That Giza gasp

pyramidsOne of the wonderful things about reading real travel tales from real travellers is reliving that feeling of being somewhere or seeing something for the first time. Our Intrepid group leaders always love seeing that first time excitement on the faces of our travellers and as Sameh Tawfik explains, we never tire of sharing these experiences with you…

“As a small boy growing up in Cairo, I always knew I lived in a special place. My fascination with the vast history of my country started when I was young and my desire to show my country to the world has only increased as I got older.

I am always delighted to see the expressions on the faces of my groups as we turn the corner and come into sight of the great Pyramids of Giza for the first time. It is amazing how structures so huge can hide behind buildings and surprise us by seeming to ‘just appear’ as we turn the corner. Every time, without fail, my groups gasp in wonder at the exact same moment.

I know how they feel, but I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Not only do I visit these stunning creations on every trip I lead, I have also chosen to live literally around the corner from the pyramids.

Every morning when I leave my house, I glance down the end of my street and see the top of Cheops pyramid peaking out over the skyline. Sometimes I stop and look for a minute or two, seeing the different colours of the rocks turn in the sunlight, other times I only have time for a fleeting glance. Several times I have driven by the pyramids and almost had accidents because I am too busy looking up at them.

On days when I have the luxury of time, I venture up to the roof top terrace above my apartment and watch the setting sun glow against all three peaks. As the sky darkens, the magnificent structures are lit by thousands of spotlights as the sound and light show begins.

I wish I could share all of these experiences with my groups, so that they know that even we Egyptians don’t take our monuments for granted!”

Tour Egypt with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Egypt Explorer – 15 days
Egypt Experience – 12 days

* photo by Jason Russel – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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The following lyrics have been written for someone special I met in Cairo and for our guides and other friends we made in 2010 on a Discover Egypt tour. It is dedicated to them as they negotiate the current unrest and time of distress.

Cairo (Too Many)
For CDK and the Friends we made in Egypt

The City was crazy, the pyramids soared
The hotel was dusty and the river broad
The train went racing on its long way down
To wonderful Aswan that jewel of a town

Remember our exploits to the western bank
Nubia, Elephantine, Abu Simbel, the Dam
And then the felucca for the trip back north
On the beautiful Nile, the life giving source

Back on a small bus for Edfu and Karnak
Luxor balloon ride, west bank at daybreak!
The Valley of Kings and temples of Pharaohs
The desert and farmland and eating with locals

Once more to the City to see the Old Town
The markets and history with Hany and Hend
Again to our transport, Moses footsteps or bust!
To scale Sinai Mountain where the Patriarch trod?

We slid down the mountain at evening by torchlight
Your hand gently guiding as I stumbled at night
Next day St Catherine’s and then travelling on
To our Red Sea beach camp to relax in the sun

Then back to Cairo on our very last day
Stopping on by, the internet café
Dusk at the restaurant on the river in town
Singing ‘and I miss you, like deserts miss rain’

Too many miles
Too many years
Too many people
Too many fears
Too many heartaches
Too many tears
We said goodbye in Cairo

My heart broke completely the following day
As I hugged you habibti and said ‘goodbye’'

A dream came true when I made my trip to Egypt and my first with Intrepid. Our leaders Annabelle & Esam were deeply touched when I came out after visit inside of the Pyramids with tears .Wow !! Awesome experience!! Made 2 other trips with Intrepid It”s my style !!Thanks Intrepid.'

At the ancient method of RAMPLESS Pyramid construction is explained.
You can Google search “haitheory” or “rampless pyramid”.
If you find the information interesting please inform others.

That is how I feel every time I see Mt Rainier in Washington State. Sometimes you can’t see her (cloud cover etc) but the moment you turn a bend and see her, you can’t help but stare. I am planning on going to Egypt this fall & can’t wait to have the same experience!!'
Michael Courtney / Reply

I too experienced the same feeling but mine was when we left the pyramids and were still gobsmacked by the magnitude of the structures when we suddenly came across the Sphinx.

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