On having the opportunity to visit Cairo last June when my close friend was working there as a teacher, I jumped at the chance. An opportunity to visit ‘real’ Egypt at a time when there was much unrest and after many people had warned me against it made it seem more exciting and adventurous.
I decided since my friend was going to be working for the majority of our stay to take a girl friend of mine.
After having many adventures most of which were hilarious (not at the time) I have put together some tips in helping girls cope with visiting the Pyramids.
Visit the Pyramids BEFORE the mid-day heat. Try to get there about 8-9am. After 12 o’clock it really does get hot, and although it’s dry, there is absolutely no shade from the sun.
Make sure you wear appropriate clothing, firstly to protect yourself from the sun, and from getting stared at by men.
If you get a taxi to the pyramids make it very clear to the driver that you do not want him to let any tour guides into the taxi as you approach the pyramids.
Additionally never get into a cab which doesn’t have a meter. Best way to approach this is before you get into the taxi (even if you can see the meter) as the driver if he has one, so that he knows to use it.
When you get to the pyramids you will be approached by lots of tour guides wanting to take you themselves around the area. Some will have pony and traps, some will have camels, choose what you want to do but NEVER settle on the first, or second price that you are offered. Always say at least half of what they ask, if not more.
Make sure you wear a hat, or at least wear your hair up so that your scalp doesn’t get burnt!
Do not go with bare shoulders bring a light cotton shawl that you can cover yourself with. Even the most olive skin can get badly burnt.
Apply sun-cream regularly (don’t do it where men can watch you rubbing it into your skin, it can cause quite a reaction!)
Traveller’s insurance is a good idea for visiting the pyramids as it’s so easy to lose/break things when you are there.
Don’t expect to see sign posts directing you to which pyramid is which, or where to go, there are NONE!
If you choose to go on a horse and cart, don’t expect it’s going to be a relaxing ride. If you like rollercoasters then this will be great fun.
DO go inside the pyramids. The smaller ones are equally as impressive and cheaper to get into.
When going into the smaller pyramids make sure you wear appropriate footwear as there is a very steep passage way downwards with wooden slats across which can make wearing flimsy flip flops a real challenge.
Inside the Pyramids its very humid. Beware of taking photos there as you will look shiny, red, and sweaty! Not to be shared on Facebook.
Don’t be fooled by the charm of the local men, and be very firm when you have agreed to pay a fixed price for something.
This is just a few warning tips, but by no means be put off from visiting the pyramids as I can honestly say, that it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Deborah Evans is a part time writer based in the UK with special interests in travel and technology.
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