The Great Pointy Things


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Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Giza
March 9th 2009
Published: November 11th 2009
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It's not every day you wake up and think 'I'm off to visit the Pyramids today'. But how cool is that? So with much excitement and years of preconception we headed to the the last remaining ancient wonder for a good look around.

I have learn't that expectation can get you into all kinds of trouble. And the pyramids at Giza are pretty surreal for want of a bigger superlative. They are massive, they are sand blown, and they are swarming with people. I know it's not de riguer to slag the pyramids but overall I felt a little underwhelmed by the state of affairs on the site. Of course it's curious as to how Egyptians created them. Big questions need to be asked about the passion for the spiritual conviction of the Pharaohs and with full respect I can appreciate it. But as an experience I still feel lost in that surreal head space of a child. That open mouth wandering and imagining daze set aside for totally over the top stuff.

For me, I have thought about seeing them for so long that I have probably shot myself in the foot. The Pyramids have been on my long list of 'wouldn't it be great to see' stuff. But when it comes down to it, the real draw card of Egypt for me is possibly the culture, the food, the vast spaces and the landscape - all so different to home.

Today I also saw the pyramids covered in rubbish. Even as you walk into the tunnels and gaze into the lower shafts, plastic is the first thing you see. This taints and infuriates me a tad. And when tourists ignore the no camera rule and snap away inside for the sake of capturing themselves inside the dark inner tomb I can't help but say something. Quite loudly. I'm probably just a cynical bitch but if you can't even respect the old stuff we are trying to preserve on the planet what hope have we?

Above ground are the gaudy souvenirs - akin to mini Eiffel Towers in Paris and shiny little Taj Mahals in Agra. When a pointy baby pyramid was thrust continually in my face as I tried to walk around it kind of breaks the spell.

Having said all that I was swept away in the remaining part of my romantic brain by the cliches long written about. The idea of standing on a site of such history. The camels noisily running around decorated colourfully by the desert dudes. Donkeys being pulled about by small children and the warm wind whipping around the pointy bits against the beige sky.

So just to make sure we took it all in we are heading back for the disco version of the pyramids tonight - the Sound and Light Show. If the sound track accompaniment includes 'Walk like an Egyptian' I'm going to bust a lung. Apparently it's pretty fantastic, oops there's that expectation creeping in...

So we are heading way into the sand tomorrow - I have a lovely group - 7 of us in total - 1 person cancelled so I have a ROOM TO MYSELF which is fabulous! All Aussies - 1 young couple, the rest of us coming together as singles ranging from 23 to 38 and a random guy from Dublin.

I seriously can't imagine internet in an oasis area so it'll probably be the end of next week before I drivvle again.

Kris



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