We left Aswan and our last Nile felucca experience and headed for the train station mid evening to take the Aswan to Cairo sleeper train.
I have been on a sleeper train (one for 32 hours and one for 48 hours) before but that was in India and they aren’t very inviting (as well as a bit dirty they have cockroaches and mice) but I loved them anyway. We did travel second class so probably first class is better. This train was luxury compared to India.
It was very clean and we had two adjoining compartments with 4 beds, a bit small but other than that there is nothing to complain about. The food wasn’t the best but it was edible. We got on the train an hour before it set off at 8pm and arrived in Cairo at 9am. We were meant to arrive at 8 but it was late.
Thomas (the owner from our guesthouse) had come to pick us up to take us to his guest house on Sound and Light avenue. It is called the Pyramids Loft. It had 3 floors and the roof terrace view was amazing, it was probably one of the best views of the pyramids you could have.
My parents had a room to themselves and so did I. We shared a bathroom and kitchen with the other guests. Thomas was still working on the building and had given us rooms which weren’t really ready but we took these as all the others were booked up and we wanted to stay here for the view and proximity to the pyramids. We stayed for 9 nights. There was a small shop down the road which sold the basics and the shop keeper seemed to really like me since I had the same name as his daughter.
The first place we visited was the Saqqara pyramids (also spelt Sakkara in English) which was an hours drive from our apartment. We took a mini bus with a really nice Australian couple who were also staying at the loft. Hi Willamina and Heath.
Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground with a stepped pyramid as the main building. It was a bit spoilt as there was scaffolding all over it for ongoing renovations but it was worth seeing anyway.
In the distance you could just about see the pyramids of Giza, which I noticed stood at the same angle as the stepped pyramid. We spent about an hour here as it was so vast we didn’t know where to look.
Next we drove to Dahshur a royal necropolis in the desert. It has two of the oldest, largest and best preserved pyramids in Egypt but it doesn’t have many visitors. They were constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu (2613-2589 BC).
The Red pyramid ( aka as Sneferu’s Red Pyramid was the first pyramid I’ve ever been inside of. It was a steep passageway going right to the center. Once we arrived at the bottom the first thing we spotted was that it was boiling.
The ceiling was stepped upwards, it was amazing.
(how did they build these?). From here we had to walk up a ladder to the tomb room. There were two rooms with both the same ceiling. As soon as I got inside my legs started shaking and I could hardly stand up. The hardest was to walk downwards which I had to take step by step. This lasted for a couple of days.
Next we went to the Bent pyramid (which was still in the area of Dahshur and also known as Sneferu’s Bent Pyramid) which as you might have guessed was bent or curved. There was a passage way into this one but you couldn’t go inside.
We walked around it all (me still shaking) and had some pictures taken by a couple of army guards and then headed back to the van. The facing stones on the bent pyramid were largely intact, so it gave an idea of what the Giza pyramid facing stones looked like before they were removed to make lime for cement, and other building use.
We drove home just as the sun was setting.