A May 2001 trip
to Cairo by worldsmyoyster
Quote: Egypt was a country that was to pull me back many times, with temples that need to be seen to be believed. Nothing prepares you for seeing them right before you.
Hotel | "Mena House"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 15, 2007
Mena House Oberoi - Cairo
Pyramids Road Giza
Attraction | "Overview of Ancient Egypt"
My first visit to Egypt was part cruise, part hotel. We stayed in Luxor at the Winter Palace hotel. From the window you could see the Temple of Luxor. This is one of the vast temples of Egypt, and well worth the visit. This was an organised trip, so we got to experience a little bit of everything. The Nile cruise was wonderfully relaxing, and the entertainment on board was good. The island of Aswan was one of the more memorable moments – visiting the temple of Isis. Seeing this temple for the first time, on a tiny island, is breathtaking. There are many small places to explore here. We visited the Valley of the Kings. This was one occasion that I entered many of the magnificent tombs. The walk way into the tomb seems to go on forever with some of the tombs, but the art is very interesting. The heat is unrelenting, but worth it! The first trip I took in 1996, and two years later, I returned. This time, I wanted to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx. We found a nice hotel near to the Pyramids – called the Three Pyramids Hotel. It is not expensive and reasonable. The staff were quite helpful. I found on this trip that the pyramid was closed for Ramadan (please check this out before booking your trip!), but I got to see everything from the outside, and of course the Sphinx.
I returned again the following year, for the Millennium concert with Jean Michael Jarre. This concert was spectacular – set amidst the pyramids, you really felt the atmosphere of timelessness that the Ancient Egyptians aspired to so much! Once again, this was not to be the occasion I got to set foot in the pyramids, or to touch the Sphinx. The walkway to the Sphinx is some way from the Sphinx, so without private permission, you will be unable to touch it. In 2001, my luck was to change. I visited, and was able to obtain private access both to the pyramids and to the Sphinx. I marvelled as I walked around the Sphinx. The pyramid access was very different than I could imagine, walking through the Grand Gallery. You spend a lot of time stopping. The pyramids have a lovely feel; once again, that almost takes you back in time. Of course, in the famous kings’ chamber, I had to step into the sarcophagus. A trip to Egypt is not complete without it. I managed to obtain private access to the Osirian shaft – the much talked about secret tunnel between the pyramids and the Sphinx. The tunnel is 90 ft drop (30 ft to each platform). I also visited the Temple of Abydos, dedicated to Osiris – which was taken by police escort and a bit out of the way, but seeing the amazing temple that was so well preserved, and partly under water! The columns are the most amazing colours in the artwork.
Giza Pyramids and The Sphinx
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt