I think that everyone has to see the pyramids once in their lifetime, and this was my chance. Whilst staying in Sharm El Sheikh, trips to Cairo and to the pyramids were very easy to organise. For the reasonable price of £170 + the cost of a visa (if you haven't already got one), you can get yourself to Cairo and can enjoy some Ancient Egyptian history. Our trip started at 4:15am with a short bus ride to the airport. In a big group, we were instructed on where to go, what to do and what items wouldn't be aloud through airport security. There was a bit of confusion but we thought we'd be okay if we went with the flow and followed the crowd. The flight was pleasant with generous legroom and quiet passengers.
Once we arrived at the airport in Cairo, we were split into three smaller groups by the language we speak and were introduced to the appropriate guide. Waiting for us outside was a comfortable coach and an armed security guard. The security guard was simply there because those are the rules, but I would've felt completely safe without him to. After about an hour on the coach, our first stop was The Egyptian Museum where we were once again briefed on where to go and what to do. I decided to leave my camera gear on the coach seeing as cameras are not aloud in the museum. I expected there to be some rules and limitations so I wasn't bothered about it... In fact, my only problem with the museum was the cafe at the exit and how no one knew how to order a well needed coffee. Our guide took us around the museum and then gave us some time to explore for ourselves. Some interesting items being exhibited in the museum are Tutankhamun's mask, some mummified animals and lots of sarcophagus'. Through our provided earpieces, our guide told us lots about the ancient statues and mummification techniques. Not only did the guide do a great job in the museum, but also on the journeys to each destination.
After our time was done at the museum, we were taken to the bank of the River Nile. Here, we were directed to a private boat and taken on a quick cruise. I might've been stupid to think this, but I was expecting to be in the middle of nowhere at this point, not in the middle of a built up metropolis. Many people took the opportunity to have their photos taken at the front of the boat whilst others tried to avoid falling asleep. If I'm honest, this wasn't the most exciting thing I've ever done, but was definitely experience I can tick off the bucket list.
Our boat took us right up to where we were having lunch - the not so exotic T.G.I. Fridays. Sadly, drinks were not included and we only had the choice between two meals - beef or fried chicken. However, the meals were delicious, even if I did wish I chose the fried chicken over the beef.
Another short journey on the coach took us to the pyramids. At the "panorama" area, we immediately got a lot of hassle from locals offering camel rides and trying to sell us souvenirs. Our guide prepped us on how to deal with the salesmen and how to avoid the scammers - just say no. Even though the photo below is so simple, I had a hard time finding another like it. It's an 11 photo panorama stitched together in photoshop. I love the colours and how the pyramids contrast well to the urban city in the background.
The photo below was a very lucky snap from the coach whilst we moved on to the smaller pyramid. People had the option of going inside it but we didn't get a lot of time here. We also got to spend a few minutes outside the Great Pyramid, which was unbelievably impressive.
Below is a photo of the Sphinx. We didn't get much time here either, and the small amount of time was limited by the guide's rambling. Although it was fairly interesting, I really wanted to get a proper photo of the Sphinx. I rushed off from the group to find a spot and got set up. I used a tripod for this shot and had to pay extra to use my tripod (well worth it). I used a long exposure to blur all of the people and to create interest. You could get all conceptual about it, but I just wanted to try to create something different. We were told about the light show that happens at night time - I would love to see this but we had to move onto our next stop. Our next stop was an essential oil and perfume shop (probably so the guide could get some commission). Although the shop owner was friendly and welcomed us with tea, we really could've done without going here - I guess we just had some time to kill.