We arrivd a day early for our OAT’s tour, so on day two, a travel day for most, we visited pyramids not covered on our OAT’s tour. Our OAT’s guide recommended a local tour group so we booked it and off we went. Our first stop was at Saqqara to see the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the first pyramid built. When a pyramid was built, a number of other structures were also constructed. The Entrance Corridor of the Step Pyramid was made of limestone from the East side of the Nile. The corridor was lined with tall stone columns. At some places one could see the massive weight of the stone roof. On the east side there were other buildings, possibly a temple. We are learning of how complicated it was for a pharaoh to die and go to the next life. Seeing a pyramid is exciting. Then you see all the other stacks of stones, each being studied as to possible importance to tell more of the story. This Pyramid was in good shape considering it is 4,700 years old.
Next we visited the Bent Pyramid, an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometers south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu (c. 2600 BC). This is a unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt. This was the second pyramid built by Sneferu.
The Bent Pyramid rises from the desert at a 54-degree inclination, but the top section (above 47 meters) is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees lending the pyramid its very obvious 'bent' appearance.
On the way to the way to the Bent Pyramid we stopped at the Red Pyramid. It has a large base (only slightly smaller than Khufu's Pyramid. Each side measures 722 feet, however with it's sides sloping at 43 degrees 22', it is substantially shorter at 343 feet (104 meters). It is the fourth highest pyramid ever built in Egypt, with almost 160 layers of stone. Significantly, the Red Pyramid was the first successful, true, cased Pyramid built in Egypt, ushering in the era of the Giza style pyramids.
We had our own driver and tour guide and enjoyed taking the back roads and seeing how the locals live. We stopped at a nice restaurant and had a “typical” Egyptian lunch.
Saturday we visited the pyramids at Giza with our OAT’s group.
The Giza pyramid complex, also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt, that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes, and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The site also includes several cemeteries and the remains of a workers' village. It is hard to take pictures of the three large pyramids from the road or parking lot so we took a carriage to a ‘‘hot spot’ in the desert where we could get a picture of the 3 big guys in a row and the 5 small ones. It was a rough ride, but we got our pictures. Hugh also took the passage into the center of the Grand Pyramid. The first 20 yards was the opening made by the first intruders. The next hundred yards was of the original passageway up a steep incline which was all most 3 ft wide and 4 ft high. As you were going up, others were coming down. The passage then opened up to 4 or 5ft wide and 50 ft high, but still a steep incline. At the top was the King’s Chamber. Itis a very solid room (20 x 30 ft and 25ft high). There was an empty crypt that was too large to remove through the opening, but nothing else except tired people. The ritual of a pharaoh’s funeral is complicated with many steps and the pyramid is only one of them.
Some of the above was stated by “Google”