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    CLAIREINPARIS   47,950
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The Pyramids! – Cairo Part 5

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

Unlike my other blogs about Cairo, this is going to be a completely touristy blog, I am not ashamed to say! emoticon

That morning, my colleague Mumtaz picked me up at my hotel in Cairo at 7am and we headed towards Giza to see the Pyramids! (The little I know about the Pyramids I learned from Mumtaz... thank you!!!)

One hour later, we were there...



The Pyramids (of Giza... there are 80 in total around Egypt!) are actually very close to Giza, which is part of Cairo Metropolis. Here you can see a little the city as it appears from the Pyramids...





To me though, the best way to get an idea of how close the Pyramids now are to the city is Google Maps...
https://maps.google.com/
maps?ll=29.977012,31.13438
5&spn=0.008100,0.011952&t=k&hl=en


Isn’t it amazing? I thought the Pyramids were in the middle of the desert, when actually they are very close to modern buildings. I was impressed how huge they were!





Here is Mumtaz at the bottom of one of the smaller pyramids:



The Great Pyramid (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) was the tallest building in the world until the 19th century. It is 481 feet (146.5 metres) high. Also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, it was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu around 2250 BC. He was 20 when he organized for his pyramid/tomb to be built! This is what I call planning ahead! :) The entire project took about 23 years to complete. 2,300,000 building blocks, weighing an average of 2.5 tons EACH (although some weigh as much as 16 tons!) were used to build it.



Originally, beautiful smooth blocks known as 'casing stones' covered the entire exterior of the pyramid, encasing the whole structure. It has been calculated that the original pyramid with its casing stones would act like gigantic mirrors and reflect light so powerful that it would be visible from the moon as a shining star on earth. In the 14th century, earthquakes struck Egypt, toppling temples and snapping bridges. The pyramid’s limestone casing was removed and repurposed for repairs. Many buildings such as mosques or churches in Cairo today were also built with these casing stones.

I have to confess we didn’t go inside and that is entirely my fault! I tend to get a bit claustrophobic, especially when the space is limited and there isn’t a lot of air to breathe, so the thought of walking in long corridors, having to bend part of the time as the ceiling is very low (and I am 6ft!) didn’t appeal much to me.



We didn’t stay outside the whole time though... Having passed by this temple at the bottom of the pyramids...



... We entered a museum. Mumtaz didn’t reveal to me what was inside, so that it remained as a surprise.



Yes, it was a boat! A huge cedar-wood solar boat. It has a very simple, elegant and refined line. The boat was meant to help the pharaoh cross the river to eternal life.





It was found sealed in a pit at the base of the Great pyramid. This boat was interred in pieces and has since been reassembled, restored and preserved in this climate controlled museum over the site of the original pit. Another similar boat was found nearby lately:
news.nationalgeographic.
com/news/2011/06/pictures/
110624-egypt-wooden-solar-
boat-sun-discovered-pyrami
ds-science-archaeology/


At the museum I bought some postcards to send to a couple of friends (I warned you it was a completely touristy blog!!!)...



... and then we walked to the Sphinx.



According to Wikipedia, it is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres (241 ft) long, 19.3 metres (63 ft) wide, and 20.22 m (66.34 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558–2532 BC!).



I know some of you often comment how amazed you are that some buildings that are 1000 years old are still standing in Europe... Can you imagine that the sphinx is over 4500 years old? To me it is mind blowing!



Voilà! This was my visit to the Pyramids of Giza, and the last of my blogs about Cairo (I came back to France 10 days ago)! I was really encouraged by all your kind comments on my latest blogs. I had thought that maybe you would read the first one and then get a bit bored, but it wasn’t so! It encourages me to keep posting blogs when I travel!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNANOW 8/19/2013 5:56PM

    Great tour ...merci! It was good to see Egypt in a positive light... the news from there has been so dismal.
As usual your blog was so interesting. You are never boring ... I hope you keep on showing us all your view of the world.
Sending hugs.
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CLAIREINPARIS 8/19/2013 5:49AM

    MONTREAL, this is a nasty legend... Here is what Wikipedia says: "Sketches of the Sphinx by the Dane Frederic Louis Norden, "View of the Sphinx, near Cairo" made in 1737 and published in 1755, illustrate the Sphinx missing its nose."...
So that was way before Napoleon and his troops!
For more information, here is the Wikipedia page. There is a paragraph intitled: 'Missing nose and beard'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Great_Sphinx_of_Giza

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MONTREAL12 8/18/2013 8:44PM

  Great blog; enjoyed the pictures; apparently Napoleon and his troops modified the nose on the great Sphinx and now the elements are further destroying this absolute wonder. Trust you had a great time; thanks again for sharing your travels; I have very much enjoyed reading your blogs. emoticon emoticon

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TDEMAIO2 6/28/2013 7:37AM

    emoticon

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GRAMMAOF16 5/27/2013 12:27AM

    Wow!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/20/2013 1:06PM

    emoticon

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BARBARAWEBSTER 5/12/2013 10:17PM

    How could we get bored when you have such amazing pictures?

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MZLADY77 5/12/2013 10:12PM

    Nice pictures. One day I am to travel there.

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WARRIORFIT1 5/12/2013 10:02PM

    Amazing! I had an interest in ancient Egyptology since I was little... I would love to visit there some day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FUSCHIA6 5/12/2013 7:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
If I could go anywhere in the world, that's where I would go. Where's the Emoticon for that? Enjoy!
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WORKNPROGRESS49 5/8/2013 2:25PM

    emoticon blog!! emoticon for sharing emoticon

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JUNEPA 5/8/2013 11:52AM

    Amazing
Your blogs are beautiful, informative, awesome !!
And a truly stupendous subject, the pyramids are the apex of wonder.

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GRAMPIAN 5/8/2013 4:32AM

  Just as I remember the Pyramids. emoticon

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IN102WIN 5/7/2013 12:44PM

    WOW thanks for sharing, wish I was there too!!!

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RENATA144 5/6/2013 9:40PM

  Divine !!!

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WILSONWR 5/5/2013 7:35AM

    Thanks for the tour! I really enjoyed the pictures.

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SNOWFLAKE561 5/4/2013 10:43PM

    Thanks for sharing your photos and telling us about your adventures!!!

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FRENCHKONEXION 5/4/2013 4:03PM

    Merci beaucoup, Claire! Thanks for reminding me how much I loved Egypt! I virtually have the same photos as you of the pyramids. Even with the little white van! The best place to take a picture of the Sphinx was from the third floor of the Pizza Hut across the street. I loved Egypt, I spent nearly a month there and absolutely fell in love with it. I left two weeks before the Revolution, there doesn't appear to be as many tourists as when I went. If you can get over how dirty it actually is, it's quite the charming place. Passes une belle journée!

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NCSUE0514 5/4/2013 8:04AM

    Thank you for taking us with you on your journey!

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AMANDACOETZER 5/4/2013 8:01AM

    emoticon

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NEWTINK 5/4/2013 5:37AM

    Simply beautifully amazing emoticon

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NANINOTTAWA 5/3/2013 8:38PM

    Merci beaucoup Claire! Your blogs are mind boggling! It is surreal, this particular trip of yours. It is something about which I only read in the bible and that I know, for a fact, that I will not have an opportunity to see in person. So for you to take your time to impart all this information to your spark friends, well, I for one would be terribly disappointed if you EVER did NOT blogged. Your command of the English language and your ability to describe your expreiences is second to none. So thank you for this blog overall. Many many thanks. Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to hearing more of your rich experiences. May I ask you, with which organziation do you work? I was wondering this because I sponsor a little girl in the Dominican Republic near the Haiti border and I was wondering if she was lucky enough to have you as her contact. You can inbox me with the information if you should like. Perhaps you are unable to do so owing to privacy of your organization. Again, Thank you so very much Claire. emoticon Nan

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MAW_OH 5/3/2013 10:00AM

    Thank you! I feel like I've been there. What wonderful pics!

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LEANMEAN2 5/3/2013 7:42AM

    I loved it.

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LEANMEAN2 5/3/2013 7:41AM

    Thanks for sharing.

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CLOVER2 5/3/2013 1:00AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MLBFAN82 5/3/2013 12:29AM

    What a wonderful trip and pictures. Keep on bloggiing and showing us where you go. It brings back such wonderful memories of when I was there and the amazement I felt as I walked around there.

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RENATA144 5/3/2013 12:00AM

  Thank you for sharing your awesome photos !!!

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CM_GARDNER78 5/2/2013 11:58PM

    OH MY GOSH - that is FANTASTIC!!!! Wow!!! Awesome pictures!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing - and sharing all the info too! :-) Great!!!

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ROBB1N 5/2/2013 8:29PM

    Sounds like an exciting trip - beautiful pictures too! Thanks

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KATRINAKRAUT 5/2/2013 5:59PM

    What a great opportunity!

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AJB121299 5/2/2013 5:46PM

    nice

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ALIDOSHA 5/2/2013 5:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 5/2/2013 4:01PM

    emoticon

I LOVE your touristy blogs !!!



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JSEATTLE 5/2/2013 3:45PM

  Thank you for sharing your travels with us. Someday I hope to get there to explore also! I have always been interested in Egyptology.

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KALEWINE 5/2/2013 3:14PM

    Sounds like it was a lot of fun!

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MANILUS 5/2/2013 12:45PM

    That's awesome, thanks for sharing!

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AGK3112 5/2/2013 12:43PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SCRAPBECCA 5/2/2013 12:29PM

    How cool! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

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JSPIN74 5/2/2013 12:10PM

    AMAZING! this would would be a dream experience to me...

Thanks for sharing this!

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FIRECOM 5/2/2013 10:32AM

    I would love to see them as well. Thanks for a great blog.

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WORDWOMAN7 5/2/2013 10:31AM

    Lucky you! Living in France and visiting Egypt? You must be living right!

Thank you for sharing the photos and information. It sounds like it was an amazing trip!

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MBEHNKEN 5/2/2013 9:42AM

    emoticon

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MOMOSG 5/2/2013 8:51AM

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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SEEINGCLEARLY53 5/2/2013 2:50AM

    I love to travel!..Thanks for sharing!

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BLUEJEAN99 5/2/2013 1:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 5/2/2013 1:20AM

  Incredible ! emoticon Thank you ever so much for showing us! emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 5/2/2013 12:41AM

    WOW how cool!!!!!!!!!!! Don't you love travel???

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ILIKETOZUMBA 5/2/2013 12:27AM

    Those are amazing photos! My mind is also blown by the age of these structures! Incredible! I want to visit Egypt and see them myself, but I'm kind of a wimp and all the unrest in the region makes me nervous about going there. Anyways, I'm glad you had a wonderful time and saw such amazing things!


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KHALIA2 5/2/2013 12:08AM

  Thank you for sharing your trip! I enjoyed all of the beautiful pictures and descriptions.

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