Egypt has always been a place of significant historical value and near the top of my bucket list. My original trip was scheduled for November’ish, however the instability in the region delayed things a few months and made flights much cheaper.
My flight landed in Cairo after a [planned] 12-hour layover in Amsterdam. Giza is a 30-minute ride from the Cairo airport; I STRONGLY recommend an Uber or hotel-operated car service. Egyptians are not rich people and will do anything to get your money. If they see you have $10, everything costs $10, see $100, everything costs $100. If you’re a savvy traveler, you know not to show cash, which is why Uber and a hotel car service make sense; they can put it on your credit card, eliminating the price negotiation game.
Cairo and Giza are not wealthy areas; when visiting use common sense and be VERY AWARE of your surroundings (especially at night).
Pyramids of Giza & The Great Sphinx
First things first… The Pyramids of Giza are beautiful, full of history and VERY POPULAR with tourists and local school children (especially on the weekends).
If you’re into the cheap route, pay the general admission and follow the endless crowds. If you want a truly breathtaking once-in-a-lifetime experience, hire a local tour guide to give you a guided tour on horseback or camel.
I chose the guided route mainly because i’m a photographer and wanted some bad ass pictures. We both grabbed a camel and set off to explore the pyramids. I learned quite a bit about Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure and the Pyramids of the Queens including the theories of how the pyramids were built. We weaved in and out of the surrounding tombs, cemeteries and across the desert to a plateau overlooking the entire area.
The tour takes a few hours and it filled with amazing amounts of history. There are numerous opportunities to take some absolutely stunning pictures up close and from afar.
I shouldn’t have to mention this, but I will; It’s Egypt and it’s freakin’ HOT there, especially in the summer. Wear lose clothing, something to cover your head/neck and drink lots of water.