Friday, April 9, 2010

Pyramids of Giza

Standing with the Pyramids of Giza in front of me, I close my eyes, and for a moment, I was transported back 4000 years, when these great monuments of Egypt's astonishing past were being built. Slowly, the din of the city is starting to fade away. The hordes of tourist in front of me become workers, and their tour buses become the huge rocks that would form the foundation of the great Pharaoh's lavish palace for his afterlife! The constant honking become the crackle of whips, and that annoying tout on camel back, asking me if I want to go on a camel ride, is a royal Pharaoh Guard on a chariot. Alright, I'll be the first to admit I have a vivid imagination, but this is my way of dealing with the touts, and the swarms of tour-bus tourists that descend on the Giza plateau everyday!

Fortunately, because I arrived early, on a personal car arranged by the hostel I was staying at, I was able to beat the crowds and stay about 20 minutes ahead of a pack of tourists that arrived on tour buses soon after me. Because of that, I was able to snap some amazing pictures of the Pyramids. For a few minutes at each vista, I felt like I was the only person there. When it got too hectic, I found solitude by hiking south-west towards the Pyramid of Menkaure. That far out, the crowds drastically thinned out, and it offered a unique photo opportunity with all three of the great Pyramids of Giza in a row. In the late morning, I set out to explore the Tomb of Khentkawes. Again, the tourists somehow never made it out here, and I had my “Indiana Jones” moment discovering hidden passages, intact sculptures, and carvings of a bygone era.


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