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Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Giza
August 19th 2018
Published: April 12th 2019
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Exploring Saqqara with the step pyramid of Djoser in the background
Today, we set out to explore the famous pyramids in Egypt. The pyramids were tombs created by Egyptian Pharoahs. The Egyptian pharoahs believed that they would become gods in the afterlife. To prepare for the afterlife they erected temples to the gods and massive pyramids tombs for themselves filled with all the things they would need in the next world. While the pyramids of Giza are the most famous in Egypt, there are more than 130 other pyramids discovered scattered throughout Egypt. One such pyramid is the step pyramid in Saqqara.

The Step Pyramid in Saqqara

The step pyramid in Saqqara was built by the Pharoah Djoser in 2700BC. It was planned by Imhotep, an ancient Egyptian vizier who became known for his incredible achievements. The step pyramid at Saqqara is considered the oldest complete stone building complex known in history and the oldest known pyramid every built. It is even older than the great pyramid of Giza. However, due to looters, environmental conditions and time the step pyramid is beginning to decay.

The step pyramid was a marvel to behold. Although we were not allowed inside the pyramid due to its instability, we got the chance to
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The Great Pyramid
check out an underground tomb at the site where we saw interesting hieroglyphics covering the walls. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed inside the tomb.

The Pyramids of Giza

After visiting Saqqara, we headed back to Giza to visit the famous pyramids of Giza, known as Cheops (The Great Pyramid), Chephren and Mycerinus. All the pyramids in Egypt are situated on the west bank of the River Nile because this is where the sun sets every evening, symbolizing the realm of the dead. The pyramids of Giza were originally covered by casing stones made from white limestone which reflected the suns light and made the pyramids shine like a jewel.

The Great Pyramid

Pharoah Khufu began building the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest of the three pyramids in Giza in 2550 B.C. It is the oldest and last remaining structure of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Great Pyramid is though to be constructed with over 2 million stone blocks that range from 2 to 50 tons. It still remains a mystery as to how these stone blocks were transported. Historians believe that over 100, 000 people were involved in the construction of the
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Pyramid of Chephren (Pyramid of Khafre)
Pyramids of Giza and that they were probably not slaves but paid workers due to the precision and accuracy needed to build the pyramids. Surprisingly, there are no writings or hieroglyphics of any kind found within the walls of Great Pyramid.




Pyramid of Khafre



Khufu's son, Khafre built the second pyramid at Giza in 2520 B.C. This pyramid still has some limestone casing covering the top of the pyramid. Khufu's son is also known for building the Sphinx, the limestone monument with the body of a lion and a pharoah's head (believed to have the face of the Pharoah Khafre) which keeps watch over the pyramids.

Pyramid of Menkaure

The third and smallest of the Giza Pyramids is built by Pharaoh Menkaure in 2490 B.C. and features a more complex mortuary temple. It is located near three smaller pyramids dedicated to the queens.




Camel Ride



After exploring the three massive pyramids, Renata and I headed off on a camel ride around the Pyramids. Although we found it intimidating getting onto the camels, we soon enjoyed the company of Christopher Columbus and Charlie Brown (our
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Meet Charlie Brown and Christopher Columbus. Pyramid of Mycerinus (Pyramid of Menkaure) in the background
two camels) as they helped us explore new lands (the beautiful desert landscape surrounding the pyramids).

We then headed to a local perfume shop where we learned how perfume was made.

Bus to Luxor

In the afternoon we heading on our long bus ride to Luxor with our own police escort. Although we felt safe while on our tour, in the aftermath of the riots in Egypt, our Guide, Sam stated that all tour buses needed a police escort for tourist protection. It was good to see that the Egyptian government was taking tourism seriously.

After the long bus ride we settled into our fancy Luxor hotel along the Nile. Tomorrow we head off to visit the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of the Kings and the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Can't Wait!


Additional photos below
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Saqqara

Funerary complex of Djoser
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Saqqara

Inside the Funerary complex of Djoser
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The Pyramids of Giza

Sitting on the Great Pyramid
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Camels at the Pyramids
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The Great Sphinx


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