“Look guys it’s the Sphinx” said our lovely guide Mohamed with all the enthusiasm and excitement you would expect when presenting this amazing monument to a tourist for the first time.
With my hands and face pressed against the van window so excited at the prospect, “Oh WOW where ?”. Following this I glanced around the van and to my relief made eye contact with another fellow traveller who had the same confused why can’t I see it look on her face.
I was just looking for something so much larger which is the expectation that had been set by photos in the tourist advertisements and documentaries I had watched. The Sphinx is actually 70 meters long, 19 meters wide and 20 meters high which is about the size of my apartment. When you see it from the angle in the photograph above, dwarfed by the great Pyramids you can kind of understand why I missed it. Built in the Old Dynasty around 2500 BC during the reign of Pharaoh Khafra it is still pretty impressive regardless of it’s size. What an amazing feeling it is to stand in the presence of these awesome monuments that have been built by an extraordinary advanced civilization and have lasted centuries.
The strangest thing about visiting the Pyramids is that as a tourist you become a curiosity for the locals,especially if you are blonde like one of my fellow travelers. That day her boyfriend was offered one million camels and throughout our trip she would be constantly asked for a photo, we did too but I’m sure it’s just because we were with her. Don’t worry too much about it they are fine if you just say no, otherwise just go with it and be part of someone else’s adventure in Egypt.
The Pyramids and Sphinx are on every tourist checklist when visiting Egypt and you can fit them in even if you are only stopping over in Cairo for a day. Giza is only about an hours drive from the airport depending on the traffic and you only really need about 2 hours, longer if you want to take a camel or horse ride. You can go through them on your own but I would recommend going with a guide so you can also benefit from their extensive knowledge. One of the best things about my travels through Egypt with our guide Mohamed was his passion and enthusiasm for the history and culture of the wonderful places he guided us through.