Sunday, November 15, 2009


I've been wanting to get out to the Saqqara Pyramids for a while now, but just haven't bothered to do so. I finally did the other day and boy was it an adventure. I took the metro to Helwan, the last stop on it and just across the river from Saqqara. This is by far the cheapest way of getting there because any metro ride you take is only 1 pound (20ish cents). The cab ride should have been short and pretty cheap, but not with the cab. I told him Saqqara Haram (Saqqara Pyramids) and of course he said ok and started driving. After a while it felt as though we had been driving too long and even though I had kept telling him Saqqara and he said yes the Giza pyramids were appearing in the windshield. Giza is 11 Km south of Cairo and Saqqara is 30 Km. So this cab driver drove 20 Km north instead of taking me across the river. I took a metered cab thinking it would be better for this ride so I don't have to argue my way out of a tourist price. Well, not with this driver. I eventually had to call Hany to tell him in Arabic that I wanted Saqqara Pyramids and the cab driver than told me not to worry about the meter. Well that was nice of him until we finally got to Saqqara (70 Km later) and he wanted what the meter said. I told him no gave him some money and walked into the entrance area. Well he followed me and got someone who spoke English to harass me about it. I told the guy what happened and how much I paid and he basically told the cab driver to get lost.

Now on to the ruins. They were great! A old tomb that was still in pretty good shape that I walked though. Then I was taken on a private tour of some other tombs with amazing hieroglyphics on the walls. Some were in color others were the chiseled letters. The famous pyramid at Saqqara is the step pyramid. It looks and is small compared to the Giza pyramids, but when I climbed up it I realized how big it was. In the picture of me on it I look like a tiny speck. The Saqqara complex was more interesting than Giza because you can just walk around and pretty much do as you please. Nobody stops you and if they do you talk to them and they let you do what you want, sometimes a little bribe is also required.

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