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EGYPT


Location - Middle East/North Africa; Capital - Cairo; Population - 99 million; Currency - Egypt Pound MORE EGYPT

From Alexandria it's less than 3hrs by bus to the centre of Cairo, after which I returned to Hurghada for beach time and my flight home - January 2020.

 

egyptnote2The Sphinx appears on the 100 Pound note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1063This is my favourite view of Cairo, from the terrace of the Citadel, retracing my steps of over 25 years ago. It's dominated by the Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan (left) and Ar Rifai Mosque (right) - Cairo

 

egypt1066Look to the left of the mosques and in the hazy distance are the Giza Pyramids - Cairo

 

egypt1054The Citadel was a 12th century fortress with mosques, palaces and now several museums. This is the 19th century Mohammed Ali Mosque - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1057Exhibits belonging to the Citadel's National Military Museum - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1068But the only reason I revisited the Citadel was for the magnificent views, including of the pyramids. The smallest on the left is the Pyramid of Menkaure, centre is the Pyramid of Khafre, and on the right the Great Pyramid of Khufu - Cairo

 

egypt1051The Citadel and the pyramids are connected via a tuk tuk to Al Malek As Salah Metro station, then the Metro to Giza followed by either a taxi or a local microbus to the pyramids - Cairo

 

egypt951aVia the main entrance the first pyramid you'll see is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the last remaining Ancient Wonder of the World - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt953Surrounding the Great Pyramid are the Queens' Pyramids belonging to the Khufu's mother, sister and wife - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt957Climb up a few modern steps to enter the pyramid, though first buy the additional ticket at the entrance - Cairo

 

egypt960The entrance to the Great Pyramid of Khufu (also called Cheops). Construction was completed around 2,570BC and served as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu - Cairo

 

egypt965I arrived just after 07:00 which was perfect for entering the pyramids, as there was noone else around, ideal when the interior is pretty claustrophobic - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt966First up is a very steep slope via a slatted wooden ladder - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt970After that it's a little more open, with a few steps, then slatted ladder (pictured) up a gentler gradient - Cairo

 

egypt972The entrance to the King's Chamber is through a very low passage-way (pictured) - crouch down! - Cairo

 

egypt974Then you finally reach the King's Chamber. So there's not much to see inside, but it's amazing to think you're walking inside a 4,500 year old pharaoh's pyramid. And it's far better if there's no crowding and queues! - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt978Housed in a marquee next to the Great Pyramids is the Cheops Boat Museum - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt981The museum houses one of the wooden boats that the pharaoh would have used in the afterlife - Cairo

 

egypt996The Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren), built for Khufu's son, Khafre, has remnants of its limestone casing at the top - Cairo

 

egypt991From the other direction the Pyramid of Khafre also takes in the smaller Pyramid of Menkaure behind - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt998On the left is the Great Pyramid, originally standing over 146m high, with casing), and to the right the Pyramid of Khafre, over 136m - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1000The stone blocks of the Pyramid of Khafre, looking towards the Great Pyramid of Khufu - Cairo

 

egypt1002It sounds like the inside passages of the Pyramid of Khafre aren't as long as the Great Pyramid's, but at 09:00 the queues are building.. - Cairo

 

egypt1014Walk further on to the smallest of the three Giza Pyramids, the 62m Pyramid of Menkaure (originally over 66m with casing), built around 2,510BC - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1012A less glamorous look at the Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mycerinus) complete with the caretaker's moped - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1015On the left is the Pyramid of Khafre with the Pyramid of Menkaure on the right - Cairo

 

egypt984A view of Giza and Cairo from the Giza Pyramids - Cairo

 

egypt1018You can make photos look like intrepid adventures through the desert, even though we're right next to town - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1022Walk downhill to the Sphinx, here with Menkaure Pyramid behind - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1029The Great Pyramid rises above the Sphinx, known as the Father of Terror in Arabic (though obviously translate this into Arabic first) - Cairo

 

egypt1024The Sphinx has the body of a lion and the head of a human, likely an impression of the pharaoh Khafre (his pyramid pictured) as it was built during his reign - Cairo

 

egypt1028There's not much left of his nose, and of the three times I've visited over 25 years, he still has scaffolding! Poor Sphinx - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1039The Sphinx lies in front of (left to right) the Pyramids of Menkaure, Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1040The Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Sphinx - Cairo

 

egypt1048Camel touts have a lot of patience and use the water torture drip-drip method until you finally succumb - Cairo

 

egypt1071The Al Azhar Mosque is a good indicator that the Khan al Khalili market is close by - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1072Khan al Khalili is a sprawling maze of alleyways and courtyards - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1073And this being the Middle East there's plenty of cafes to rest weary shopping legs - Cairo

 

egypt1075Hookah, or water pipes/shisha/nargile etc, for sale - Cairo

 

egypt1074All sorts on offer in Khan al Khalili - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1077Part of the 13th century Qalawun complex in the bazaar area - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1085Midan Talaat Harb, a busy square and intersection in central Cairo - Cairo

 

egypt1086Al fresco drinking in a dusty side road near Midan Talaat Harb - Cairo

 

egypt900Exhibits inside the impressive Egyptian Museum building are being moved to the very modern Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt913Many come to see this guy's treasures, Tutankhamun. This is a life-size model of the pharaoh found in his tomb - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt906One of the gilded wooden shrines that encased Tutankhamun's sarcophagi - Cairo

 

egypt902The Anubis Shrine is one of the most famous of the Tutankhamun finds, and stands out in the black & white photos taken by Howard Carter's team - Cairo

 

IMG_7915Gold inlaid hands holding a crook and flail. This is one of the exhibits at the Tutankhamun Treasures when it visited London - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7891A 'gold inlaid canopic coffinette' that contained some of the king's organs (from London exhibition) - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt929IMG_7968The stunning golden death mask and two golden sarcophagi are in a room where no photos are allowed. Not sure why, and many sneak one or two but guards were out in force when I was there. Everything in glass boxes and without a flash? Maybe Egyptologists would say it degrades the exhibits, but I reckon it's about protecting image royalties. On the right is a replica by the Ministry of Antiquities, handmade in Egypt - Cairo

 

egypt923A coffin belonging to one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs, Ramses II. His mummified body is on display in the Royal Mummies Halls of the Egyptian Museum - Cairo

 

egypt927A colourfully decorated coffin - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt931The rock-cut sarcophagus of Ahmose-pen, a royal scribe and priest from the 5th/6th century BC - Cairo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt941The Egyptian Museum lies just off Tahrir Square, known as the epicentre of the 2011 Revolution demonstrations. Conveniently (?) there's a lot of works going on here - Cairo

 

egypt947Street art (with a political twist?) just off Tahrir Square - Cairo

 

egypt152Before heading off to Luxor for the Nile cruise I had a couple of nights at the all-inclusive AMC Royal Hotel in Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt157The hotel beach - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt165A lot of the resort hotels are several kms out of the centre so it's not straightforward to go for a walk around town, however they have everything you need - Hurghada

 

egypt1124A taxi ride to the centre and the main sight of Hurghada Marina - Hurghada

 

egypt1125There's waterside restaurant after waterside restaurant at the marina, so take your pick, many with outside heaters on winter evenings - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1122Al Mina Mosque lies behind the marina - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1118Take your pick from the luxurious yachts - Hurghada

 

egypt1119There's several companies organising boat trips to various dive sites and islands along the Red Sea coast - Hurghada

 

egypt1112Next to the marina is Al Sakia public beach - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1111The sandiest pool table you'll find! - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1114Just off the coast are the Giftun Islands, part of a marine reserve that offers reef dive sites and snorkelling, or simply lazing on the beach - Hurghada

 

egypt1090After returning from Cairo to Hurghada I stayed several nights at the Jasmine Palace Resort which has several swimming pools and plenty of space

 

egypt1094And of course it has a beach of its own. These all-inclusive resorts have shops, pools, bars, shisha bar, restaurants, gym, doctor, bad wi-fi, nightclub etc. Plenty! They don't feel like Egypt but they're very comfortable - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

egypt1109Hibiscus flowers are used to make the popular Egyptian drink karkadai, served hot or cold - Hurghada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2020 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.egypt.travel - Egypt tourist board

https://go-bus.com - Go Bus are a reputable private bus company, bookable online

www.gotoegypt.org

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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