the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

A visit to the Pyramids of Giza

on December 4, 2012


This is a classic image that comes to mind when mention is made of the Pyramids at Giza. In the foreground is the Sphinx which was carved from an outcrop of rock left behind when the stones for the Great Pyramid were quarried. Used for target practice by Napoleonic troops the human head remains without a nose and beard deliberately although the paws and haunches of the beast were renovated during the 1980s and 1990s. Behind is the Pyramid of Chephren, with steeper sides than the Great Pyramid and its summit intact. Chephren was the son of Cheops who reigned between 2589 and 2566 BC and for whom the Great Pyramid was built.

Gail on Great Pyramid

Here I am standing on the blocks of the north face of the Great Pyramid.  It was early in the morning and there were not too many people about so we were able to linger without being hassled by the tourist police or hawkers. I hope from this image you get a sense of the huge scale of the pyramid, the task of construction and the sheer antiquity of it.  We visited other, lesser known pyramids, including Mycerinus which is  sheathed in Aswan granite and is sometimes known as the Red Pyramid.  Closeby there are three subsidiary pyramids which you’ll see below:

Egypt 012 (2)

When I heard the horse-riders calling in Arabic and racing across the desert sand, I thought it was probably a good time to leave. I didn’t fancy trying to fight my way through the crowds, the camels and the horses.

Horse riders

Dave and I had a splendid time in Cairo and came home to find the house still standing, although my home-alone sixteen year old son had loaded the washing machine with vomit streaked sheets!

10 responses to “A visit to the Pyramids of Giza

  1. Fantastic. Now these I have to see. I could just swim there from. Kardamili well if I could swim! It is a delightful post and such lovely pics and importantly too, good weather.

  2. susancarey says:

    Glad you had a good time, Gail It does look quiet around the pyramids. I visited Egypt in the 80s and was captivated by all the temples and the lushness of the Nile. I’m hoping to return in 2013, possibly to Luxor and Aswan.
    Clever of you to miss all the floods!

  3. Patsy says:

    We visited Egypt in April. Wish we’d managed to get to the pyramids early as we were hassled constantly. It was worth it to see them though.

    • gailaldwin says:

      My husband hates hassle so he’s a bit of a liability in Egypt. The other thing I noticed was that Egyptians have a completely different understanding of personal space. I found it quite uncomfortable when some friendly young school girls wanted to practise their English but got far too close.

  4. Fiona Murphy says:

    Great post Gail. I have been to Egypt 3 times and never been to see the Pyramids. Sadly my mobility reasons stop me from going. One day I will take a VIP trip with a guide. I love it there and my husband loves the diving. Fascinating place full of intrigue and mystery. Glad your son has found the washing machine. Fi x

  5. Pauline Howard says:

    So what/who are these tourist police? Are they police that stop tourists entering the sites? Otherwise, I wish I’d been there, still maybe someday …

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