Hey, here i am, back into the shoes of your favourite Egypt expert! Here is an unusual experience about an usual landmark!
I’ve been in the presence of Giza Pyramids a good 4 times. I was not that impressed when I first saw them. Same thing on the second and third visits. I’m not saying I didn’t like them, it’s just that I was not impressed.
The fourth time was a completely different experience. I was moved to tears, and now I can’t wait to go back. I’ll tell you why.
I was in Cairo for a month to study Arabic last year, and there were 2 other girls who wanted to see the pyramids. I said I could take them there, and we got a black taxi. It took ages to get to the site. But the driver was fun, we even tried to talk some Arabic with him, and against the rules he took us right in front of the site entrance (which is forbidden to taxis).
We didn’t want to pay the entrance ticket and looked for a nice place to have a good view on the pyramids. Unfortunately the site is surrounded by high walls so you can’t see anything when you are that close.
Everybody please take note of this: go to Pizza Hut’s rooftop! We just ordered some sodas and climbed the stairs up to the roof. We were the only ones there. It was just too good to be true!
We sat there, front row, enjoying the views and our sodas. Me and a friend got the photography frenzy and started shooting. It was late afternoon. We didn’t plan to get there by sunset, it just happened.
The sky turned red and an amazing sunset started. but the most unbelievable part still had to come! Suddenly the prayer started… this is another thing we weren’t expecting.
Imagine thousands of muezzin voices starting singing at once. Suddenly the megalopolis seemed silent, every sound was covered by singing voices coming from thousands of minarets. We had the shivers… And this is what we had right in front of us:
I can still recall that feeling. I hope you could savour it, at least a little bit, thanks to my words. But it was too beautiful to be described. I want all of you to go there and experience the same!
Now, that is the best way ever to see the pyramids, imho. No crowds, no hawkers, no stress.
So take note of the following few simple suggestions!
- You don’t need an organized tour to enjoy Giza Pyramids at best. Go on your own! Get a taxi and don’t pay more than 25 EGP if you are on the left side of the Nile. If you come from, say, the airport of course you’ll agree an higher price!
- When planning your visit, remember that transportation could be very slow if you come from the city center. Traffic can be infernal in Cairo. So leave about one hour before the time you want to be at the site.
- Go there in the afternoon. The sun won’t be too hot, and groups usually visit the site in the morning (but there are many people around all the time, that’s just the way it is). This will allow you to be present at the sunset.
- Say NO to all the street hawkers, camel drivers and just everyone that will try to stop you offering private tours (=private scams). Just keep walking and answer “la, shukran” (“no, thanks”).
- Go to Pizza Hut (or any other restaurant/fast food right in front of the entrance, if they have a rooftop). Just order some food or drinks if you want, then climb the stairs in a relaxed way (don’t ask if it’s possible or if you need to pay for that, or of course they’ll seize the opportunity to ask you for some money!).
- You can buy a ticket and enter the site, if you want to see the Pyramids closely. But a panoramic view from above is also something I recommend! So just go there a couple of hours before to do both things.
- Check the prayer times in advance (it changes every day and every year) if you too wish to experience what I did… believe me, it’s just a beautiful feeling, I just can’t describe it.
- After that, write me and tell me how you did you like it!