One day in Cairo
When you think about a holiday in Egypt, you immediately think about a visit to Cairo to see the pyramids. From Hurghada you can book excursions but keep in mind: it will be a very long day. You will be picked up at your hotel at 1 am and you come back around 10 pm. But it is definitely worth it although you only see the highlights of the city.
We visited the Egyptian museum in the morning and the pyramids and the sphinx in the afternoon. Afterwards, there are some mandatory visits to a perfume and papyrus shop.
When you arrive in Cairo after a long ride through the desert, it is absolute chaos: a lot of cars, honking and people everywhere. It is fascinating to see: people just cross the street without looking, bicycles and motorcycles maneuvering between the cars (often with something on their head or in 1 hand), and even horses or camels. If your guide would tell you that fewer accidents happen here than in your country: don’t believe him ?. You will soon find out that lanes are only a suggestion.
The Egyptian Museum
The first stop of the day was the Egyptian Museum. The museum is located in this building next to the famous and infamous Tahrir Square since 1900. This year it will move to a new building next to the pyramids. It is the biggest Egyptological museum in the world with over 136,000 artifacts.
If you want to take pictures with your camera or you want to use your camcorder, you have to pay extra. However, you can take pictures with your phone. The only place this is also forbidden is in the room with Tutankhamun’s death mask. To enter the mummy room, you also have to pay extra. Unfortunately, our guide didn’t tell us this so we ended up not having enough time to visit it.
Our guide gave us more details about the most important pieces in the museum and how hieroglyphs are written. After about an hour, we have some free time before it was time to go to the restaurant.
I would have loved some more time in the museum, not only to see the mummy room but also to explore the museum a little bit more.
The next stop was the pyramids. Technically these are not in Cairo but in Giza. The complex consists of the pyramid of Cheops (the Great Pyramid), the pyramid of Chephren and the pyramid of Mykerinos. The outer limestone layer is still partly visible at the pyramid of Chephren.
Before visiting the pyramids, we could choose to visit one of the pyramids or to do a camel ride to a vista overlooking the 9 pyramids. Of course, we choose the last option because: camels … in Egypt … at the pyramids ?.
But first a short photo shoot in front of the pyramids. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people climbing the pyramid, even little children.
The camel ride really was worth it. Maybe it is touristy but it is fun to do, especially with the view of the pyramids. And we have some beautiful pictures that deserve a place on our wall.
The last monument of the day was the Great Sphinx. It is located next to the mortuary temple of Chephren and is seen as the guard of the pyramids. After a short explanation, we had some time to take pictures. Not a lot to see here, but the view of the Sphinx with the pyramids is more than enough.
Like with the pyramids, I was constantly thinking: how did they make all this. Everything is very spectacular: the statues, the pyramids, the sphinx. The same goes for all the temples in Luxor.
And then the time has come: the long way back to Hurghada. Driving along the coast and through the desert is an enormous contrast compared to busy Cairo.
Will I go back to Cairo? Definitely, because there is so much more to see, like the citadel, Khan El-Khalili, Coptic Cairo and the Mosque.
Did you visit Cairo?
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Enjoyed reading your post. I am going there in 2 weeks time and definitely want to spend as much time as possible at the museum and pyramids. We haven’t booked a tour yet but will keep this in mind with the mummy room!