If at first you don’t succeed… – Giza

4th March 2008

Today, I decided for take two at the Pyramids… no wait this was my third visit if you include 2006. I came here to go into the Great Pyramid and by God I’m going to. I got another private driver for the day and off we went. I insisted on 3 hours this time, I knew the ticket office didn’t open till 1pm so I wandered around the site a bit.

First, I went into the pyramid of Queen Hetepheres, the mother of Khufu, her small pyramid is next to his. The crawl in was not a long one and when I got to the burial chamber, I discovered three Egyptian lads had followed me. They all wanted to have their pictures taken with me. I relented, but this is something that is really starting to get the better of me.

I walked over to the pyramid of Menkare, the smallest of the three pyramids, all the while being hassled by camel drivers, I ended up yelling at one who just wouldn’t go away, “Leave me alone! I don’t want it!” By the time I reached the pyramid, I’d had it. So, I climbed up one of the satellite pyramids, in part to get away from everyone. That was great, I just sat there for ages staring out at the desert and at Giza on the other side. I then walked back to the Great Pyramid and at long last managed to find the ticket office.

Pyramid of Khafre - Giza
In front of Khafre’s pyramid

I was first in line when it opened and got the first ticket of the 150 tickets they sell in the afternoon. I raced all the way over to the pyramid and all the way up to the entrance and was the first inside. I got to explore the inside of the great pyramid on my own! How many people can say they’ve done that! Not many. I climbed up into the Grand Gallery, which was spectacular and then into the burial chamber, where the sarcophagus of the king still sits. I spent a little time in the burial chamber before racing out and around the pyramid and down past the Sphinx, almost bowling over the hustlers on the way to meet my driver outside KFC.

Today also, I decided to visit Islamic Cairo, most specifically the Citadel. I arrived there and I paid my 40 EGP to get in. I looked all around and went into the alabaster mosque of Mohammed Ali, this time the ladies at the door, didn’t robe me up, which is testament to the way I’ve been dressing here. Must have looked respectful enough. I took off my shoes and went in, I was as impressed as last time and got some really good pictures. The dome is extra impressive, and the view of Cairo and the City of the Dead is amazing.

I also visited the military museum and was amazed to find bombs just sitting around. There were some really cool British fighter planes left over from the war and quite a few tanks. I spent a good deal of time looking around there; we all know how much I love weapons. I contemplated getting a henna tattoo, but I was out of time and went to wait for my driver, who was half an hour late anyway, which was quite annoying.

I got back to my hotel and went over to McDonalds and ate a Big Mac Chicken, which was just about the most awesome thing I’ve ever eaten from there. They should definitely import that over to Oz.

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