Egypt has always been a destination that I’ve wanted to visit for many years but there has always been so many setbacks that have stopped me going in the past. Thankfully the roster Gods were in my favour and I finally got a chance to see Cairo.
With Cairo being the capital and the largest city of Egypt, I knew that there would be plenty to see and do to keep myself entertained during the short layover. The flight time to Cairo is so short that we arrived in no time that evening.
The pyramids or the Great pyramid of Giza is probably the most well known landmark in Cairo, especially with it being one of the wonders of the ancient world. There have been many hypotheses on how the pyramids were made, none of which have ever been confirmed.
We had booked a tour to visit the pyramids during my stay in Cairo and it was very interesting learning about the history of the pyramids as I must admit I hadn’t taken much interest in them before.
You are able to take a desert camel ride around the pyramids if you chose to, however i opted out of this just because I had previously experienced a camel ride during my stay in Dubai and plus the weather was so hot that day I thought I would pass out in the middle of the desert (dramatic I know).
I didn’t go inside the main pyramid as it is quite expensive to visit and I heard it is very claustrophobic in there and you have to get on your hands and knees to get around some parts. Instead we opted for climbing down inside the Mikerinos Pyramid. It is the smallest of the three pyramids and has built in hand rail and steps to help aid you right down into the bottom. Yes, it is a hot and cramped but at least you can stand up and walk around – plus how often can you say you’ve been inside a pyramid?
The viewpoint of cairo and the three main pyramids, is a wonderful way to end the visit here. We drove up to the top of the hill so that the pyramids are in the background and a perfect photo opportunity. Of course my tour guide had me doing all sorts of poses and jumping off walls, all for that “perfect” photo.
The Great Sphinx of Giza
This is a statue of a mythical creature of a reclining sphinx, which is stead to have a body of a lion and head of a human. The face of the sphinx has been said to be the face of the Pharaoh Khafre and was built to protect the important areas such as the tombs and temples. It has much since deteriorated since the time it was built (of course) so the extensive detail and rumoured nose of the statue of since gone. There are a number of rumours/hypotheses again of how the nose disappeared but I guess it’s up to you to decide what you believe!
Many people believe that the sphinx lips looks as though it is pouting (like a kiss) so of course the typical tourist pose would be to pretend as if though are you kissing it back. I must say it was a bit of a surreal experience seeing all these ancient ruins and landmarks as one day they might not even be around anymore.
The Perfume Factory (Siwa Perfumes) and Papyrus Manufacturing Shop
Our tour guide then took us to a well known perfume factory in Cairo that many tourists like to go to. The hospitality in Cairo is so warm and welcoming, they offer you a welcome drink wherever you go so I got to try their hibiscus juice.
At the perfume factory, you are introduced to the company and the history behind egyptian perfumes and essential oils. There are so many different scents and you are able to test smell the ones on a list that is given to you. After the talk, you then have the option to buy some of the essential oils/perfumes to take home in many different sizes. As much as I was tempted to buy them I knew once I got home they would just be collecting dust on my dressing table!
After this, we were then taken to the Papyrus manufacturing shop where you learn an important part of Egypt’s history. You learn how ancient paper was made from the stalk of the Cyperus papyrus plant and actually get to watch the initial stages being made before they show you what the final product looks like.
Once this demonstration is complete, you then have a chance to look around at all the artwork that has been painted/printed on the papyrus paper and can even have something hand made for you to take home as a souvenir.
The River Nile
The River Nile is the longest river in Africa. It played a major role in Egypt’s history as it said that it was used for the boats to bring the materials through the desert in order to build the pyramids. It also plays a large role now for the locals bringing in water and for people who use it to wash their body and clothes. I only got to see a small part of the river but it was amazing to see nonetheless.
After a day out exploring, I spent most of the evening relaxing by the pool sipping cocktails before going to have dinner with the rest of the crew. Even during sunset, the weather was still humid and hot enough to sit outside.
My first trip to Cairo, definitely won’t be my last. Even though I only had a short stay in Cairo, I managed to do and see everything that I wanted to do but that still wont stop me visiting again. The weather, food and experiences were amazing and I would recommend if you ever get the chance to go then you won’t regret it.
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