The Lazy Person’s Guide To Seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza
Between delayed flights and a very hectic entry process at the Cairo airport, in addition to the extremely hot summer temperature, I knew that I was not going to get up close and personal with the Pyramids. I may have not gone into the complex but I did have great views of these impressive monuments and here’s how:
Get a pyramid view room at the Marriott Mena House Hotel
This historic hotel is over a hundred years old and has housed everyone from Agatha Christie to King George V and Winston Churchill. It has the old world charm, quite decent service but best of all, an unrivaled view of the pyramid.
I was too excited to sleep and when I eventually did it was with my curtains open so the first light of the day will wake me up. I can’t recall having a more epic breakfast view.
Spend a night at the Pyramids View Inn
This is an inn so have no expectations of luxury however it felt like a family home and I was treated like one. The rooftop is right opposite the entrance of the pyramid complex so you get a really good view of the Sphinx and be able to watch the Sound & Lights show for free (saving yourself around $45 – I found it boring anyway).
Grab a local to watch the sunset
The girl from the inn told me about a little hill, a half hour ride through the village, where locals go to watch the sunset. Of course, locals take tourists there these days even though it is not officially allowed but the tip the guides. I decided to go for it as it allowed me a glimpse into the life of the people living in Giza. This is a very densely populated area with the majority of its residents working in tourism, horse rearing, and perfumery. As there are a lot of animals in this area it had a very unpleasant smell but worse was seeing stick thin horses and camels in a very tough environment. Halfway through the ride I was conflicted as on one hand whatever money I paid the rider could go towards feeding his family but then that also contributes to this activity that treats these animals badly. His horse was healthy and I made sure he didn’t whip it hard, I also voiced my thoughts about it to him and he blamed the recent crash in tourism in Egypt on the poor maintenance of the animals. People had very little money when the number of visitors reduced due to terror attacks to feed and practically nothing to maintain the animals with. This conversation would come up a number of times during the course of the week with other Egyptians I met.
I should have packed some snacks and drinks to just chill on the hill and so should you if you ever visit. It was peaceful with just a handful of people up there.
I’m a very active traveler but once in a while, I like to do the bare minimum without losing out on experiences. Fully rested after two days in Giza it was on to Luxor to sail down the Nile.
Shout out of Lamide for her IG tag which prompted me into typing this post. You rock babe!