Friday, June 24, 2016

Egypt: Pyramids of Giza

After our short UAE stint, we took a 3 hour flight from Dubai to Cairo, Egypt for the official start of our Holy Land Tour.

Egypt was one of the greatest civilizations in the ancient world, they have rich history and culture which started way back 3100 BC. Their history is overwhelming that there was a discipline called Egyptology which is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion and arts from the 5th millennial BC.

The first mention of Egypt in the Old Testament was from the book of Genesis 12:10, when Abram went down to Egypt because of famine in the land. But perhaps you would better remember Egypt in the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 when he was sold into slavery in Egypt, who eventually rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. In Exodus, the death of Joseph connects to Moses, who was called by God to lead the liberation of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt to the promised land.

Whew! Hope that provides a background why our Holy Land Tour started in Egypt. So back to the tour, our first stop is the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo. The museum houses an extensive collection of more than 120,000 items of Pharaonic antiquities. Among the greatest display we get to see are actual royal mummies preserved more than thousand of years back and the treasures of King Tutankhamun.

After a long day we get to check in to Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel and Spa. The view from the hotel is outstanding, as you could see pyramids through the background.

View from hotel's swimming pool
The following day, we visited the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to remain intact - Great Pyramids of Giza. Egyptologists believed that the pyramid was build as a tomb for King Khufu, an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh during the 4th Dynasty(26th century BC). Standing tall today at 138 meters(455 feet)high, Egyptologist estimated it took more than 2.3 million blocks of carved limestones with a workforce of 100 thousand slaves to build the largest pyramid within 20 long years.  

Red Bus of CCF Holy Land Tour 2016

Panoramic view of the Pyramids of Giza

Pyramids relative to size of the bus :D


Adjacent to Pyramids of Giza is the largest single massive stone statue in the world standing at 73.5 meters(214 feet) long 19.3 meters(63 feet) wide and 20.22 meters(66.34 feet) high -- the Great Sphynx of Giza. Sphynx is a limestone statue of a reclining sphynx, a mythical creation with a lions body and a human head. The face of the Sphynx is believed to represent Pharoah Khafra, another ancient Egyptian king during the 4th Dynasty and the son of King Khufu.

Sphynx

Streets of Cairo
On the bus we had a glimpse of the longest river in the world - Nile river and the flourishing vegetation alongside it. It is evident that the areas near Nile river cultivates different kinds of greenery and life.

We also get to taste local KFC in Egypt, haha we love KFC. Next thing I know we are set on a seven hour travel to St. Catherine to visit Mount Sinai. On our way we had a short stop over in Marah where in Exodus 15 the Israelites came to drink but the water was bitter and Moses performed a miracle by turning the water sweet.


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