The highlight for this day is the visit to Pyramids of
Gizeh. We're going to be allocated close to them because of this.
Optional visits would be adding Saqqara and/or Dahshur to our tour..
Then we would lunch at hotel or nearby and would
rest until the time to get the sleeping train, which we would take at
Gizeh station around 20:00.
Spots marked on map are:
0- Hotel Oasis
1- Pyramids of Gizeh and sphinx
Another day without accomplishing with the early
timing: Waking up, breakfast, get the baggage ready, checking out of
the hotel and a short but a slow taxi ride to Pyramids by 45 pounds,
make us being inside Giza Necropolis at 11:00. I’ve already removed
Dahshur visit from our list, but I’m still hoping visiting Saqqara.
Pyramids area entry fee is 60 pounds. Once inside
the selling pressure is brutal. Although being fewer tourists these
days has the advantage of avoiding crowded monument visits, here it has
a big drawback as there are more go-getters than tourists and,
therefore, the few we’re here are more overwhelmed. We cannot be a
single second alone; the visit is becoming a run away from vendors and
camel men who keep chasing us wherever we go. They’ll try everything to
get some money from you: vendors put something in your hand saying is a
gift and keep at your side until you give money or they take their
“gift” back. There are a lot of people chasing you for a picture,
whether to them or they do it to you, and they will always ask money in
return. In one moment, we go beyond an area marked with tape at Pyramid
of Khafre feet just looking for scape as the tourist police is in there
making us signs for passing in and we get what we want… closely. We’ve
changed a lot of chasers by one who, under police protection, insists
on doing pictures with us looking with the visual game of “touching”
the top of the pyramid. We let him do as is the quietest moment of the
visit. This is the only place I know where word “No” means nothing.
Everybody here wants his baksheesh, even the
police or guards. One guard makes me rectify my way when going out from
a place but finally the way he tells me is the wrong one and mine was
right, so I have to return to my steps. He asked me money for
indicating me wrong. We have to assume this and live with it when
visiting this place, but it makes one cannot enjoy the visit as would
Considering that, we rounded the two big pyramids
from their base, first Khufu one or Great Pyramid, and then Khafre’s,
which is the only one keeping part of its original cover at the top.
Then we get the small Menkaure’s, where we get two calash to go to the
view point, far enough as per having a sight of all three pyramids,
which is impossible when you’re close to them. I must say the Great
Pyramid is really huge, as big as a mountain, Khafre’s is not far from
it, but I didn’t know the size difference with Pyramid of Menkaure,
which is ridiculously smaller than its sisters.
We’re driven back to pyramids from view point until the Great
Sphinx but, when arriving I realize my mistake in our route as Sphinx
is sited just at the exit, so we come back to Great Pyramid, where we
want to watch the Solar boat which was buried along the pyramid in
order pharaoh Khufu could get the sky by sailing on
it. We pay 50 pounds entrance fee for the boat and 100 pounds for both
calashes, which end here their service.
Then we do the short walk down to the Great Sphinx again
and after some pictures there we drive our steps to the exit, but
before, we get a deal with a taxi driver who offers the trip to Saqqara
and from there to Cairo citadel by 120 pounds. This driver should be
retired by age like twenty years ago, but there he is, waiting out for
We start our trip to Saqqara at 13:00h and I still don’t know
how we’re going to manage the lunch considering citadel closing time is
at 17:00. We arrive to necropolis few minutes before 14:00 on a drive
where we can see, even more, this country’s misery. The trash
accumulates everywhere in the streets and water canal and there are
people living on it.
We pay 60 pounds entrance ticket for us, and 2
pounds for taxi, which takes us up until the stepped pyramid. This is
the oldest pyramid in Egypt and shows a step in evolution of building
these funerary monuments.
We visit Djoser funerary complex closing the circle by asking
to taxi driver to move to Serapeum and Pyramid of Teti area.
This pyramid is the one I’ve chosen for taking my
parents in as the way is easier than the rest and the interior is more
Just arriving at entrance to pyramid a boy there
assumes the role of our guide without any request from our side. He
uses a torch for illuminating our way down and the straight and very
low one after. There are three small rooms inside with their walls
entirely grabbed with hieroglyphics and the Pharaoh Teti’s black
granite sarcophagus in one of them.
No time for more here, so the taxi leaves the place some
minutes past 15h back to Cairo as we want to see the citadel. We arrive
at 16:00 there, very tired and so sick of spending money that when we
read we must pay 200 pounds as citadel entrance fee for all four of us
and just one hour, we take another taxi to go to the hotel. This
tiredness comes from removing one day in Cairo from original plan for
visiting Athens, so we’ve done in one day what should be done in two.
Anyway, this way we’re sure to be at train station on time.
And that’s how it is, more or less. The big plate of
Bolognese satiates hunger and at 18:00 we’re ready for leaving to the
station. We’re very on time as train leaves at 20:00, but now we meet
the working day rush hour traffic jam and we spend in the taxi more
than one hour and a half, even fearing to be late for taking the train.
Also, on the only parts of the highway taxi could run, the car engine’s
stops a couple of times, making driver to go out and “touching”
something in engine to be able of starting again.
Finally, all ends well and we wait a few minutes to the train on
platform 1, close to column 3, which marks the car number we have on
Our car’s steward takes our baggage up to the
train and we take the closest cabins to wagon door.
As we’ve eaten so late we’re not hungry when dinner comes. It is not
that bad or dry as I’ve read, but we’ve got rice, meat with sauce and
something similar to our potato omelet. Drinks are paid apart.
The steward transforms our seats to two beds with
extreme ease and our exhaustion transforms us from awake to asleep.