An early morning and we were off to see the sights. First was the best- the pyramids. Here I had one of those “I really can’t believe I’m here” moments. It was breath taking, brilliant, wonderful… I could go on forever. Because we got there early I luckily managed to get one of the daily limited tickets to go inside the great pyramid. Standing outside and looking up at it was just brilliant. It is bigger than big. Inside is like being inside a crazy sauna. I have never felt such dry, oppressive, lung bursting heat. Almost half of the way inside to the centre you have to practically bend in half because the walkways are so low. In one particular part there is a really long, steep ramp that was just…I don’t know how to describe it…there was this high ceiling, and this ladder thing to go up so there wasn’t a sheer slope…everything was so geometric and precise. It was really hard to believe that I was inside the great pyramid, an absolutely amazing structure, thousands of years old and inside all of the surfaces were so smooth and precise it felt like it could have been built 5 minutes ago. In the central chamber all that remained was an empty stone sarcophagus. Apparently this chamber, directly in the centre or the pyramid, is apparently the only place on earth where acceleration due to gravity is less than 9.8 metres per second. To a big nerd like me this is absolutely unfathomable.
At the time we reached the central chamber there wasn’t many people there. I did find 2 things quite funny though. The first was the Japanese film crew that were there. The “host” was jumping in and out of the sarcophagus having an absolutely brilliant time. The second was a group of people who came in just as we were leaving. In the centre was this casual but expensively dressed guy who looked like he owned the world. Around him were what looked like about 4 body guards- all in the traditional men in black type attire. As I have already said, it was absolutely sweltering, and the poor buggers in their full suits and jackets and ties looked like one big layer of sweat. I felt sorry for them they looked absolutely exhausted- think they must have been carrying some very heavy weapons underneath those very thick heavy jackets! I still wonder who that guy was with all the protection he had.
After this we made a trip down to see the sphinx. It was pretty good but there was so much stuff around it I think that this kind of detracted from it. This and the gazillion people in the way! I’m not bitching and moaning, it was fantastic, I liked its paws the best, but it was in this little sunken part in front of the pyramids and it would have been nice to see it better.
After this I had the world’s cheapest lunch (one Egyptian pound for a falafel roll) and we went to the Egyptian museum in Cairo. It was pretty damn good. Obviously the best part was seeing king Tut’s mask and grave goods. I still can’t believe how beautiful and in tact everything was. The mask was beautiful, I had seen it in so many pictures and books it was kind of hard to fathom that I was seeing the real thing. I loved the coffin (sarcophagus?) too. The only big shame was, apart from a few main areas the whole museum seemed a little dilapidated and drab. It was like they knew that they had some of the greatest treasures on the planet- why bother setting them out nicely and informatively- I mean they speak for themselves don’t they? Well sort of, but they could have said so much more.
We had a lazy night of doing not much apart from a little bit of grocery shopping for our impending overnight journey. But that is another story….