Egypt is a mystical country at the top of every explorer’s destination list. After all, it houses the greatest monuments on earth. Its temples and pyramids are world famous and they have intrigued the human race for centuries.
While visiting this ancient city, you can imagine being back in the time of the Pharaohs. People still dress traditionally wearing their headscarves and Bedouin wraps. Call to prayer can be heard 5 times a day. There is a strong sense of tradition in the land and you feel as if you are frozen in time. Visiting the great pyramids lets you imagine exactly what life would have been like thousands of years ago.
Pyramids of Giza Built in 2500 BC, it is unfathomable how they have survived the desert and elements for over 4000 years let alone how they were built in the first place. Seeing the pyramids by camel is highly recommended. You are away from the tour buses and crowds of people, and you are free to explore them in a way that they were meant to be seen, in peace and quiet and the footsteps an ancient people. You imagine yourself in a Lawrence of Arabia scene as you walk past the stones of this spectacular sight.
Another must see destination in Egypt is the Valley of the Kings. Located in Southern Egypt near the city of Luxor, a great valley houses 63 chambers of great kings. The most famous is King Tut’s tomb, but there are many more to explore. Make sure to conceal your camera, as it will be confiscated at the gate. Many people manage to smuggle their cameras into the grounds anyway, just be respectful of not taking photos inside the tombs. They will be taken away for sure as there are guards watching everything.
Rameses IV and Merneptah are two temples not to be missed. Well preserved and interesting, they are both quite different experiences. King Tuts tomb is most likely not open for visitors, but it is not considered an impressive tomb anyway. Only a handful of tombs are open to tourists at any one time, so you are at the mercy of what is open for viewing on the day of your visit. The chambers are all impressive though, simply for the fact that they are thousands of years old. But also with the grand scale of their size and for the scenes painted on their walls that have survived for centuries. They are comfortable and almost cheerful inside. They were large, bright and colorful giving a sense of peace. Albeit, there aren’t any sarcophagi left and all jewels and artifacts have either been looted in the past or moved to the Antiquities Museum. Still, the valley is a very impressive sight indeed.
Don’t miss visiting the Hatshepsut’s Temple nearby. Another must see destination in Egypt, it is a temple made for one of Egypt’s most successful Pharaohs. What is so interesting about this temple is that it was made for a female king. It is amazing to see that Egypt was ruled by a woman for 21 years, in 1479 BC! Built in harmony into the side of a cliff, Hatshepsut’s Temple is considered to be the most dramatically situated temple on earth. Three tiers lead to the main grounds where statues and pillars create a labyrinth to explore.
It was here that a massacre occurred in 1997 killing 60 tourists. Over a decade later, peace has been restored and tourism is back to normal. However, you will see many armed guards around grounds
Luxor Temple While in Luxor, you cannot miss the Luxor Temple. Located right in town on the Nile River, it is an impressive monument. It is lit up at night for breathtaking photo opportunities. A little travel tip…the McDonald’s right across the street has an incredible view of the temple, but not only that, has free Wifi. So you can have lunch, update your blog and take in the sights all at once.
The last temple that you must see in Egypt is Abu Simbel. Located on Lake Nasser, it is bit harder to get to than the others but well worth the visit. In the 1960’s it was relocated to a high point on the lakes banks. With the construction of the Aswan Dam, it would have been buried underwater and lost forever. The relocation was a success however and it is alive and well ready to be viewed. Ramses is an imposing sight. Standing 20-metres high, four statues of Rameses II sit side by side. They stand guard over Lake Nasser and it is truly an impressive sight. You can see these by taking a tour from Luxor which is recommended since it is a 280km trip or if you plan on going to the Sudan, there is a great view from the ferry heading to Wadi Halfa.
It is difficult to grasp just how ancient everything is in the country. Everywhere you turn buildings are thousands of years old. It is almost overwhelming to fathom that every building, structure, and monument has a story to tell.