The Great Pyramids, Saqqara, & Memphis

What a day! We got in very late as our second flight was delayed an hour so we didn’t get to the hotel until 3am! Fun fact though- we were on 3 continents within 7hrs!

I pre booked a tour of the pyramids and other super old sites of Cairo. We stayed at a Hilton near the airport since I had points and we got in late/are leaving early for the airport. The airport isn’t anywhere close to the pyramids so we booked a tour that would pick us up and drop us off so we wouldn’t have to figure that out for ourselves!

Our tour guide Ola ended up being great! She was super nice and knew so much history of Egypt. She pointed out a bunch of random things on the way as well to give us some more knowledge of the city. Did you know Cairo has 22 MILLION people??? THAT’S HUGE.

Our first stop of course was the Great Pyramids of Giza. There are 3 big pyramids- father (biggest), son (second biggest), and grandson (smallest). There are also 6 smaller pyramids for their wives (yes I know that math doesn’t work- multiple wives for all!). Ola told us we were very lucky cause barely anyone was at the pyramids when we got there!

The pyramids were awesome. To think how they were able to build these THOUSANDS of years ago. Wild. We got the ticket that let us go inside the Main pyramid (biggest one) so we got to climb inside to the tomb chamber!

Once inside the pyramid the space was VERY small. You had to climb up in this tiny little hole (like 3feet tall).

Once we got to the tomb area it was literally like stepping into a sauna. SO HOT AND HUMID. Sweat just standing there. The room actually wasn’t all that big though so at least we didn’t have to stay too long.

After our exploration of the tomb, we headed back to our car to take us to the camel riding area.

We each got our own camel and it was much more relaxed on camel riding compared to when we did it in Jordan. Our guide let us “drive” our own camels, and even go “fast”! We also got to stand?!?!?!

The camel told us we could stand up on the camels…. I was terrified, but with a little help I did it!

(Couldn’t quite get to standing on my own though)

We also got to check out the solar boat which was discovered buried next to the main pyramid and reconstructed. Apparently, the boat was supposed to help carry all their crap with them to the after world!

Once we finished the Great Pyramids we made a few short stops before our next destination- Papyrus paper/art making, 100% Egyptian cotton shop, and lunch!

At the Papyrus paper place we got to see a demonstration of how papyrus paper was made. After cutting the papyrus into strips, they have to soak for 7 days, then after they have to press them for another 7 days! When pressing it you first lay the papyrus into a criss cross so while it’s being pressed it’ll mold into a sheet of paper! The final paper is actually pretty thick and very tough. As with all the places we ended up seeing demonstrations they try to sell you stuff afterwards. The paintings were all impressive, but very Egyptian and wouldn’t really go with much in your house (unless you happen to have an Egyptian room…)

The 100% Egyptian cotton place was just a basic shop. They sold everything from tshirts to linen. Didn’t spend too much time there!

For lunch we stopped at a quick place for Shawarma. We all got the lamb meat option and it was very delicious! Had a little view of the top of the pyramids in the background too.

After lunch, we headed to Saqqara. Saqqara has a huge step pyramid that is really cool. The tomb chamber is actually 28 meters (90feet) under the pyramid! They also discovered another chamber that was connect via tunnel underground which they are excavating now so come back in 10 years might be able to walk down and explore!

Saqqara also had “normal” tombs- just little square houses rather than pyramids. We got to go inside one and see the original carvings inside. The carvings were super intact and even a lot of the color was there! I guess most of the carvings show people bringing the gifts and even had a carving about cutting up a cow to be able to give the pieces of it as a gift. That carving was a bit much lol

From Saqqara, we headed to our final stop- Memphis. Memphis is the first capital in the history of the world! As you can imagine basically nothing actually exists of it anymore, but they made the area into an open air museum (first one in the world apparently).

Inside Memphis there is a GIANT monument of King Ramsey II.

There is also the second largest Sphinx (except it’s wayyyyy smaller than the Sphix at the Great Pyramids).

Ola gave us some history of Memphis and explained some of the artifacts as we walked around.

On our way back to the hotel from Memphis we stopped at a carpet making school. We got to see a quick demonstration of how they make hand made rugs. We even got to make one knot #experts. Apparently the one we got to help out with will take an entire year to make!! Again there were some really cool rugs, but definitely wasn’t something I could easily fit into my bag so we didn’t buy anything.

It took about an hour to drive back to our hotel and we had dinner at the hotel- the hotel is HUGE and had like 10 restaurant options 😂. Early flight out of Cairo the next day so we went to bed pretty early!