Oogah boogah, back in Cairo in time for post Halloween celebrations at the Stilletto Club opposite the Sheraton! There were candles in Jack o Lanterns everywhere, ghosts and ghouls made from white sheets, and people in fancy dress. These Egyptians sure know how to party!
We saved what we considered to be the best for last – the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Again, we were not disappointed. I expected to find the pyramids out in the vast desert and not smack in the middle of a concrete jungle, but they rise amongst a cascade of houses. The pyramids themselves are on a plateau away from the homes though, and do earn their name as one of the wonders of the ancient world.
The three pyramids are the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. The sheer size of these structures, for lack of a better word is colossal. Each stone is bigger than the average human being, leading one to wonder just how the feat of building these structures was achieved. It is phenomenal, to say the least.
The best view of all the pyramids is from an incredibly windy plateau further up in the complex, but the sheer size can only be appreciated up close…
We went into the pyramid of Khafre, being the easier pyramid to venture in to. There are narrow stairs leading to the bottom of an empty and tiny chamber at the bottom of the pyramid. I am incredibly claustrophobic and couldn’t get in and out of the pyramid fast enough!
The Great Sphinx, the mysterious half lion and half human structure crowns the complex of Khafre, and has become one of the symbols synonymous with Egypt. The story is the mythical creature came to Khafre in a dream, leading Khafre to honour it by having this statue made. Whatever the theory, it certainly is a marvel.
After spending the better part of the day soaking in the atmosphere in Giza, we drove to the first capital of Egypt Memphis where the first sphinx was found, and of course, another gigantic statue of Ramses II lying down in a hall. A few kilometres from Memphis is the step pyramid at Sakarra, one of the first pyramids in Egypt, built before the great Pyramids of Giza.
And no journey would be complete without a shopping spree (or an accident in a taxi…Egyptian drivers are even crazier than Kenyans! Our taxi bumped into another one while ferrying us around but they seem to be so used to this, they grunt, nod and move on with life!). Cairo has the famous “Khan el Khalili” market, great for buying Egyptian memorabilia, shisha, spices as well as the City Stars Mall, with some flagship stores and restaurants (including Chilis, imagine my glee at being able to indulge in my favourite molten chocolate cake on the African continent?) and some great stores to buy Egyptian cotton sheets at very good prices, retail therapy, a great way to end a memorable honeymoon!