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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Pyramids of Egypt

It occurred to me that I haven't ever put together a comprehensive portrait of the pyramids on this blog.  To help out the Chamber of Commerce, I'll do so.  (Click any picture to get to a larger version.)

Many visitors to Cairo are surprised to discover how close to town the Great Pyramids of Giza are.

They are named, moving from left to right in that picture:  Menkaure, Khafre, Khufu.  Sometimes the right two are also called by their Greek version of those names, Cephron and Cheops.  Wikipedia has a good map of the area with all of its features here. Khafre and Khufu make great photographic subjects.  As the daylight changes, their appearance changes too.  Night time adds another dimension.
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And that cap, which can look smooth from the distance, is really quite rough.
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You can only appreciate the size of the stones when you approach the base.  Otherwise, there is nothing to give you a sense of proportion.
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The pyramid of Khufu offers similar contrasts between day and night.  Since it is the tallest, it was frequently climbed in the not too distant past.  Climbers went up along the corner with help from experienced guides.
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Leaving these behind and moving fourteen miles to the Memphis / Sakkara area brings you to the earlier step pyramid and the bent pyramids.
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In the same area, the Red Pyramid is particularly attractive because it is less frequented by large numbers of tourists.
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And really off the beaten path, you will find the Hawara pyramid at Fayoum. 

I have more details on other posts on this blog.

Giza pyramids.
Sakkara area pyramids.
Hawara pyramid.

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