Starting with Egypt, the excitement was palpable as I had hyped this venture so much on my own. I can remember in 2014 thinking back at the Mayan pyramid’s size and thinking they must be a lot smaller than the Egyptian pyramids, but I would never be able to see them. Now I’m flying into Cairo to see this amazing human creation. Being that this was the first stop on the trip, it was one special way to start this journey. I couldn’t believe how enormous the pyramids were. I knew they were big, I heard the stories, read the research, see them on tv and in movies, but I couldn’t fathom them living up to the hype. Boy howdy did they. Marveling at their immense and imposing structure as the towered over Cairo, my mouth was aghast as we walked towards them. In front of the pyramids, humorously our tour guide offered the seven of us an opportunity I had no idea was possible, to go inside the pyramids. He said reluctantly, it will cost $15. The cost was laughable to experience this amazing opportunity. The sun was ever-present, but not overwhelming despite the time of the year. We went in the great pyramid and went through the extremely tight corridors through the one way passage. At the top of the narrow stairs, there was a small room where you could catch your breath amidst the sweltering heat. In it was a security guard and an empty tomb. Once leaving the tomb, we went further down to Panorama Point and saw all three pyramids in their glory together. Next we drove by the Great Sphinx and went by the building where the bodies were mummified. Seeing the Sphinx too, guarding the pyramids was awe-inspiring. I tend to be a kid in a candy store when I see things like this. Leaving the pyramids, we went to a perfume shop where we were offered several scents. Leaving here couldn’t have happened sooner, as we were now headed to Tahir Square where the 2011 revolution was the epicenter to the riots. Here the Egyptian Artifact Museum stood where we walked through the air-conditionedless 100 year old museum that was struggling to house all the mummies and artifacts that continued to be added. Thankfully next year a massive contemporary nearby building will house everything in a more modern and spacious building. The most striking artifacts we saw was the loot that was discovered in King Tutankhamen’s tomb. Disappointingly it was picture free, but the memories I’m sure will be intact for a long, long time. The fine detail on the sarcophagus’s to the glittering gold were phenomenal. The artifacts told a story that couldn’t be believed if it weren’t for Howard Carter’s discovery of these items. One can only imagine what items would have been found in Ramses the Great’s tomb. Cleansing our palette of excitement for our long day, we took a relaxing faluca sailboat ride on the Nile river. This let us catch our breath from all of the excitement we were having. Finishing the night, we traveled back towards the pyramids and ate at a wonderful restaurant that overlooked the pyramids, which were illuminated at night.
About Matthew Cottone
Experience the World! This is my creed I bring to my classroom and my life. I'm a World Studies teacher at Van Hoosen Middle School and I have a passion for learning and experiencing the world.