Saqqara, Dahshur, Memphis, my second little side trip in Egypt...


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Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Saqqara
February 27th 2010
Published: March 4th 2010
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My second day in Egypt...after a needed night of sleep...my second mission, discovering the ancient pyramids of Saqqara, Dahshur as well as the ancient Memphis.

I'm allergic to huge tour groups. So I went on the internet to try to figure out how much to pay for the taxi ride. First taxi...was a joke and I left him after 200 meters. Second taxi was interesting...didn't speak any english....my arabic is obviously less than basic. I show him a note of 100 egyptian lira and he said ok.....repeated few time the itinery...still ok...the lowest I found on the internet was more like 150-200 for info.

It became pretty fast obvious that he never took tourists there...well, good for him, I offered him a glimpse of his own country. But after few minutes, he started the meter....guess he wanted some back-up if his estimation of the distance was wrong. Guess what, at the end of the day, the meter reached 160. I was ok with that, for 100km, this is roughly 29usd, that's fine with me.

I had a great time with my driver...hey, another of these guys who is nice ands charming....do I push my luck too much?

First, we passed by the Giza pyramids, I saw them 8 years ago...so let's continue driving...than on to Saqqara.

Saqqara is the oldest of the main pyramids. Ok, a guide could have been useful, but I did enjoy the place. Funny thing. I got to the gate...asked the guard where do I buy the ticket...well, he told down at the entry, 2km back...euh...told you my driver had no idea. So I slowly wonder around...and I guess walking around the fence give you a pretty nice view....and you are on your own. That till I bumped in a jogger coming from Giza. There must be 20km to run in the desert...I'm impressed!

After this, and getting lost first. My second stop was Dahshur pyramid. The fun of this one is that you can go inside it. There is a shaft...meaning a very narrow tunnel of 65 meters going down to the base of the pyramid. But the most interesting part...or fun part of it, is that there are strictly no lights in it. Some tourist do rent torches....but these are in limited supplies. So I end up making most of my way by simply flashing my camera every few seconds. Interesting experience, and a very hot one....the temperature rise solid in the middle of the pyramid.

my last stop was the City of Memphis. It is actually a field full of statues of Ramses II. Few of these, especially the main one are seriously impressive.

We than made our way back to El Corniche on the Nile. Say bye to my taxi driver, without even having to argue with him. This was a great day, and for me a late lunch and time to make my way to the airport.

Tomorrow is another day for me...more Nile...a new country...and some serious extreme fun. But for this, wait just a little, I'm back soon.

And as you may guess, I'll be back to Egypt...pretty soon!




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4th March 2010

That's the Bent Pyramid
The unnamed pyramid you photographed at Dahshur is the Bent Pyramid, named for how the angle changes halfway up. Didn't you go any closer or weren't you allowed? It's even more impressive up close, and still has part of its limestone cover. As for the no lights inside the Red Pyramid, there definitely used to be lights in there, sounds like they got rid of them so they could rent torches to tourists.

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