We arrived at Cairo International at 2am, and were surprised at how busy the road was at that time of the morning. It was quite a scary drive to our accommodation in Giza, and it was our first introduction to ‘Egyptian road rules’, which is, there are no rules.
Our first impressions was lots of dust covered cars and dirty streets, packs of dogs picking through mounds of trash and garbage left on the street corners. We checked into our accommodation called the Sphinx Guest house, which was supposed to be near the pyramids, but at that time of the morning we were not able to see much in the darkness.
In the morning we went onto the rooftop balcony of the guest house building and found we were directly opposite the Great pyramid and Sphinx. We could not believe our eyes, it was so surreal to see the view from the rooftop of these structures that have been standing there for thousands of years. The view was outstanding as there was no buildings obstructing our view at all, and we were about 200m from the Sphinx itself, directly in front of it, and across the road from the entrance gate to the area. This meant that we had the perfect viewpoint to watch the nightly sound and light show that they have on the Sphinx and pyramids, for free. Another thing we noticed from the balcony was the very busy shit-covered streets below us. The horse carts and camel rides start early every day, so by the afternoon when the complex closes, there is loads of piss and shit everywhere in the streets. It made us very sad to see how hard those poor animals have to work everyday in the desert sun.
Being in the desert, we found the days to be hot, with cloudless blue skies, and the nights rather chilly. We spent a day exploring the pyramid complex, and wondering around the surrounding desert area. Some areas were quite windy, and we saw a few dust tornados. The pyramids attract a lot of tourists from all over the world, and somehow we stood out. Maybe it was the time of year, but there was not a lot of western looking white people around. We felt like celebrities, as people kept on wanting to take selfies with us, and at one point we were almost trampled by a group of locals all wanting to take their photo with us.
We went inside the great pyramid, which was hot and crowded inside, but quite an amazing feeling to be inside such a structure. We explored the pyramids with a fellow traveler from Denmark who is a sound healer, and her Om Chanting inside of the pyramids sounded amazing, but angered the caretakers who she had to pay in order to not get arrested. This was when we started to realise that everything in Egypt is about money, tips, back handed payments etc. It was impossible to walk around the complex in peace due to the constant harassment by touts trying to sell camel rides, horse rides, clothing, souvenirs etc. As soon as one left, another arrived, and they all don’t want to take ‘NO’ for an answer.
We explored the ruins inside the complex and went inside 3 pyramids in total. It was an amazing experience but also very tiring.
At our accommodation we befriended a Swedish man who treated us to an evening of drinks at the famous Menna House 5 Star hotel in Cairo. Many famous people and royalty have stayed at the hotel, and we had a tour of the famous Montgommery Suite. We felt ‘fancy’ for the evening while sipping our overpriced drinks in the piano lounge, and giving the pianist song to play.
It was such a great feeling to wake up to the pyramids every morning, and again to watch the sun setting behind them every night. We explored the complex twice and highly recommend visiting.