Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 4 Egypt - Giza

Day four was spent at Giza on the other side of the Nile from Cairo.  They put their cities on the east side where the sun rises and their burial areas on the west side where the sun sets.

 We had our picture taken on camels.  You can see two pyramids of Giza in the background.

 Jacquelyn's turn.  You can see three pyramids in the background, which were built for a father, son, and grandson, who where all pharaohs or kings in turn.

 These are the largest and only perfect pyramids.  The first one is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the other two were copies.  They belonged to Pharaoh Menkaure, Pharaoh Khafre, and Pharaoh Khufu.

 A close up of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the biggest.  Notice how small Jacquelyn looks on the pyramid sandstone blocks.  The facing was taken off (except at the top) by Arabs, but originally it was perfectly smooth with highly polished highly reflective white sandstone.  It's 756 feet long on each side, 450 feet high, and is composed of 2.3 million blocks of stone each averaging 2.5 tons.  No side is more than 8 inches different in length and it's perfectly oriented to the points of the compass.  It's still today the most massive building on earth.  It took 20 years to build with a force of 100,000 oppressed slaves.

 Here is the entrance going down into the tomb.  It led to a tunnel that you had to crouch to go down at about a 30 degree angle down.  At the bottom was one of the burial chambers, which was empty except for a stone sarcophagus.  Inside the pyramid are all kinds of hidden passageways and chambers to confuse thieves.

 We also went to the Cairo museum and saw many artifacts, including the ones from King Tut's tomb.  Then we visited the Great Sphinx.  There was a large rock that the pharaoh wanted removed but his builders suggested building a sphinx instead to protect the pyramids.  It's being restored.

After the Sphinx we went to a papyrus factory and I got an authentic papyrus copy of the facsimiles Joseph Smith had  in the Pearl of Great Price.  We had a fun day seeing these great wonders of the ancient world.

    That evening we flew to Aswan and took a bus to the cruise ship Opera.  We had a great buffet dinner from 9:30- 10:40.  (all the hotel meals were buffets and excellent also)  Next we had a show by Nubian musicians and dancers with audience participation. 

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