I had no idea what Africa’s largest city – Cairo – looked like before I first visited in late September 2009. I was part of a Twenty Ten All Star training programme taking place in Cairo on the sidelines of the U-20 FIFA World Cup 2009. Just about 15 minutes for our plane to land I saw a beautiful landscape of desert underneath with lorry and human paths. “Wow,” I exclaimed silently.
From the top one is tempted to believe this is not Africa. Egypt’s Cairo has high-rise buildings mostly made from bricks. The road networks are close to excellent but drivers in Cairo need a lot more driving lessons. It’s a beautiful city endowed with tourism potentials.
No one visits Cairo without making it to the Giza city. It has one of the largest pyramids in the world, which is considered to be one of the great Seven Wonders of the World. With $20 me and two other colleagues hired a taxi to take us around town. Ynoues, our taxi driver doubled as a tour guide with excellent basic English expression for us to understand his rich cultural lectures.
He drove us through Down Town Cairo to the City of the Dead (cemetery for the poor), the River Nile, the Egyptian Papyrus Institute before the Giza City. At Giza, we parked our taxi and hopped unto the back of camels to the desert. It cost the three of us about $26 (140 Egyptian pounds) to hire a camel for our two-hour journey on the desert.
At the entrance to the desert we paid $11 (60 Egyptian Pounds) instead of the official 30. We later realized after other participants visited same place later that the local guys ripped us off with extra 30 Egyptian Pounds. As our camels slowly glided in the sand, the tip of one of the pyramids popped up. Three giant Pyramids welcomed us shortly in the distance and just by them is a Sphinx. We were fascinated by the super imposing structures ahead of us. “How did this come about?” I murmured. I was sure similar question was running through the minds of the hundreds of tourists coming from all over the world trooping in and out the pyramid centre.
The biggest of all the pyramids is The Great Pyramid of Khufu and this is the only one among the seven wonders of world. Our local guide told us the pyramid was build by King Khufu around 2560 BC (About 500 years old). Khufu is the second Pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of rulers in Egypt.
The Sphinx is just close by. It is a giant structure with a lion’s body and a man’s face, which is supposed to be the guardian of the necropolis. This is believed to be a manifestation of sun god.
I got back to my hotel terribly tired but was visibly happy that I had an opportunity to feel one of the greatest Seven Wonders of the World. The next time you visit Egypt don’t forget to visit all the three pyramids. A journey to Egypt would be incomplete without visiting them.