For my birthday this year I told Ron that I’d like to do something “Egyptian.” Apparently he first considered a few games of Frogger, followed by some watermelon truck races around the propane donkeys, but luckily he opted instead for a night out in the desert, just us, two friends, a guy named Sphinx-y and the last remaining wonder of the ancient world – the pyramids of Giza.
Ron arranged a shuttle and we met two friends in downtown for dinner first, then headed out of Cairo to Giza, which is only about 40 minutes away, to the nightly “Sound & Light” show. It was a little campy at times, replete with a Pharonic marching band playing the bagpipes (not a sentence I ever imagined writing), but you couldn’t deny the amazing setting.
The town of Giza nudges right up next to the pyramids’ boundary. But if you faced the pyramids, you could ignore the KFC and Pizza Hut signs, neon offers of “genuine” pyramid souvenirs, cafes, restaurants, and shops, shops, shops. We weren’t able to wander up to and through the pyramids, as you can only do that in the daytime, so we will return to do that another time. But watching the sun set behind the pyramids as the desert breeze blew, we drank our hibiscus juice and I had my perfect Egyptian birthday (with bagpipes).
I have been remiss in posting photos, so here are several from the show.
Basic stats: They were constructed ~2560 B.C.; “pyramid of Khufu” is the oldest and largest of the three, can be seen from the moon and was the tallest man-made structure for over 3,800 years; it’s estimated that construction took 2,300,000 blocks of stone, weighing an average of 2.5 tons each; the dimensions of the sides of the pyramids are exactly the same length to an accuracy of 0.1 +/- inch; the sides are oriented to the four cardinal points of the compass; the length of each side at the base is 755’; the height was originally 481’, currently 451’.