Being an 80’s child, I grew up with the idea that on the top of each traveller’s to-do-list there has to be the Egyptian Pyramids. Then I became an adult and well it didn’t felt like such a priority. To be honest, when we decided to go to Egypt it was really to see the desert, but since most Egyptians trip begins in Cairo I guess it would have been a shame not to do it.
The Pyramids are not exactly in Cairo, but in Gizeh, yet you can’t really tell the difference since it’s one big megalopolis. That means you get to drive through the city -an experience in itself- while sometimes getting a glimpse of a misty pyramid in the distance. Our travel agency had arranged for us to go see the Pyramids by horse, seems like the most touristy thing right? I wasn’t worried though, the agency had written “independent travel” all over it so there was no way they could have planned something cheesy.
We actually arrived from the “back” of the site -the vast patch of desert where the Pyramids are is surrounded by a brick wall- which means that at first you can’t see the Pyramids at all. We were put on a horse and literally entered by…the back door. I guess I have to mention that there was pretty much nobody except us, it was November 2012 and the number of tourists had already dramatically decreased.
So here we are on our horses, and pretty soon it feels like we’re riding in the desert, except we can sometimes see the city lost in the mist in the distance, and then after a while the silhouettes of the Pyramids start to appear below us. That’s a very powerful sight, those three perfectly aligned triangles, I had no idea it would be so striking. I had read that people were often disappointed to discover that the Pyramids where “in” the city. I found it fascinating, this huge metropolis on the right and the desert on the left, you realize the whole city is fighting against the sand while those ageless monuments stand still.___________ Strangely, I thought the pyramids were much more impressive seen from a distance. You can enter inside one of them, but it’s far from necessary. I have no idea how busy the site was before there were troubles in Egypt, but on that day there were barely a few buses at the entrance. It felt like quite a privilege to be able to see those world famous monuments almost alone.