Giza Pyramid Complex
Day 2: The day begins with a yummy egyptian breakfast "KHUSHARI", Now we are all set to see the PYRAMIDS of GIZA, The royal pyramid complexes, which include temples, causeways, and satellite pyramids, are surrounded by tombs of the elite-members of the royal family, the nobility, and the priesthood. At the foot of the plateau, south of the Great Sphinx, lie the Cemetery and Town of the Pyramid Builders, where the men and women who constructed the royal and elite tombs on the main plateau lived, worked, and were buried.We later went to "AMON PAPYRUS MUSEUM " where the showed us how papyrus paper is made, we did some souvenir shopping of papyrus paintings then we headed for our lunch,
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo contains the world's most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities; no visit to Egypt is complete without a trip through its galleries. The remains of many famous Pharaohs are stored in the Egyptian Museum. One of these is Pharaoh Ramses III, who was an extremely skilled warrior.
Khan El Khalili-Bazaar
Khan el-Khalili, once known as the Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman period, is now usually just called the 'Khan', and the names of it and the Muski market are often used interchangeably to mean either. Named for the great Caravansary, the market was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili in the heart of the Fatimid City. Together with the al-Muski market to the west, they comprise one of Cairo's most important shopping areas. But more than that, they represent the market tradition which established Cairo as a major center of trade, and at the Khan, one will still find foreign merchants.
The Great Pyramid at Giza
Today's stop was the GREAT PYRAMIDS! While the bus started back on the highway, I could see off in the distance the Great Pyramids, and never thought that our hotel was so close, and during the night we couldn't see them. It was a gorgeous day, a hot one, but the humidity wasn't bad at all, We got our tickets to enter the area for the pyramids, and away we went. They're huge! I can't believe that humans were able to create something that amazing so many years ago when they didn't have all the technology we have these days. I still believe it's Aliens!! With our ticket was included the access to go inside the largest pyramid, and you had to climb a path up along the wall, and there was a hallway you can enter. Photography is prohibited, which is too bad, I would have loved to take pictures of the tiny hall way and low arches we had to climb under. There was very little lighting, and after you had to crawl under these huge arches of stone, and climb up a very steep and high flight of stairs that could only fit one person at a time.Once we were up the stairs we were in a dark, black room. It had high ceilings, and it was cool inside. Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could see a black box in the back, side of the room. It was the place where the Tomb of Pharoah Khufu would have been placed.
The Hanging Church
The Hanging Church is also referred to as the Suspended Church or Al-Moallaqa. It is called the Hanging Church because it was built on the southern gate of the Roman Fortress. Logs of palm trees and layers of stones were constructed above the ruins of the Roman fortress to be used as a fundament.
The Sphinx was our next stop. I have never would have imagined it with large fences around it, I've always just seen the Sphinx on TV or in photos as it was, nothing surrounding it, but this huge creature statuette, and that was it, but you enter through a door area, and walk around tall pillars of stone in the area where the Sphinx was. What a sight it was. Something I never thought I would see! My mind was just being overwhelmed with astonishing sights all day long.
DAY 3 // Cairo / Tahrir SquareAnyone who’s glimpsed at the news would know about the ongoing protests and recurring violence that happened in Tahrir Square(Martyr Square) last year. As strange as it may sound, this partly intrigued me to visit Cairo and stay just a few blocks from there. I was lucky enough to have a Cairo native friend, Ehad, who has had a tent setup for the past 2 years as part of the protest camp. We went there during the afternoon and while it was busy, it was also peaceful and we enjoyed a cup of tea as I met with all his friends and fellow protesters. I never felt at unease or threatened as every single person I met inside the camp were down to earth and genuinely friendly. As time went by, I was told that I should leave as there were rumours going on that the police were prepping tear gas and things could get violent. I humbly accepted the advice and walked back to my hotel. Sure enough, later that night the protesters were tear gassed.
Cairo International Airport
One could choose to take an Airport- day trip to Cairo during this layover but we chose not & stayed back at the airport as Cairo is a place with immense culture and a 10hours quick overview will not do justice to the city.We landed in Athens at 6:30pm (local time), since we were on a budget trip therefore we had already planned to commute throughout Athens via their Metro service, which is quiet effective and well connected. We choose to take a tourist pass of 21euro which one can avail for 3 days.
With a rotating restaurant on top, the Cairo tower offers the most magnificent view of the city. Try grabbing an early morning breakfast or a late afternoon lunch there while watching a bird's eye view of the beautiful city. A symbol of modern architecture in Cairo, this monument is refreshing after vising the structures of ancient Egypt.
Pyramid of Khufu
Go inside a deep dark tunnel to visit a burial chamberDespite show of greatness outside, the burial chambers deep inside the pyramids of the earlier pharaohs were devoid of any pomp and ceremony. Absolutely plain walls surround the burial chambers at the three pyramids. There is a reason because later rulers had a lot of show in their burial chambers to go to the afterlife. Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure believed they were gods so to go into the afterlife was a matter of fact. The later pharaohs thought themselves to be demigods and believed would need some sort of passage to enter the afterlife. The tunnel is long and narrow in places. It's not pitch dark now but just imagine how the archeologists would have felt who went down the tunnel for the first time! The chamber is big and a guard sits there, telling you photography is prohibited. So, take a mental picture.
Marvel at Egypt's first pyramidAbout 4600 years ago, the first pyramid was built for Djoser in Saqqara. Unlike its later counterparts, Djoser's pyramid was unique - it had six steps. Conceptualised by Imoteph, the step pyramid seems like six mastabas in decreasing size, stacked one on top of each. When it was built, it was the dominant structure at Saqqara. Today, it draws tourists just as its counterparts in Giza does.
This street is a bustling maze of alleys, lanes and narrow gullies lined with shops, restaurants, hustlers and ever persistent shopkeepers. Despite its somewhat touristy vibe, it’s still a great place to experience the true flavor of Cairo and Egypt. Everyone is rushing, laughing, screaming and yelling and though it’s pretty exhausting to wade through the sea of shops, Khan-El Kalili is the best place to hang and watch life go by. There are some wonderful traditional coffee houses serving Arabic coffee and my favorite Hibiscus tea besides the ever accompanying Sheesha. After some wandering I discovered this old and popular coffeehouse named Fishawi that served up amazing coffee along with free Sheesha, where I also made friends with some jovial minded locals.