The Pyramids of Giza

Our first full day in Egypt was spent touring the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Solar Boat Museum. Our tour guide Mohammed picked us up at our hotel at 9 am, and once in the van began giving us background information on our day's events. He went into great detail about Egypt, and more specifically Cairo and the 24 million inhabitants living in the small city. He told us all about the Pyramids of Giza, and how it took close to 20 years to complete each pyramid due to 1.5 ton stones being quarried and transported distances of up to 500 miles. He also told us that each large pyramid housed only 1 king after he died.

There are 3 pyramids in Giza. The Great Pyramid, which at its highest peak is 138 meters, was built for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. Next to it lies a slightly smaller Pyramid of Khafre, Khufu's successor, who is also commonly considered the builder of the Great Sphinx. A few hundred metres further south-west is the Pyramid of Menkaure, Khafre's successor, which is about half as tall. The entire Giza Plateau is believed to have been constructed over the reign of five pharaohs in less than a hundred years.

As the Pyramids have been around for over 4000 years, the city of Cairo is clearly built around them. It was rather odd to be driving through a relatively residential part of town only to turn left and have them staring right at you. The Pyramids are the best known man made structure in the world and truly are a modern marvel. It's amazing to look at them and see the amount of work it took to build them without the use of our every day machinery.

Matt and his dad went down into one of the smaller surrounding pyramids, built for one of the queens. While they weren't supposed to take any photos, the guide took one of the two of them at the bottom.

Panoramic View of the Pyramids

Perlmans at the Pyramids

Matt and Neil down in the bottom of the Pyramid

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