Contiki Egypt & The Nile: Day 2 – Cairo
Our first full day in Cairo was everything I had hoped and more. We had a 6:00 AM wake-up call and were out of our rooms by 6:30 AM for breakfast. The breakfast was pretty good & included things like eggs, sausage & waffles. The only noticeable thing that was missing was beef – Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country.
We hit the road by 7:30 AM towards our first stop, the last remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the World, The Great Pyramids of Giza! They are over 4,500 years old and still standing! Built as burial chambers for the old Pharaohs Khufu, Chephren & Mykerinos, the pyramids were an amazing sight to see. I couldn’t imagine how they built them without modern technology. Despite being located next to Cairo’s downtown area, they were imposing and you can’t help being awestruck when you see them for the first time. It truly is history coming to life. I was able to walk up and touch things I’ve only read about in textbooks during my 9th grade World History class!
At our first stop at the largest Pyramid, built for Khufu, we also had the opportunity to climb on it. It was amazing to be able to be on something that old!
After experiencing the first pyramid, we boarded our bus for a different destination within the Pyramid complex, the departure point for a camel caravan. Yes, that’s right. I rode a camel to get a better view of the Great Pyramids!
It took a bit of getting used to, but I was actually able to sit on the saddle. Usually, I am unable to ride a horse because I can’t spread my legs due to my disability, but the saddle was much thinner due to the camel’s humps. It moved in a very herky, jerky motion, so I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures as I had to hold on with two hands, but after 15 minutes we stopped and grabbed these awesome shots!
We then rode our camels back to the outpost where we got off and took a few more photos including our group photo!
We then had the opportunity to go in the smaller of the three Pyramids (they rotate being open every day). Menkaure’s Pyramid had a very steep ramp to gain entry to the burial chamber, but I’m happy I did it. There really wasn’t anything to see except a large, undecorated room, but the experience of going in one of the Great Pyramids is something that will last a lifetime!
After going into the Pyramid, we made one final stop, the Sphinx. It has the head of a human and the body of a lion and was built to guard the pyramids. It is built out of one piece of stone & it wasn’t until the 1900’s that they realized he had a body as his head was the only thing visible above the sand.
After The Sphinx, we left the Pyramid complex and headed to the Egyptian Museum. It had no air conditioning, so we saw as much as we could while everyone’s attention was still decent!