Friday is actually the day off in Egypt, some people go shopping. Phillip and I spend also an expensive day, but the very particular one: we hire a private taxi and went discovering the Pyramids, first Dahshur and Saqqara, then Giza! Dahshur “red” pyramid was maybe the most impressive. Why? It was the first we saw, we were alone there when getting in, and the step down and low oxygen air inside were quite an adventure. This is actually the world’s oldest true pyramid, built under Pharaoh Sneferu (2613-2589 BC) reign, so the pyramid is about 4600 years old! The Bent pyramid behind is its older brother (also from Sneferu) was a kind of architectural test: the 54° angle at the base revealed was too much for a stable construction. Arriving close to Bent’s pyramid, we were also alone and the guards gave us a tea! Then they offered us a camel ride till the small pyramid behind. When we gave them some money, they were not so happy anymore: they expected us to give more. We gave £40 which was actually more than honest!
In Saqqara, we had first a bad feeling: the step pyramid of Zoser (2650 BC) is under renovation. We would have been able to get in by paying the guards, what we did not. Then we descended 25m into the pyramid of Teti with their marvelous texts inside, and were astonished by the well conserved Mastaba of Ti and its colored reliefs depicting the daily life in the Old Kingdom.
Arriving in Giza was like coming back to the big tourism hassle: some were almost jumping over our taxi to offer their services. Our nice driver did not stop. We came inside at about 14:30, but the area is closing at 16:00. We spent too much time walking around under the heat and even accepted another camel ride. We just had time to see the Sphinx but not to go inside the Great Pyramid although we bought an extra ticket for it (£100). As there is almost nothing to see inside, it is just lost money… Philip might try to go in again, but it is likely the tickets are no worth anymore… Anyway, these pyramid might be the highest and most famous, I think I preferred the quieter experience in Dahshur!