The one memorable occasion, besides the pompous guy who thought his robot moves were the greatest thing since sliced bread, was the horseback ride through a desert path. Sure it was contrived, and I was skeptical from the beginning, but once my horse and I got out by ourselves I felt a little less judgmental about it all. There are still things to enjoy amidst the glaring Westernized establishments. Like the fact that the mere moon itself lit up the entire desert ahead of us and revealed the pyramids that seemed close enough to just walk over and touch, bathing the sand in blues and purples.
Friday was hot even at ten in the morning. It seemed like the afternoon was going to be miserable, but I endeavored against it, because nothing was going to ruin the excitement of seeing the pyramids in Giza. It bothers me that I can't come up with enough words to correctly describe just how magical they are in person, but I'll try. You have to drive up a steep way in order to get to the entrance, and you're so busy staring at the giant monuments in front of you that you almost forget to look behind you at the completely panoramic view of the city. The minarets from the nearby mosque echoed with the call to prayer as we entered - a dramatic difference between what faith in Ancient Egypt was then and what it is now. We roamed around the 2nd pyramid, the one that still had part of its limestone casing at the top (the pyramids were encased with pink granite, limestone, and grey granite - respectively - back in the day) and I really loved the view of the birds that would swoop around the top and perch on some of the ancient stones before taking flight again against the desert winds. There were of course many peddlers trying to sell people camel rides or stupid little trinkets but it was easy to ignore them as we were all too busy imagining what the pyramids must have looked like in their prime, the sunrise glinting off from the top and making them all look like gold. Cameras weren't allowed inside the actual pyramid - which was narrow in every direction and from a moment's glance looked like one wrong step would kill you for sure - but I didn't listen and sweet-talked my way into getting the watchman to let me take a picture standing inside the actual stone tomb that held the sarcophagus of a dead Pharaoh. I'm the kind of person that would love to be in The Mummy. Alas, me disturbing the final resting place of Khafra didn't seem to do much of anything, but it was still pretty cool. The final visiting place was of the Sphinx, and though there was a hotel and a KFC/Pizza Hut right across from it, it was still very ethereal. It all just makes me wish that I could somehow go back in time just to watch everything happen - not to change anything, just to watch. There must be so much that we don't know and so much that we think we know but have gotten completely wrong. Lost knowledge makes me very sad.