Taking the Pyramids By Storm

Everyone at one point has learned about the Great Pyramids. We have all seen pictures in history books or on TV.  As I was physically walking towards the pyramids, I was awe struck as to how massive they really are. I mean they are HUGE! My mouth dropped open as I approached them.  It’s crazy that these enormous structures are right there in front of you surrounded by the Sahara Desert and the only thing you can think to yourself is, “How on Earth could anyone build something like this?”  I had no idea what to expect when I got to the Great Pyramids, other than it was going to be HOT.  I went with an open mind and had the most amazing experience ever!

The Pyramids

I knew before I came to Egypt that the Pyramids were the number one thing I wanted to see, and I wanted the full experience!  Getting a guide to take you there is almost necessary.  Its not like a museum where there is information about the history or how they built each pyramid posted as you walk around.    You will want someone to explain what you are looking at.  Luckily, tour guides are pretty cheap and can easily be found online.

I found a FANTASTIC tour guide company called Tour Egypt Online through TripAdvisor.   Our guide, Osama, made my experience to the Pyramids one I will never forget. He knew all of the angles for fun and memorable photos, and even though I am not a fan of getting my picture taken, after a few pictures and jokes along the way, I was acting like a model at a photo shoot.

Kissing the Sphinx

Pyramids

Jumping high at the Pyramids

Riding a CAMEL in Style

By far, the coolest thing I did in Egypt was ride a camel.  I have never even ridden a horse before, so getting on a camel was quite the experience! I couldn’t believe how high up I was…camels are tall! Let’s just say I held on tight because falling off would result in injury. Frank (yup…I totally named my camel)  and I became fast friends.  He must have sensed I was a first timer because he stood up nice and slow.  When a camel stands up (or sits down) it starts with its front legs and then its back.  It’s like being on a mini roller coaster and you have to remember to lean WAY back or you will tumble right over the camels head!

Camels, Mike and Frank

Frank and Mike taking a break

Check out this video of me getting on the camel…

Getting on a camel

Believe it or not, the man in charge of the camels was hilarious! He had a fantastic sense of humor.  His witty comments had me in hysterics the entire ride.  He offered a trade proposal to the Partner in Crime.  He would give the Partner in Crime 5,000 camels and some chickens for ME! Apparently, each camel cost up to $5,000 so I received quite the compliment.  The Partner in Crime told the guy he would think about his offer since he really didn’t have anywhere to store 5,000 camels back in Michigan.  Luckily, the trade never went through and I get to come back to Michigan…whew!

Camel Ride

Camel Ride

Camel guide

And Now I am Climbing High….Higher…Does It End?!?

The second I found out I could go into the Great Pyramid (for an extra fee) I was ready to go!  I had no idea what was inside and let’s just say I was not prepared for what I encountered! I walked right into the most narrow space I have ever been in!  I am not claustrophobic by any means, but the space was so narrow that the walls immediately felt like they were closing in on me. Trying not to panic, I made the mistake of looking up. It appeared that they expected me to climb into the unknown on a narrow staircase that could barely fit a five year old. I am not a huge fan of heights, so it was then when I started to panic a little.  Not wanting to look like a wimp in front of the Partner in Crime, I began the climb, taking it one step at at time.

Climbing up the Great Pyramid

My view climbing up

On my way up so many things went through my head:

“How high am I going to have to climb?”  “Is the air getting thinner?!?”  “Am I seriously that out of shape?” “Why is my heart beating so fast…am I having a panic attack?!?”  “Is there enough air for everyone in here?”

I just kept taking deep breaths and moved forward. Kind of like the little Engine that Could….I think I can…I think I can.

At about the half way point someone was descending down the narrow stairway as I was still climbing up.  It seemed physically impossible for both of us to fit in the narrow space.  We ended up getting real cozy with each other as we passed and since a structure that was built over 4,000 years ago doesn’t have air conditioning for the 110 degree weather, it was not the best way to meet someone for the first time.

I finally made my way to the top after what felt like days (reality: 15 minutes…tops).  I literally had to crawl on my hands and knees through a very small opening and lo and behold I am gloriously in an area I can actually walk around in! I felt like doing a cartwheel (well…if I had the room). Cameras are not allowed inside the Great Pyramid but luckily I had my cell phone in my pocket. I hit the jackpot with a gentleman looking for a tip.  He “broke” the rules for me (must have been my blonde hair) and snapped a few photos for me.  In return, he was generously compensated.

Great pyramid

Posing inside the great pyramid

Still climbing

Anything That Goes Up Must Come Down

Dripping with sweat and dreading the climb down, I slowly made my way to the bottom.  By now I was used to the narrow space, but don’t know how much longer I would have lasted.  The first thing I did when I walked out into the 110 degree heat and sun was suck in a huge gulp of hot, steamy (yet refreshing) air.  I felt like I had just ran a marathon! Thankfully, I had a bottle of water waiting for me.

Top view

A view from the top all the way down

 

Just Do It!

I truly believe that everyone should experience a trip to the pyramids once in their lifetime.  This portion of my trip is something that I will never forget.  I actually got to see one of the wonders of the world!! That moment when you see all of the pyramids standing there in the sun in all of their glory, you realize that nothing will ever quite compare.

On top of the Pyramids

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