Pyramids — Blockbuster Egypt

Historically, tourism has been a leading sector in Egypt’s economy. At the moment, most of its tourist industry is beach resorts…basically gated resort communities catering to masses of Russians eager for a sun break. Beyond that, the cultural tourist circuit of its great ancient sites (Giza pyramids, monuments and temples of Luxor, Abu Simbel, and so on) is a must on anyone’s lifetime bucket list. But all of those travelers are staying away. The great sites of Egypt are wide open with police guards standing by…and almost no tourists. In my first week in Egypt, touring nearly all its top ancient sites, I saw tourists, but I never saw an American. Apparently my compatriots from “the land of the free and the home of the brave” are pretty susceptible to scary TV coverage.

Giza parking lots, once filled with big tour buses, are now empty.
Giza parking lots, once filled with big tour buses, are now empty.

The spectacle and wonder of Egypt’s ancient sights is even more apparent when — deep inside a pyramid  —  you’re the only one gazing at the 4,000-year-old hieroglyphs.
The spectacle and wonder of Egypt’s ancient sights is even more apparent when — deep inside a pyramid — you’re the only one gazing at the 4,000-year-old hieroglyphs.

In former times, the carpet shops that line the road leading to the pyramids were jammed with tour groups. Today, they are literally empty.
In former times, the carpet shops that line the road leading to the pyramids were jammed with tour groups. Today, they are literally empty.

 The pyramids at Giza tower above the sand at the edge of Cairo. Four thousand years ago, you could take it with you. Imagine two million stones, two tons each, carved, transported, and then stacked high...all so a king could take his stuff into the next life.
The pyramids at Giza tower above the sand at the edge of Cairo. Four thousand years ago, you could take it with you. Imagine two million stones, two tons each, carved, transported, and then stacked high…all so a king could take his stuff into the next life.

Someday, I’ll climb to the top.
Someday, I’ll climb to the top.
Comments

5 Replies to “Pyramids — Blockbuster Egypt”

  1. Steve — You have a good following of intelligent viewers and travelers and I hope that you can convince a large number of them to go visit Egypt. It is a beautiful country with wonderfully friendly people, one of the most important and beautiful places that one can visit these days. I have been there five times and am looking forward to another trip soon. Many big U.S. cities have far more safety problems than do the cities and tourist locations of Egypt.

  2. Rick,
    I had the privledge of visiting Eqypt last October. I felt welcome and I felt safe. Egypt is an awesome place with people to match. I would go again in a heart beat. What we see on the news is a far cry from the Egypt that I encountered. I applaud what you are doing.

  3. Steve: Visited Egypt a few years back and as a long-time teacher of history and anthroplogy I was in heaven. The people were fantastic and just to see these historical treasures was wonderful. We stayed at the Mena House and could see the Pyramids from the hotel bar. Would love to go back. Good Luck

  4. I am arriving in Egypt for 2 days from a cruise May 9. I usually like to arrange my own land travel rather than buy the cruise packages–but was thinking in Egypt I should stick to something they had arranged (but is expensive). Any advice?

  5. We almost moved to Cairo recently until we found out that it wasn’t so safe. I personally know of an American lady who was raped there in the last 6 months. Don’t bother reporting it either as the police can do nothing. I hard from a different person how the men in Cairo were saying very disrespectful things to his wife. They have lived and traveled all over the world and its the only place she didn’t feel safe.

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