Visiting the pyramids of Egypt has always been a dream of mine ever since I was very young. Growing up, learning about these wonders that have somehow stood the test of time surviving thousands of years from ancient times all the way to present day. They are as much a mystery as they are a marvel. On October 11th and 12th 2014 I finally got the opportunity to fulfill this dream!
I was studying in Finland at the time and figured I was closer to Egypt already then I might ever be again for a long time so I found a relatively cheap flight to Cairo and was off. It took a full day with stopovers in Munich, Germany and Athens, Greece before finally making it to Cairo at around 7 PM on October 9th but I was finally there! I had booked a four-day, three-night tour to Luxor, Egypt and through Cairo with Emo Tours Egypt. Normally I am not big on guided tours but being that Egypt (was) considered dangerous at that time and tourists were being advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt I decided to play it safe and go with a tour. When I landed in Cairo I went to the visa desk where the employees behind the desk seemed to charge an arbitrary amount for the visa. I paid my $20 for the visa (even though the website says $15) and headed through immigration and out to the terminal. There, a representative from Emo Tours was waiting for me with a sign that had my name printed on it.
The four day tour included a day trip to Luxor, Egypt as well (but that will be a story for another day) and a full day visiting Cairo. The other two “days” of the package are more like pseudo-days considering the first day is just transport to the hotel and overnight in the hotel and the fourth day is just transfer to the airport to leave. Regardless, here is what my tour included:
|As Per Requested time Arrival to Cairo airport (7PM), our representative will meet you in the airport then you will be transferred by a private A/C car to your hotel. Overnight in Cairo.
Breakfast. then around 4:00 am Transfer to the domestic airport to take your flight to Luxor. Arrival Luxor by 6:00 am Our representative will meet you then start your Full Day Tour to West Bank visiting Valley of Kings-Deir El Bahari Temple-Colossi of Memnon and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.Excursion to the Necropolis of Thebes, on the Eastern bank. Crossing the Nile, drive to the Valley of Kings; visit the tombs of various Dynasties, The Temple of Deir El Bahari. On the return journey stop atthe Colossi of Memnon which are two gigantic sitting statues representing Amenophis III facing the Nile. Visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.
Then visiting East Bank visiting Karnak and Luxor Temple Excursion to the Luxor Temple to see its courtyard and the granite statues of Ramses the Great Proceed bycarriage or bus to Karnak, which is a serious of temples, built indifferent reigns. Starting by the Avenue of Sphinxes visit the Unfinished Propylon, the Hypo style Hall with it’s 134 gigantic columns, the Obelisks of Queen Hatshepsut and Tutomosis III, the temple of Amon adorned with lotus and papyrus designs, the Granite Scarbeus of Amenophis III and the Sacred Lake. Around 20:30 pm Transfer to the domestic airport to take your flight Back to Cairo. Arrival, meet & assist by our local representative then transfer to your hotel Overnight in Cairo
Meals: Breakfast at the Hotel
| Breakfast. Then around 8:00 am pickup from your hotel by private A/C Vehicle to Start your full day visiting the Egyptian Museum of antiquities. On display is a rare collection of 5000 years of art the largest most precious collection of Egyptian art in the world. Over 250,000 genuine artifacts are presented, including an exhibit dedicated to the Tutankhamen collection of treasures, gold, and jewelry, as it was enclosed in his tomb for over 3,500 years before it was discovered in the 1920s when his tomb was excavated. Visit the Great Pyramids – Cheops, Chephren & Mykerions. Cheops is the most colossal ever built. Next is a close-up look at Sphinx – a huge funeral complex guarded by the legendary lion body with the face of king Chephren. Then visit to The Citadel (it comprises a number of important monuments which are; The Mosque of Suleiman Pasha,The Alabaster Mosque, Joeh’s Walls, Mohamed Ali Pasha Palace) Then visit Khan El Khalili Bazaars.Shops in this district are legendary for fine brass ware, copper, perfumes, leather, silver, gold, antiques etc.At the end of the day around 17:00 pm we will transfer you back to your hotel.
(Optional not included) 50 $ P.P Dinner Cruise including transportation, dinner, Belly Dancer, Tanura Show.Overnight in Cairo From 8 to 10 PmMeals: Breakfast at the Hotel & Complimentary Lunch at Restaurant with Pyramids View
|Breakfast at the hotel. Then check out at 12:00 afternoon and as Per Requested Time Our representative will transfer you to the airport and assist you at the airport through final departure formalities
Meals: Breakfast at the Hotel
- 3 nights hotel accommodation in Cairo on bed and breakfast basis.
- All transfers in Cairo & Luxor.
- 1 Full day tour in Cairo visiting the Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Citadel and Khan El Khalili.
- 1 Full day tour in Luxor visiting East & West Bank
- Multilingual expert Egyptologist guide.
- All your tours and excursions are with A/C bus.
- Free Camel Ride at Giza Pyramids
- Snacks Bag during each day Tour includes (Pepsi,Chips,Water,Cake)
- The service of meet and assist at all your destinations.
- All your visits include entrance fees.
- Our prices include all taxes and services.
- Domestic flight Cairo to Luxor and back to Cairo
- Visa Entry for Egypt.
- Personal items.
- Any other items not mentioned.
- Any optional tours
|Price per person in Double room
|3 Star Hotel||4 Star Hotel||5 Star Hotel|
|U.S.D ($)|| 500
|Single Supplement for solo Traveler
Hotels of this package in Cairo will be as the follow:
5 Stars Hotel = Le Meridien Pyramids Hotelhttp://www.lemeridien-pyramids.com/?PS=LGEN_AA_DEMA_CGGL_TPRP
4 Stars Hotel = Barcelo Pyramids Hotelhttp://www.barcelo.com/BarceloHotels/en_GB/home-barcelo-hoteles.aspx
3 Stars Hotel = Husa Pyramids Hotelhttp://www.gawharetalahramhotel.com/en/
I went with the cheapest hotel option, 3 stars, which was quite a nice hotel and I had no complaints about it. I was on this tour with a friend so I didn’t have to pay the solo supplement either. All in all, $500 USD for this whole package was a pretty good deal IMO considering it includes three nights accommodation at the hotel as well as the return flight from Cairo to Luxor.
The focus of this post will be on the visit to the pyramids. I will write about Luxor and other aspects of my visit to Egypt in future posts. We woke up early for our day of visiting Cairo, had breakfast at the hotel and were off to the pyramids by 8AM.
Driving down the road and suddenly seeing the pyramids open up towering over you was something else. It felt so unreal to finally be here and experience these wonders of the ancient world first hand. I love visiting places like this because, when you think about it, ancient civilizations, thousands of years ago once walked on these very grounds and assembled these very structures. It makes you feel a closeness and a connection to this ancient world that you just can’t get anywhere else.
We started at the Pyramid of Cheops (also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza). It is the largest pyramid on the Giza Necropolis and the last surviving member of the seven wonders of the ancient world. All three pyramids on the necropolis are larger than I ever expected. They are absolutely massive! It makes you wonder just how they ever managed to build these thousands of years ago without the technology that we have today. It certainly says something about the human spirit and ingenuity.
To my amazement you are able to go inside the pyramids (for a fee of course). I went inside both the largest (Cheops) and the second largest (Khafre) pyramids. Both pyramids were pretty similar inside comprised of a long narrow tunnel which opens up to the tomb at the end. They were lit well enough inside so getting through was not hard in that regard. However, climbing through parts of the tiny tunnel were difficult but still manageable.
If you enter the Giza pyramid they have security at the entrance and you must leave your phone/camera outside with the guards as photos inside were not allowed. I stuck my phone in my back pocket so they did not see it and went inside. I wanted pics inside! I managed to get a few in the tunnels but there were security cameras throughout and inside the tomb as well and being in Egypt, this was one place I didn’t really want to upset people by breaking the rules.
After Giza, I headed over to Khafre and went inside there as well. There were no security guards this time nor any cameras in the tunnels or the tomb in this pyramid. Inside the tomb, the stone coffin still remained (empty of course) so I climbed inside and just had to get a pic here too! It’s all in good fun!
Like I said before, it was so surreal to be here and now be inside the pyramids. The final resting place of some of the greatest rulers of ancient times bringing an eerie feeling of closeness to these people that walked the earth and ruled thousands of years ago.
After visiting the inside of the pyramids we went out to an area nearby in the desert for a camel ride (included with our tour). It was my first time riding a camel and was quite fun! The views, too, were incredible. My camel’s name was Michael Jackson. He was a little grumpy that day but we still got some good pictures together 🙂
Despite the warnings to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt I felt safe the entire time and never had any problems. They are struggling because the tourism industry has fallen so far due to these warnings and I really hope for their economic state, this soon changes. Please don’t take Egypt off your list of places to visit simply because of these warnings. Use common sense if you go, get a tour guide if you have to but still go if you want to visit these amazing ancient wonders too! It is a great time to go to Egypt because the crowds of tourists are so much smaller now then they would normally be and in a city of 25 million, any crowd relief is a HUGE relief in itself.