I usually don’t take day tours to monuments if I can go alone, since I can learn quite a bit just from reading Wikitravel, Wikipedia or Lonely Planet guides.
The exceptions I’ve made are with world wonders, like the Taj Mahal in India and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where I want to hear context behind their significance.
- Egyptian Museum – home to King Tutankhamun’s tomb and famous 11kg gold mask (no photos allowed)
- Pyramids of Giza – 3 major pyramids, including the tallest “Great Pyramid”, built ~2500 BC, ~137m high, tallest structure in the world until 1300 AD., the oldest & only existing Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
- Great Sphinx of Giza – body of a lion, head of a human, ~20m high, limestone, believed to be from ~2500 BC
But first… a guide who’s not scared of using a DSLR!
Getting good photos of myself is one of the hardest tasks I’ve experienced as a solo traveller. It’s easy to take hand-held self-portraits, but asking a stranger to take a photo of me with my surroundings, is usually a miss.
People seem scared of my Canon DSLR camera, don’t compose the photo well or don’t hold the camera steady. Even with people who are carrying a Canon DSLR themselves, it often turns out they’re only newly acquainted with this type of camera.
So on this exciting day of fulfilling a childhood dream of seeing the Pyramids, I was ecstatic when I discovered that Fadi, one of the Egypt Excursions Online staff, wasn’t scared of using my DSLR. He took extra photos without me having to ask, and when I requested that he took a picture in a different way, he was kind enough to try again (and again). As a mini tribute to my guide, I’ve included a picture of him among my photos below.
For more photos, see my Facebook album.
Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Pyramids and Great Sphinx, Giza
The day tour of the museum, Pyramids and Sphinx were as good as I expected and I can’t think of a better way to have spent my first day in Egypt.
I learned a digestible amount of history about the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms in Egypt (20 dynasties) including the most well-known pharaohs, and not only did I realize the childhood dream of seeing the this world wonder, I even have good pictures of myself there thanks to the tour staff. For more photos, see my Facebook album.
>> Is the Pyramids of Giza on your bucket list too? Do you agree that the Egypt Excursions Online staff did a good job of taking photos for me?! :D
My visit today was sponsored by GetYourGuide.com and Egypt Excursions Online, but all opinions are my own. Thanks to Hostelbookers for arranging my accommodations in Cairo (see my review of Bella Luna Hotel).
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