A cultural trip to the capital of Egypt

In regard to the current situation in Egypt I reviewed the photos from my last vacation in Egypt.

Almost exactly one year ago I decided to spend my fall vacations in Egypt. Beside a relaxing beach experience at the Red Sea (diving included) I took the opportunity to visit Cairo and the Pyramids in Giza and Saqqara as the revolution of 2011 has ended in an election earlier that year and the security in regard to tourism was no issue anymore at that time.

But this year (2013) the situation has changed again for the worse. I seriously hope that the turmoil ends soon in the whole region and people can live their normal life again. Additionally I hope that the cultural goods of the middle east will be available for future generations…

I started with the Great Pyramids of Giza. I even spend the extra money in order to enter the King’s Chamber in the Pyramid of Cheops — the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world which still exists. The way to the tomb is hard to describe : a long and narrow way with little illumination with a very low ceiling. The chamber, covered entirely with black granite, was much larger but did not contain more than the tomb and little illumination. Claustrophobic people should not enter the pyramid — but I enjoyed the inside of the almost 4500 year old structure.

Unfortunately photography, even without the use of flashes, was forbidden inside of the pyramid (and the camera had to be stored at its entrance).

After visiting the pyramids I made a stop over at Great Sphinx of Giza on my way to Saqqara. This well known structure was much smaller as I expected — most photos I’ve seen before were probably taken from a location which exaggerates its size.

On route to the Step Pyramid of Saqqara I went to the museum located in the archaeological zone of Memphis. Several statues — including the Colossus of Ramesses II — can be found in this open air museum.

The last sight of my first day was Saqqara. The numerous ruins and tombs on the hill at the edge of the dessert are impressive. Some wall paintings retained their color over the centuries. The entrance to the terrain containing the oldest pyramid of Egypt — the Step Pyramid of Saqqara — is even more impressive. The scale and precision of construction rivals modern techniques.

The Step Pyramid itself is undergoing a reconstruction process since the 90 s of the last century because the pyramid needs to be stabilized.

When the construction is finished (no exact date because of the current situation in Egypt) the structure will be opened to the public like the great Pyramid of Giza — even the interior.

… to be continued.