Were the Pyramids everything I expected: Travel Thoughts 5


© irene waters 2019

The oldest of the pyramids discovered to date are found at Saqqara which is near Memphis – the place that we visited on our first day in Egypt. These we visited in the afternoon after we had eaten lunch. This ancient pyramid (the Pyramid of Djoser )  had a flat top and was stepped in structure. Additionally, unlike the later pyamids it was made from cut bricks and not stone.


© irene waters 2019

It was constructed between 2630 BC to 2611 BC. To me those times are mind boggling. Further behind Christ than we have gone after him and just look how they have survived. And that is without considering that they constructed them with only the help of the stars and man power and no computers to calculate the maths that must have been needed.



© irene waters 2019

I don’t know if this mound is older, or whether it was  a burial mound but my thoughts are that it must have been something.


© irene waters 2019

We entered this  pyramid, crowding into the smal space


© irene waters 2019

and saw the first of many reliefs that were on the walls of the temples and burial places.

These small pyramids awed us


© irene waters 2019

but our first sight of the Great Pyramid of Giza literally dropped our jaws to the ground as it loomed up before us.


© irene waters 2019

It was bigger than I could have imagined. Made of granite and limestone each block weighed about 2.5 tons.


© irene waters 2019

We were given an option of entering but were persuaded that it was very musty inside, would cause us respiratory distress for little gain as the decorations were gone and there was nothing to see. Cameras were not allowed inside and for the price you had to pay to enter it simply wasn’t worth while.


© irene waters 2019

Three of our party opted to go inside whilst we wandered the outside.  They returned saying it was well worth the experience so I would recommend that if you want – take up that option.


© irene waters 2019

We were soon tagged by someone we thought was a pyramid official.  He insisted on showing us the best points to take photographs from but when he grabbed my camera off me I became particularly perturbed. The camera around my neck was from one who had gone inside.


© irene waters 2019

He had us posing  touching the top of the pyramid


© irene waters 2019

and showing how easy it was to lift a boulder. Then after retrieving my camera he demanded payment. Again this came as a shock but I had put money in various compartments so I could pull out a small amount  and not look as though I had more to spend. We gave him his tip.


© irene waters 2019

Then happily spent the time taking my own photos.


© irene waters 2019


© irene waters 2019


© irene waters 2019

The chap with the white turban was the one we thought was an official.


© irene waters 2019

From the pyramids we were taken to another vantage point but that is another story.

In answer to my question: Were the pyramids everything I expected and to tell the truth probably the main reason we wanted to travel to Egypt – I was not disappointed. They exceeded my expectations and I was surprised at how close to Cairo they were. I would even have considered them a suburb of Cairo. The other surprise, which just shows my ignorance, was the proximity of the Sahara Dessert to Cairo. Although we had only been in the country a couple of days we were starting to learn to not make eye contact with the local people which was sad as it would have been good to have some conversation without pressure to buy with them. That aside – yes well worth the trip.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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11 Responses to Were the Pyramids everything I expected: Travel Thoughts 5

  1. ksbeth says:

    i’m glad that they lived up to what you expected, even though the setting was different than you imagined

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful pictures. The pyramids are so fascinating with all the questions and history rolled into the awe of them. Glad it was everything you wanted and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Coincidentally my class is studying Egyptian civilisation and here I come across your travelogue on the same. I loved the write up and the accompanying photos, it made it so vivid. Looking forward to the mummies. Hope you’ll be writing on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A fabulous photo essay, Irene. I know the hucksters are a pain in the rear, but this is their career. They don’t eat if they don’t annoy the (rich) tourists. I really love the very last picture – an iconic image with a modern twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Egyptian Museum: Travel Thoughts 6 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  6. Bernice says:

    The pyramids! Amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

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