It is mid afternoon in Cairo. I am sitting on my balcony at The Four Seasons Residence marveling at the majestic Nile River below and pondering how much human madness this river has seen for thousands of years. I have always been fascinated by history and spent a particular part of my youth fixated on ancient Egyptian history.
The flight from NYC to Cairo is 12 hours. So my girl friend and I take it easy our first day and go to the pool to nibble on hummus and smoke a Sheesha then we are off to the four seasons spa to relax.
At dinner one night, my Egyptian friends intrigue me with stories of tomb raiders and dark magic being used while building the pyramids. They estimate there are tombs in tunnels farther down than even known and much deeper than man can go without the aid of machines. I am no stranger to the show Ancient Aliens.
We are invited to a friend’s house near the Pyramids of Giza. His staff fills our glasses with wine as we play with the horses in the stable while we wait for our camels to be pulled around.
“The best time to see the pyramids is at night,” my friend says, “They are luminous! Laminated by colorful lights, like the Vegas strip of the middle east.”
We jump on our camels after I wrap my yellow scarf around my head like I am Lawrence of Arabia and ride off into the desert night.
Soon we see the illuminated pyramids in the background. It was a magical experience to see this world wonders under the stars.
After we ride to a local humble teahouse. Carpets are tied together for shelter matching the carpets on top of the sand. We sit on them cross-legged and are served coffee and Coca-Cola. Suddenly I have an overwhelming urge to pee. Being that I the dessert does not come equipped with proper facilities I pee next to a coyote. I can only assume he doesn’t mind because he sticks around until I am finished.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the last surviving representative of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Standing originally at 146m (479) feet high with over two million blocks of stone.
The Pyramid of Khafre, standing slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid, though it appears larger from some angles due to its positioning.
The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the Giza Pyramids at 62 meters (230 feet) high.
The Sphinx and the Temple of the Sphinx is the colossal human-headed lion carved from a single giant block of sandstone. The Sphinx is smaller than the pyramids around it. The missing nose is blamed on target practice by bored troops from World War I, although 18th-century drawings show the nose already missing.
Queen’s Pyramids and Nobles Tombs located in regimented cemeteries surrounding the royal pyramids. The Tomb of Seshemnufer IV is one you can explore from the inside. Descend to the sarcophagus to get ideas how it looks. This is not for the claustrophobic. Literally, you are crawling on your hands and knees with people in front of you and behind you. It gets very hot in small spaces.
Go to the Egyptian Museum to see the historically Alabaster pieces, within the 107 chronologically divided halls featuring mummies, jewels, etc. It’s worth having a guided tour depending on how much you like history.
Bab Zuweila Gate is located within a bustling street marketing and is the only gate remaining from the southern wall that boarded the old city.
Khan Ali-Khalili is Cairo’s biggest open-air market featuring rows of spices, handicrafts, jewelry, and perfume.
The Arab Music Festival in the Cairo Opera House host’s Middle Eastern influenced artist. The concerts include classic traditional music and orchestral selections.
The ancient city of Memphis was founded in 969 AD was the first imperial city on earth. All that remains of its former glory are scattered ruins of stone temples and a few statues. A highlight is a massive limestone Colossus of Ramses II and a giant alabaster Sphinx, both of which once guarded the entrance to the massive temple of Ptah. The best way to reach Memphis is by taxi from central Cairo. Guests are welcome between 8 am and 4 pm and cost around 30 EGP $5USD.
Cairo experiences two seasons per year, a relatively warm winter from November to April and the scorching summer begins in May and runs until October. Cairo experiences very little rainfall, so no rainy season.