After snorkeling in Makadi Bay, the plan was to fly from Hurghada to Abu Dhabi. As I recall now, I guess there weren’t direct flights — most itineraries went through Cairo. Rather than fly, I figured, why not take the bus to Giza and visit Egypt’s most famous site?
I had visited the Giza pyramids on my only other visit to Egypt 24 years ago. It was a foggy November day, and we practically tripped over the corner of the pyramids before we could see them. The poor weather and the constant harassment from camel ride touts made it a very disappointing day of sightseeing. For this visit I had low expectations. I’m glad I went back.
It was after dark by the time we got to our hotel in Giza (after spending perhaps three hours in Cairo’s traffic). Our room wasn’t ready so the man took us up to the rooftop balcony to wait.
Wow, not a bad view!
The hotel’s breakfast was one of the best meals we had in Egypt with eggplant curry, lentil curry, plenty of pita bread (oddly called “Lebanese Bread” on at least one package we saw in Egypt), eggs, cheese, falafel, tea, coffee. And of course there’s that view again.
One of the reasons that it’s taken me so long to return to Egypt is because I remember the touts being so annoying and persistent everywhere that it was hard to enjoy anything. Have the Egyptians cleaned up their act in a generation or am I better able to ignore them or perhaps better able to tell them no and really mean it? Ferda got suckered into some of their antics as we were leaving the site and bought some souvenir junk (that we saw later in shops for half the price!).
Overall, though, we walked around the site undisturbed.
We had been warned that the entrance fee for the Giza Necropolis was high. It’s not. If you want to burn through cash on overpriced sites, go to Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle (which I recommend). In Egypt it’s the food that’s overpriced — lousy meals cost more than fantastic meals in Turkey, Sri Lanka, or even Abu Dhabi!
Not a culinary paradise so let’s stick to the tomb tour.
You can kind of walk around wherever you want. The site isn’t huge, but it’s big enough that it doesn’t feel crowded.
Please don’t ask me any questions about who’s buried here, what it all means, how old it is. We didn’t learn anything. There’s no museum onsite though one is being constructed nearby. The main archaeological museum in the center of Cairo is supposed to be excellent (it was a mess 24 years ago), but we didn’t have time for that this trip.
The only paintings we saw were in the Tomb of Iymery.
There are a bunch more smaller tombs in the NE corner of the site, but there are no signs indicating what’s what.
That was a fun day. We left Giza in the dark the next morning (avoiding all traffic :)) for our flight to Abu Dhabi. Stay tuned.
I’ve always wanted to see the area. It looks wonderful, especially with so few tourists.