Day two in Cairo started off at the breakfast buffet in the Kempinski hotel. This was one of the most beautiful and delicious spreads I have ever seen. I had granola with homemade chocolate, delicious cinnamon, so many fresh nuts and fruits, and even soy milk. It was amazing! There was also a whole wall of freshly baked breads and pastries, which was Keith’s favorite. There were also tons of freshly squeezed juices, like mango, guava, lemon, blueberry and strawberry. Our driver picked us up after breakfast and we headed towards the pyramids. Cairo traffic is ridiculous, so it took almost 40 minutes. On our way, we picked up our wonderful guide, Maha, who lives out on that side of the city. She knew I was vegetarian and love falafel, so we stopped at a local cafe and ordered some. I was stuffed from breakfast so I saved them in my bag for later. What’s unique about Egyptian falafel is that it is made from fava beans instead of the usual chickpeas. They were delicious and I highly recommend trying some of you are ever in the area.
Our first stop of the day was the pyramids of Giza. Standing under its massive walls made me feel so tiny, and it was an incredible sight to behold. Maha sat us down and gave us an introduction to ancient Egyptian beliefs and the hypotheses of what the pyramids were built for and how they did it. To me, it’s so cool that it is still unknown about these things, and it makes it that much cooler to see it. I have no idea how ancient Egyptians could have cut, transported, and lifted these massive massive rocks, and created such a perfect pyramid with the same angle and slope, fitting together like puzzle pieces. All without electricity or cars to help with the process, it’s spectacular. After this history lesson, we decided to take the extra ticket and go inside the pyramid to see a tomb. I hate spending money but honestly this was worth it, how many times in your life do you get the opportunity to go inside a pyramid!? The route was a bit harder/ more claustrophobic than I though, with narrow steep pathways that you have to climb up/ down, and it was tricky to pass people on the way. But if you are able to deal with tight spaces do it. It’s so cool to see the hallways and tomb areas. It took maybe 30-40 minutes to go in and out. It was so cool though do it.
After this we got back into our van and headed to a spot called the “panoramic lookout point” of the pyramids. From here there’s an epic view of the pyramids and this is where you can take a camel ride. I had a lot of internal debating to figure out if it was ethical or not to ride a camel, basically I think it’s not ethical and I personally wouldn’t spend my own money on it, but I was convinced because it was included on my tour and takes you very close to the other pyramids we had not yet seen. It was a very fun ride, and cool moment to share with my parents. We all were parading with our camels down a sandy dune area, to a spot where we could view all 8 of the pyramids in this location.
After this, we found our van driver and guide, and headed to the Sphinx area. Here, we got more history lessons and learned about what this area was used for. There’s some ruins next to the Sphinx where they had found ancient relics and tombs (which we saw the next day in the museum). We then walked around the Sphinx and got some good photos. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and fluffy clouds, and the weather was warmer than I thought it would be, maybe about 70 this day, but the temperatures dropped low at night.
Our next stop took us outside of Cairo to a spot called Memphis. Here we saw a massive pristine statue of a Pharaoh caked Ramseys. It was so pristine, apparently it fell over head first many many years ago so the back was covered with mud and destroyed but the front of it maintained its perfect detail. It’s incredible how they carved masterpieces. You can see so much detail in the musculature, facial features, and jewelry. And this sculpture was huge, I’ll show photos of us next to it for size reference. This Memphis areas had tons of cool statues and figures. Like a mini Sphinx, and tons of statues of pharaohs and gods. Its such a cool site is recommend it.
It was also pretty close to Sakkara, the famous step pyramids, which was our next stop. These were some of the oldest pyramids, and looked super cool. There were tons of ruins here too, and right around the time we were there, a new discovery was made. I’ll try to remember to attach the link.
We headed back to our hotel and caught an epic sunset from the rooftop of the hotel, it has bright pink skies! We then headed our room for a quick rest before doing a Nile dinner cruise. This was a buffet with amazing vegetarian food and fun entertainment. There were some Arabic singers, belly dancers, and my favorite, the whirling dervish. I was so impressed with how he spinned so much and never even puked. His skirt thing would light up and he did some tricks, it was a really fun evening despite being exhausting.
This day was super long, and I was still recovering from my cold (not to mention in the process of getting my mother sick too). So we went to bed around 10 and passed out with a wonderful nights sleep. It was amazing how much we did in this single day and there was no way we could have arranged all of that without going through a tour company. They arranged everything, we had a private guide, and they even gave us a cell phone and Mohammad constantly checked in on us.