Off to the Pyramids
Giza and Sakara ...and back Home
Out on an adventure to the Pyramids. We got together with some friends and finally took a guided tour of the Pyramids.
We arrived early in the morning and beat all the big tour buses to the front of the line. The local police were happy to greet the kids and introduce them to the 4-legged member of their patrol. As this camel was sitting down, and seemed very tame and sweet-natured, the kids were happy to pet it and have their pictures taken. After saying good-bye, it was time to head off on an adventure. First stop was a burial chamber (directly in the kids' line of march). No photos allowed inside. It was filled with beautiful carvings throughout. Much of it was empty rooms, but the walls will filled with interesting panoramas. Our tour guide was very capable and told us about the pictures and cravings. She got the children involved in the story-telling as well.
Next stop was the Titi Pyramid. Very old, very eroded. You can tell that the children are a bit confused by this non-Pyramid-shaped Pyramid. Especially as we were to climb down (approx. 2 stories) into the ground to see it! The shaft was a perfect size for children to climb down. More tough on the adults. There were 3 chambers below. A central chamber, and one to each side. The chambers, and the low tunnels to get to them, were small. There was a large, outer sargaphagus chamber in the right-hand chamber and carvings on all the walls. The most fascinating - to me - was the ceilings were covered in dozens of little carved stars. Throughout the day we noticed guards on horseback and astride (aboard?!) camels, as well as security men in suits, posted throughout the touristy areas.
The Sakkara Pyramid was not an open pyramid. No place to go in. But it was interesting to walk around and see the excavations still being done in the area. Our tour guide said the large courtyard was a place used by ancient kings to hold contests to prove their ability to be king. They'd fight a bull every so often - beat the bull and they were good to be king awhile longer, if not, I guess the runner-up got the crown.
After Sakkara we went downtown Cairo to the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Ok, we know the Pyramids are huge, but it really takes being right up next to them to see they are really HUGE.
Next stop was the Solar Boat. This is an amazing piece of craftsmanship and definitely worth seeing. It was buried in pieces in a hole behind the great Pyramid, in the back near the Queens' pyramids. It was discovered, I believe, in the '50's and eventually re-constructed to be displayed here where it was found. The museum building is built right over the hole where the boat was discovered. The building looks rather small in this picture, but it is at least 4 stories tall. There is a ground floor with the museum, pictures, a model of the boat, and some miscellaneous artifacts - like some of the ancient rope used to tie the boat pieces together. The 2nd floor consists of walkways around the bottom of the boat, the 3rd floor is a walkway around the deck level of the boat, and the 4th floor/levels take you up above.
The boat pieces seem to be designed to be sewn together with the papyrus rope. Our tourguide said it was not known if the boat was ever meant to be able to go in water - and stay afloat! - hence, it is a solar boat. For the soul's travels in the afterlife.
Honor and I did not feel like climbing into the opening in the Great Pyramid, so we wandered around the edges a little while the others made the climb. The two photos above were per request. Honor said she wanted me to take her picture and she pulled me over to where she wanted me to stand - this way, a little more, a little more, etc. - Then she had to pose just so. It was so bright out the day we were out, I could barely see what I was aiming the camera at. I just pointed it in what I hoped was the right direction , and although it was difficult to see through the view-finder, and especially the digital screen, I got lucky a lot of this trip. It wasn't until I downloaded these photos later on that I saw how Honor had managed to line herself up with shapes in the rocks behind her - what a little artist!