Day in Cairo
Egypt, the home of the pyramids, and where better to start than with the first one, the Step Pyramid in the Saqqara complex. You will start with the fabulous Imhotep Museum, named for the architect of the pyramid, and your first chance to see a real mummy. From here the minibus will take you to the entrance to the Step Pyramid. A short walk through the entrance colonnade into the Great Court will bring you face to face with the Step Pyramid, the first ever man-made stone monument. From here it is a few steps to the Pyramid of Unas, where you can make your way into the underground burial chamber. The mysterious Serapeum is next on today’s itinerary. We will take our leave of Saqqara and head for Dashur, and the Bent and Red Pyramids. Here you can venture inside the Red Pyramid, said by some as to be as incredible inside as the Great Pyramid. Our next stop before a quick lunch will be the site of the ancient capital of Egypt, Memphis, where you will see the massive statue of Rameses the Great. A chance to enjoy one of Egypt’s national dishes before we set off in our minibus for the number 1 destination in Egypt, the Giza Plateau and the Pyramids. As we approach Giza, we should catch our first glimpse of the pyramids between the buildings of southern Cairo. Having secured our entrance tickets, we will make our way up onto the plateau. Nothing can prepare you for your first close up view of the pyramids, it is a scene that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Expect hawkers selling all sorts of nonsense, but a firm “Laa Shukran” should deter all but the most determined. It is almost inconceivable to be outside the Great Pyramid and not go inside, but be warned, it is quite a climb inside, very claustrophobic and surprisingly hot – recommended. From the pyramids we will make our way down towards the Valley Temple and the Sphinx Temple. Entry to the Sphinx is down through the Valley Temple. This is a good chance to see close up the incredible precision of the stone cutting, before going through to the walkway that runs along one side of the Sphinx enclosure. From here you can see the Dream Stele of Tuthmose IV and get a good view of the enigmatic face of the Sphinx.
Next stop Luxor