The journey back

Trip Start Sep 07, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yesterday I saw la piece de resistance: the pyramids! They are incredible. Even from a fairly close distance the blocks don't look near as big as they are, but when you get right up beside them, you can see how heavy they would be. And the fact that there are over 3 million of them, and they were brought by boat up the Nile to Cairo! Unbelievable.

When I was young I assumed they were solid, just a pile of rocks. So it was neat to see a model of the interiors, and how the funerary chambers are laid out. No, I did not go inside. I wasn't really that keen on a small tunnel trip down in to the depths! There are 3 main pyramids, (later I'll fill in their names) and 6 small ones. There is a lookout point where you can see them all at once. It was weird driving to them in the city, since I started planning this trip and doing a bit of research I relaized that they are right in the city, before I had imagined them out in the middle of the desert on their own. They are bordered by sand and desert on one side though, and I took a camel ride out there and at some points you can hardly see any buildings around and it feels more remote than it is.

You are not allowed to climb them anymore (though people do I'm sure) but you can go up about 15-20ft to the entrance to go inside. Standing near the bottom looking up, the scope of how enormous they are really sets in. It would be a really contemplative place if you weren't constantly being harrassed by postcard sellers and camel men. It was great just to wander around and reflect on the vastness of the project, and how advanced the Egyptians were so many thousands of years ago! A short history here if you are interested:

Later that night I took a night bus back to Dahab. It is supposed to be a 8-9 hour trip. Unfortunately, Egypt is not equipped to deal with rain, and the water had washed the road out! So we sat by the side of the road for almost 8 hours waiting for it to dry up. In theory there were workers trying to make repairs as well, but we never saw anyone. Made for a very long night and next day, but we arrived safely aside from that. The worst part was I lost a whole day, since we didn't arrive till 4pm. But, things could be worse!
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