At some point, everybody should travel to the great Giza plateau and marvel at the Sphinx and pyramids of Egypt. They have been here for thousands of years and are testament to the ingenuity and intelligence of the ancient Egyptians. Here you can see both the Sphinx and famous pyramids of ancient Egypt. There are over a hundred in Egypt today, the most well-known are at the Giza Necropolis.
The three main pyramids in Giza were built specifically for royalty and all three were built some time during the 4th dynasty. The most famous is the pyramid of Khufu, both the biggest and tallest and also one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the world, the only one still remaining intact. For nearly 5, 000 years it was also the tallest in the world, but although this is now no longer the case, it still remains a magnificent sight.
The pyramid of Kharfre is easy to spot with a little of the original casing around the summit. As it sits on slightly higher ground it seems taller than the great pyramid but this is an optical illusion. The third most famous pyramid is Menkaure, and is the smallest of the three.
The imposing outline of the Sphinx sits in the sands surveying its surroundings as it has done for thousands of years. It has been known by other names such as Abu al-Hol or “Father of Terror” and Shesib Ankh or “the living image.” It is made of soft sandstone and is constantly under repair due to the elements and pollution from Cairo. However, it has survived for thousands of years because it has often been covered in sand, and this has protected it from erosion.
The Giza plateau is open every day from 7am to 5pm, and costs E£60 (approx GBP£6 per person) to enter. If you want to go inside a pyramid, the cost is E£60 to E£100 (approx GBP £6 to £10 per pyramid), but be warned, inside, the pyramids can be quite claustrophobic and hard on the knees as there are narrow passageways, and often one has to bend down to enter certain parts of the burial chambers. If you have a student card, you will receive 50% discount on all these prices.
There are numerous opportunities to take camel rides and horse rides around the pyramids, don’t feel the need to pre-book this, there will be plenty of people offering this service on the day and you can haggle for the lowest price you can!
Each night there is a one hour long sound and light show, where the pyramids and sphinx are lit up with different colours and booming music and loud deep voices tell stories about the ancient world of the pharaohs. To watch the show costs around E£100 (approx GBP10 per person) but make sure you check the time of the English show which changes each day. An alternative is to have dinner at one of the many roof top restaurants overlooking the Pyramids.
The Giza plateau is hot and it’s advised that suitable clothing and head ware is brought and some drinking water. However don’t expect to find the Pyramids in the middle of desert, near the main gate you will find vibrant busy streets and McDonalds and Pizza Hut.
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