My Miserable Trip to the Pyramids

On a last minute 48 hour trip to Cairo with Maria and Dana, we decided we had to go visit the Pyramids of Giza. As soon as we checked into our hotel, we took a taxi to the pyramids and bought our tickets just before closing time.

We hadn’t even entered the gates when we were attacked by several men offering horseback rides, camel rides, and carriage rides. Dana speaks Arabic and she was fighting them off one by one but they were so persistent that she nearly had a nervous breakdown. Finally, we caved in and took the rides. I went on horseback and Maria and Dana took a carriage.

On horseback at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

On horseback at the Pyramids of Giza

Dana and Maria on a carriage at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Dana and Maria on a carriage

Dana and Maria on a carriage at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Dana and Maria on a carriage

The carriage was much faster than I was on the horse. The guide pointed out the pyramids and not much else. He was trying to make smalltalk and butter me up for a good tip.

On horseback at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

On horseback at the Pyramids of Giza

 

At one point, I saw the carriage stopped in the distance. When I caught up, there was a very jolly camel driver trying to get the women to pose for pictures with his camel. Dana was fighting with him in Arabic and neither of the two wanted to do it.

Camel driver at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Camel driver

Camel driver at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Camel driver

The carriage driver wouldn’t budge, so I said I would get on the camel and get it over with so we could move on. I got on the camel, took a picture with a fake smile, and tried to get off. The camel driver refused until I paid him.

Me on a camel at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Me on a camel

The nightmare wasn’t over. The carriage driver still refused to go unless Maria and Dana got on the camel for pictures. They reluctantly did it and we all posed for photos in front of the pyramids.

Dana, Maria, and me at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Dana, Maria, and me

Dana, Maria, and me at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Dana, Maria, and me

Finally, we were able to continue. We were taken through the rest of the pyramid field before stopping at a papyrus shop just outside the Sphinx. The shop owner tried to pressure us into buying but we politely thanked him and took some photos instead.

Papyrus shop in Giza, Egypt

Papyrus shop

Me, Maria, and Dana posing in front of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt

Me, Maria, and Dana posing in front of the pyramids

From there, we rode through the streets of Giza and got a look at local life. This was the most interesting part of the ride for me.

Dana and Maria on a carriage in Giza, Egypt

Dana and Maria on a carriage

Riding through Giza, Egypt

Riding through Giza

Riding through Giza, Egypt

Riding through Giza

Unfortunately, the conditions where the horses are kept are absolutely disgusting. We passed through a river of garbage to get to the stables. When we stopped, the guide wouldn’t let me off the horse until I paid him. As with the camel driver, I paid and expected him to let me off the horse, but instead he refused until I tipped him. I gave him a few pounds, and he ungratefully said “more”.

A river of garbage in Giza, Egypt

A river of garbage

My first experience at the pyramids was a terrible one, to say the least. I got absolutely nothing out of the visit except for a bad taste in my mouth. I felt I was literally robbed by the guides. I also felt I needed to go back to get a proper experience. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to visit again three years later.

If you visit, either do it on a guided tour in which you’ll actually learn something or ignore the horses and camels and carriages like the plague.

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