Giza Day 1/2

To paraphrase the Beasty Boys, it's been “No sleep till Giza”. We've been awake now for 40 hours and are relying on our duty free Ricard to see us through our first upload.

Everything was going fine until we got on the plane when after an hour of unexplained delay, the Captain finally confessed that the fuel was leaking out of the wings and he'd have to find another plane. Five excruciatingly dull hours later he found one that worked and another five hours later, we finally touched down in the land of the Pharaohs at 5:30 am.

What you really don't need then is for your hotel booking to be screwed but a couple of hours arguing in the lobby and three rooms later, we finally got what we wanted and we have to say, it's been worth the grief.

Now that's what I call a room with a view


So as to bring you all something worthwhile for Monday, we eschewed the beckoning comforts of sleep and headed straight for the principal objective, the Giza plateau pyramids. Needless to say, we'd barely left the hotel when the hassle/hustle began and every passing taxi driver screeched to a halt, greeted us like long lost brothers and promised to protect us from the evils of ancient Cairo.

It got confusing when they started accusing their fellow competitors for our prospective custom of being members of the Mafia, so we walked instead, just to get the flavour of the place for ourselves.

For now we'll just feed you some pixies and tell you that it doesn't disappoint in any way.

The statistics themselves are impressive enough Cheops (Khufru or the Great Pyramid) is 4600 years old, is composed of 2.5 million blocks of stone and weighs six million tonnes, all quarried and placed by hand.

But it's not alone and stands with Chephren, Mycerinus and a half a dozen lesser ones with the magical Sphinx thrown in for good measure.

As you can see, all this is set against the backdrop of the searing desert, it's stark undulating beauty contrasting with the precision of the man made additions.

Despite the heat, dehydration and sleep deprivation we covered as much ground as our failing limbs would permit. We climbed down into a tomb, Jonny braved a brief encounter aboard a camel and just about survived the endless hawkers, managing to come away with only one souvenir pyramid and some Arab headdress that didn't fit. We'll go back again in a day or so when we've acclimatised and gotten some sleep. But tomorrow it's downtown Cairo for the museum and more fun and games with the locals, till then...