Christmas On the Nile – Part 1 – Cairo and The Pyramids

Cairo and the Pyramids

I know, Christmas seems a long time ago. But it’s about time I shared some snaps and stories of our holiday, as this year we had a very different Christmas, on the Nile. This has been a dream of mine for years, and when I met Vee we quickly established it was her dream too. In fact, when we got together in December 2013, Vee was meant to be on this very holiday but it was cancelled due to unrest in Cairo…. during this time we ended up going on our first date. So if she had gone, would we be together now? Who knows. Maybe it was meant to be and we were meant to go together. So, we decided to go over Christmas to make it extra special. Egypt was everything I dreamed it would be – magical, inspiring, beautiful, just breathtaking. If you haven’t been to Egypt, you need to go.

Here is the first in a three-part feature on our trip, and our first stop is Cairo.

The Pyramids at Giza

We arrived late into Cairo and even in the dark, I eagerly looked out of the taxi window to get the first glance of any dark, triangular shapes looming in the distance. Still excited and childlike, I went straight to bed, thinking the sooner I go to sleep, the sooner it’ll be morning (I swear my parents used this as a tactic to get me to sleep, but it still works).

The next morning, setting off nice and early we arrived at Giza and had our first sight of this magical place.

Cairo and the Pyramids

Children Flying Kites by the Great Pyramid

It’s such a famous scene, one I’ve been fascinated by since I was child, and finally we were there. It felt just surreal. The pyramids are just so enormous, I know everyone says that but it’s not until you are standing there that you can really take in the sheer size. I just couldn’t get it in my head how it was all made by hand, all those thousands of years ago and still standing today. It’s just unreal. We stood for quite some time, just to take it all in.

We wandered around Giza and visited the Giza Solar Boat Museum – which is the beautifully preserved boat, buried next to the Great Pyramid. The highlight of the morning has got to be actually going inside the Great Pyramid. It’s not for the claustrophobic, inside the passageways are small and dark, it’s also incredibly stuffy and warm, but it’s so worth going inside as you actually walk the tunnel the Pharaoh’s sarcophagus would have been taken, all those thousands of years ago. Inside there are no treasures anymore, but just seeing construction of the tunnels and the main tomb is just out of this world.

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Sphinx Selfie | Inside the Great Pyramid | Pyramid Selfie

Cairo and the Pyramids

Cairo Skyline from the Pyramids

Cairo and the Pyramids

The Sphinx

The Egyptian Museum – Cairo

That afternoon we spent a couple of hours walking around the Egyptian Museum. We were very lucky as ‘for a Christmas Treat’ we were allowed to take photo’s actually inside the museum, which is usually strictly forbidden. You could really spend a couple of days in there – there is so much to see.

I did take hundreds of photos but I won’t bore you with them, but I’ll share a couple of my favourite pictures, all from the Tutankhamun Exhibition – my absolute favourite part.

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Tutankhamum’s Mask

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The Funeral Bed

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Canopic Jars  | Tutankhamun’s Chariot  | Anubis 

That evening, we headed back to the Giza for the Pyramids Sound and Light show. Although I was freezing and shivered my way through it, it was just an amazing way to see the story of how the Pyramids were built in such a dramatic way, projected onto the pyramids, with a booming commentary and dramatic music I was hooked from beginning to end.

Pyramids Sound and Light Show
Pyramids Sound and Light Show

Saqqara

The next morning, we headed over to Saqqara, this was an area constructed before the famous pyramids of Giza and were you can see the first attempts of pyramid building and the different mistakes that were made before they managed to find the perfect triangular style we all know of and recognise.

It’s surprising how chilly it was, first thing in the morning, I didn’t pack enough warm clothes (I thought we were going to the desert and it would be HOT!) but my top tip is pack layers for visiting Egypt as the temperature really fluctuates. Luckily, I had my super versatile  Petit Bateau Stripy Jumper which we jokingly named my ‘Egypt Uniform’ as it literally came everywhere with me (so bear with me if you see it in every photograph in the other posts!)

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Stripes at the ‘Bent Pyramid’

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Saqqara – The site of Egypt’s oldest Pyramid

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Lazy Camel

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The Step Pyramid – It might be under restoration at the moment, but it was constructed in 2630 BC, so it’s pretty damn amazing.

The first part of our holiday was just out of this world, I loved Cairo and wished we had spent more time there. Everyone says it’s dirty and busy, but we had a lovely hotel and were treated with the utmost respect by the staff. As their tourist industry is suffering so much at the moment with everything going on, they are so pleased to welcome you and go that extra mile and the pyramids are just beyond belief.

So, that was part one of my Egyptian Adventure…. join me next time, when I board our Nile Cruise ship and explore Karnak Temple!

 

 

Post contains collaborative links, however all pyramid gazing, star jumping and wunderlusting is my own

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