2010.10.4When you are first time in Cairo, the first thing you want to do is – to see the pyramids.

We left the hotel at 8AM. On our way to Giza, one man who just jumped into our car at the traffic light and started asking us to take the pyramid tour with him. He spoke very good English and were good at talking by telling us travel tips, local customs together with his sales pitch. However, he wasted us at least half an hour by taking us to his village near Giza. What we learnt is, we should made up our mind early, stick to the plan and be firm to refuse any distraction.

Pyramids, Sphinx, Giza Plateau, Pharaoah’s Tomb, merely mentioning these names can get us excited, now we stand beside them. Somehow, we didn’t feel the mysteriousness anymore. However, we were still awed by their sheer size, and thinking how old they are even made me “confused”. “Have they really been standing there for five thousand years?” Five thousand years ago, Egyptian could already build these enormous structures with this level of accuracy. Amazing, overwhelming, and …, confusing!

The Great Pyramid
The Pyramid

For a while, we couldn’t find the Sphinx, then we saw a round-shaped structure at the distance. That must be it. It’s the Sphinx’ back of the head.

The Sphinx‘ back of the head
The back of the Sphinx
The Sphinx and Pyramid of Menkaure
The Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Sphinx of Giza

We left Giza Plateau at about noon. After a short break at the hotel, we went to the Egyptian Museum. It’s not in my original plan, but it seemed to be a good destination after talking to Hotel’s personnel. We hired a guide for a 2-hour tour. For first-time visitors who are not familiar with Egyptology, a guide can be really helpful to lead you through more than 120,000 items in display and let you focus on the most interesting pieces, but sometimes the guide just halfheartedly recited what he had to say.

The Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
Street view outside the Egyptian Museum
Storied building next to Tahrir Square

Our next stop was Coptic Cairo. Coptic Cairo is a district where many Christian churches are located at. It’s also called Old Cairo because it is where the city was found when Egypt was a predominantly Christian country. We didn’t get into the district because the ticket office closes at 4PM everyday. Had we visited Coptic Cairo first, we would still have time to see the museum, because we would be able to get to the museum before 4PM and the museum closes at 6PM.

Coptic Cairo
Coptic Cairo
Coptic Cairo
Coptic Cairo
Coptic Cairo
Coptic Cairo
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