In terms of ‘bucket list travel’ – 2017 has been a massively successful year for me.
I hiked through Greenlandic ice during the middle of winter. I slept in a hotel made entirely out of ice. I visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. I marvelled at the Pink Mosque in Shiraz. I hiked my butt off in Petra. I took a dip in the Dead Sea. I even snorkelled with humpback whales in Tonga.
In just a few short months I have ‘crossed’ so many things off of my bucket list – and amazingly, the list doesn’t end there.
In the 4th grade my class spent a full term learning about ancient Egyptian civilisation. We made (faux) papyrus, used paper mache to make mummies and watched a whole bunch of docos.
These documentaries all had one common and prominent feature.
They all featured the Pyramids of Giza.
Ever since then, visiting the Great Pyramids has been something on my bucket list, and I was lucky enough to ‘cross it off’ in early March, and it was everything I hoped it would be.
There are numerous ways to reach the Pyramids, and some are easier than others. Public buses and the metro are by far the cheapest options, but these are crowded and often uncomfortable. Alternatively, you could hire a private taxi or join a small group tour.
A one way trip in a private taxi from downtown Cairo to the Pyramids should not cost you more than 40 EGP (approx $2-$3) – but you will need to bargain fairly hard.
Most hostels will offer half day or full day trips to the Pyramids – and these usually go for around $7 per person, not including entrance fees.
At the time of writing, the entrance fee for the Pyramids of Giza is 80 EGP – which is approximately $6 AUD.
I landed into Cairo late at night, and after a good nights sleep, I was up, my camera was charged and I was ready to see the last remaining one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
I rocked up to the Pyramids around late morning, and in hindsight, I probably would have done better if I had arrived earlier.
It may have been ‘winter’ but holy moly that Egyptian sun was no joke!
After slathering on sunscreen and my best RBF (resting bitch face) it was time to enter the grounds and get exploring.
Much like my time at Petra in Jordan, anyone who enters the area will be subject to a pretty ridonkulous amount of badgering and hassling by people who want you to ride their camels.
Seriously, if you even look at a camel for more than half a second you will be accosted by someone yelling “ride ride” or “very good price” – and if you go to take a photo of the camel, that only intensifies!
I fricking hate being hassled, so my RBF was the best way I had to protect myself a little – and luckily it ended up working pretty well!
Egypt has never really recovered from the revolution in 2011, and as such the overall tourist numbers are very low – but it doesn’t feel like it when you first enter the grounds of Giza! There were far too many people around for my liking, so despite the sun scorching my skin, I set off to get away from the crowds…
…and I am so glad that I did!
The ground that the pyramids cover is pretty big, and walking from one pyramid to another isn’t exactly a short stroll. It also means that you could walk around the perimeter of just one pyramid and have a different experience by each face!
This pyramid shown above is the same one as shown in this next photograph…
…and the same one as shown here!
This was one of the few unattended camels that I encountered, and he seemed to have a lot to say!
His presence also made for some absolutely stunning shots.
One of the most popular places within the entire area is a fair walk from the entrance point, so far in fact, that I saw many people driving to it!
As much as the concept of aircon did sound magical, the walk itself was so beautiful that I was glad I didn’t have the luxury of air conditioned transport.
The popular spot I was on a mission to get to is a particular lookout point where you can get four pyramids in the one shot, pretty gorgeous right?
It isn’t hard to see why this lookout point is so popular, but with popularity comes large crowds (my arch nemesis) so after getting a handful of shots, I made my way across a couple of roads and further towards the two largest pyramids.
For the first time all day, I felt like I had the Pyramids all to myself, and it was pretty damn special.
Eventually, the sun started to take its toll on me and I decided that it was time to say goodbye to the pyramids and make my way back to the hustle and bustle of Cairo…
…but not before seeing the Sphinx of course!
Visiting the Pyramids was something I had dreamed about doing for many years, and it was absolutely and undeniably worth waiting for.
Thanks for reading, and as always, happy solo travelling! xx
Getting to the Giza Pyramids: From downtown Cairo, bargain with a cabbie to take you their for 30 EGP
Giza Pyramids: A single entrance ticket costs 80 EGP
Meramees Hostel: A comfortable and well located hostel – dorms start at $7/night, click here for more info
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens
Remember: Take at least 2L of water, you will need it!