We always meant to do some sight-seeing this winter, while the weather's not so hot, but we got a little side-tracked by the revolution. Now that that's all over, we felt free to take up our cameras and sunglasses and guidebooks and go see some pyramids. We've both been to Giza multiple times to see Egypt's most famous pyramids, so this time we took the less traveled route to Dahshur and Saqqara, both about an hour south of Cairo.
Dahshur has three main pyramids (and two other piles of rubble that used to be pyramids). The Bent Pyramid (left) is so named because the workmen started building at a 50 something degree angle, but found the structure was becoming unstable halfway up. They then switched to a forty something degree angle, causing the pyramid to appear bent.
The Red Pyramid is named for the reddish color of the rocks that now form the outer shell of the pyramid. You can actually go inside this pyramid - so we did. You go backwards about 140 meters down a steep ramp with metal rods across to brace your feet on. It gets hotter as you go down - my hair was sticking to my neck by the halfway point. There's no wind at all inside a pyramid. The inner chambers (there were three) were lit by electric lights along the floor. The third chamber you had to climb up again a bit to look into, and we didn't stay long because the smell was horrific! Dylan plugged his nose with his hand and I covered my mouth and nose with my shirt. All the chambers were empty, but it's still cool just to think about the fact that you're in a pyramid thousands of years old!
Saqqara is best known for it's Step Pyramid - actually one of the first pyramids built in Egypt. As you can see by the scaffolding, people were working on the pyramid - doing what, I'm not exactly sure. Restoration? There were actually a few tour groups at Saqqara, although it was far from crowded (Dahshur was actually deserted except for us).
We had a great time exploring Saqqara as we could largely go wherever we wished and there were so many tombs and other structures! I'm heading into a tomb in this picture - most of these only went in a few feet before they are filled up with sand again. The site was basically one big cemetery surrounding the pharaoh's tomb.