Our First Impressions of Giza & Visiting the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt
We saw the pyramids in the distance as we pulled up to our hotel, but the anticipation was growing as we dropped off our bags in the hotel lobby and walked upstairs to the rooftop where we were greeted with tea and the incredible sight of the pyramids.
These are the pyramids that we learned about in the history books, one of the wonders of the ancient world, right in front of our eyes. And to think this was a last-minute trip.
In case you are new here, we are Will and Katy. We are a travel couple that is traveling around the world. The last time we left you, we had just shared our horrific experience getting out of Tanzania in order to fly to Cairo.
As we were wrapping up our time in Tanzania we were planning on going to start our adventures in Central America, but it dawned on me, we don’t have our drone on us, why don’t we go ahead and squeeze in a trip to Cairo (they don’t allow drones to even enter the country there). Another reason we were holding off on visiting Egypt was due to the misconception that Cairo was too dangerous to visit without a tour guide. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘰𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘺𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯.
The biggest thing would be dealing with touts trying to sell you their tours, rides, and souvenirs, which is not a safety issue, just a nuisance, but we had already been dealing with that in Tanzania & Kenya… So here we are in Egypt.
Hotel in Giza
We planned on splitting our stay between Giza and Cairo. The first 4 days we stayed in Giza, within walking distance of the pyramids. Our hotel, Comfort Pyramids Inn, had an amazing backdrop of the Pyramids that we enjoyed from the rooftop of the hotel. The decorations in the rooms were spot on, and the best part was— this hotel only cost us $31 a night!
Because this was a last-minute decision to go to Cairo, we didn’t do nearly as much research as we have for other countries, as a result, I was surprised by a few things:
What is unfortunate is all the trash everywhere. We had seen and experienced this in Kenya and Tanzania, but I didn’t expect it in Cairo. I guess I was thinking because it’s a more touristy destination, it should be kept up a little more. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The old run-down buildings throughout the city made sense since this is a very old city. But it was sad to see barely any trash cans around resulting in litter everywhere. (Now this is specific to Giza when we stayed in downtown Cairo the trash wasn’t nearly as bad)
The most interesting thing was seeing horses on the major roads/highways alongside the cars. We knew that locals offered camel and horse rides near the pyramids, but I didn’t expect horses galloping on the major roads and used for actual transportation by the locals.
Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
The day we visited the Pyramids & Sphinx, we wanted to get there as early as possible, to beat any crowds (like we did when we visited The Acropolis in Athens). We got there so early we beat the vendors and touts! We were able to walk in and enjoy the Sphinx platform without anyone around! Wow, what an incredible experience.
Once we left that area and started walking towards the pyramids more tourists began arriving, along with the vendors and touts trying to sell us camel rides. We made our way to enter the second biggest Pyramid (Khafre), and as tight of a space as it was to get down into it, we entered it! We weren’t allowed to film or take photos down there, but there wasn’t much left. It was an empty area where you can see where they would put the sarcophagus (stone coffin). There was nothing on the walls, its been removed and I believe it has been put in museums. Still an incredible experience into ancient times.
After coming up out of the pyramid we were so thankful to be out in the open cool air! Yes, it was cold, something we were not expecting when we arrived in Cairo. We continued our walk around the Giza pyramids, we went to the viewing point, where we could see all 3 pyramids lined up, and left the best for last, The Great Pyramid!
By this point it was almost noon and this area was filled with many tourists and touts, and we didn’t realize this but on this side of the grounds is the main entrance, I guess we had come in through the entrance near the Pizza Hut.
Another thing to make note of is that we were able to bring in some snacks (we had granola bars packed), and we had walked up with tea in our hands, they allowed us to enter with that as well. We were not sure what the protocol on food and drinks was, we were pleasantly surprised it wasn’t taken from us. It could be because we entered from this side, not sure.
As we wrapped up our time admiring these 4,500-year-old pieces of art we made our way back to the entrance we came through in hopes that the empty market we walked through earlier in the day was now filled with vendors!
We enjoy walking through markets and it was a surreal moment when we realized we were walking through a market right in the shadows of these great pyramids.
This is just the beginning of our time in Cairo, we plan to see a lot more!
Until next time…
What could possibly be next?