The Pyramids of Giza
For many of us in the group the Pyramids have been on our Bucket List for a long time. We can’t wait to get there. But first, a quick visit to the Coptic Church of the Virgin Mary (the hanging church) dating back to the 12th century and reputedly built on the ruins of two towers from the fortress of Babylon. Then the short trip to Giza. On the outskirts of Cairo, this complex consists of nine pyramids and the Great Sphinx. The three main pyramids are the Great Pyramid (the Pyramid of Khufu also called Cheops) and the nearby pyramids of his son and grandson Khafre and Menkaure. The Pyramid of Cheops is the oldest and largest and is the only Wonder of the Ancient World to remain largely intact.
For 3,800 years it was the tallest building in the world only surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in 1311 AD. The pyramids were burial grounds for the pharaohs (kings). It is possible to go inside some of them and so some of us ventured into the Pyramid of Cheops. It is not for the faint-hearted or those with bad knees. The entrance is steep and narrow and it is quite claustrophobic but it was worth it. It was an eerie experience to stand in the King’s Chamber with his empty sarcophagus knowing that this was built with mathematical precision nearly 5,000 years ago.
Our next stop was at the Great Sphinx, one of the most recognised statues in the world. Smiling enigmatically, she stands guard over the Pyramid of Khafre. Another one ticked off the bucket list. Of course, the visit to Giza couldn’t end without the almost mandatory camel experience, enjoyed by some more than others.
Our memorable day ended with a Nile Dinner Cruise. We embarked on our ship, the Nile Maxim and enjoyed a three-course dinner with live entertainment as we meandered along the Nile river. I can only tell you that the Irish contributed to the entertainment but what goes on tour, stays on tour.