nose ring. My mom asked her to take a walk!!!! Have taken pics of them. My mom was more like a specimen to them with the saree and all.
Later we went to the Sphinx – which has actually be repaired to a major extent. I have posted a black and white photo. Do check it out.
We could also see the Pyramids of Saqqara on the horizon. The most famous of these is the bent Pyramid at Saqqara – which is a really old one (and it looks more like a Mayan Pyramid).
We closed the evening by taking a few pics at the Nile river – close to a bridge near there. We have one more program later in the evening – to visit the Khan El Khalili market ….a famous one in Cairo.
Check the latest pics in my Egypt Album:
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