MenuBack

Egypt group tour with Travel Talk Tours! Great Sphinx, ancient pyramids of Giza, Djoser step pyramid.

travel blogger girl sphinx egypt cairo

Meow! Hello, Sphinx-y!

Did you miss me? I’m back to blogging, after an unforgettable journey in Egypt with Travel Talk Tours.

great pyramids giza viewpoint

Yukiro and I spent twelve days in Egypt, on a Travel Talk group tour with other young travellers from around the world. What a moment to finally stand in front of the Pyramids of Giza, one of the Seven World Wonders!

step pyramid djoser sakkara

On the first day of the journey, we walked in the footsteps of the ancient Egyptians, and saw magnificent sites like the pyramid of Djoser. Read on for our “queens of the Nile” adventures in and around Cairo.

I wore a red Keipsule dress for the occassion. I’m shading myself from Ra (the sun god) with my Gottex Belladonna hat from UK Swimwear; see more styles below.

7 wonders pyramids travel talk tours

While Egypt’s tourist areas are safe to visit, this is not the easiest country to navigate. Thankfully, Yukiro and I could lean on Travel Talk Tours, as they took care of every arrangement for us (hotels, transport, activities, restaurants, guiding).

We joined their 12 day Felucca Odyssey and Red Sea tour, along with about 30 other millennial travelers aged around 18-35. Travel Talk offers a variety of customization options, so you can tailor the trip to your preferences. For instance, you can choose to do a Nile cruise for a few days, or sail and sleep on a Felucca. (Or lounge in a Luxor hotel, as we queens did!)

great sphinx profile nose

When I arrived at Cairo International Airport, I immediately spotted a team member holding up a “Travel Talk Tours” sign. He helped me buy the visa on arrival ($25 US), and breeze though customs. Then, he drove me to the Oasis Pyramids hotel where everyone was staying.

The next day, I filled up on pita, falafel and vegetables for breakfast. And then, it was off to see the Great Sphinx of Giza!

keipsule silk dress, blue purple long dyed hair

Even if you’ve seen the Sphinx a thousand times in photos and videos, nothing comes close to being here in person.

Our guide told us how the statue depicts a mythical creature with a human head (probably the pharoah Khafre) with a lion body. Can you believe this magnificent beast was sculpted during the Old Kingdom, almost 5000 years ago?

I’m wearing a silk dress by Keipsule. Click the images below if one of these red dresses catches your eye:

travel talks tours review egypt tour group

We learned that the Sphinx didn’t actually lose his nose to Napoleon Bonaparte’s cannonballs. There are many tales of how the nose and beard went missing, but nobody knows the truth… except perhaps the mysterious Sphinx himself.

(I’m wearing these exact Oliver Goldsmith 1970’s sunglasses.)

pyramids giza tickets entry fee

Our Travel Talk Tours guide got everyone entry tickets at each ancient site, which again let us relax and enjoy the experience. You could opt for extra tickets as well, such as to go inside the Pyramid of Khufu. (We did, although no photos were allowed… it was a steep, hunched walk up several ramps to see the sarcophagus in the King’s Chamber.)

egypt instagram travel blogger girl

Some of the people in our tour opted to take a camel ride through the Giza plateau. Everyone else went to this viewpoint of all three pyramids. You can tell I’m stunned by this powerful sight: the triad of Menkaure, Khafre, and Khufu.

great pyramid cheops khufu

Even Yukiro looks small beneath the Great Pyramid of Giza. Also known as the Pyramid of Cheops, it’s the largest and oldest of the trio, rising up 148 feet.

Why the triangular shape? Some think this represents the sun’s rays, or the primordial mound from which Egyptians believe life originated.

egypt packing outfits what wear cairo women

To this day, archaeologists aren’t certain how the ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids. Just look how immense each stone block is compared to me… did the Egyptians have remarkably advanced knowledge, much like the Rapa Nui of Easter Island? Or perhaps aliens gave a helping hand?

(My foldable wide brimmed sun hat is this Gottex Belladonna by UK Swimwear. My heart purse is by Lola Ramona.)

khuru khafre Menkaure ancient egyptian pyramids

Yukiro and I have globetrotted to many places together, and Egypt ranks among our most epic trips. We got to know our fellow tour-mates over the 12 days; many were from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, and everyone was around our age.

cairo great pyramid tips travel photography

Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egyptian culture. Mummies, devious queens, cat worship, books of the dead… such a mysterious and advanced civilization!

spider ring, necklace goth jewelry

We dressed with Egyptian occult flourishes in honor of Anubis, jackel-headed god of the underworld. Yukiro displays spider rings and a Goth Sixh top by h.Naoto.

alex streeter scorpion marquise ring

I wore my new Alex Streeter Marquise scorpion ring; his silver design with a black stone is part of his Egyptian jewelry collection. My blue and gold hieroglyph nail art is by Glam Nail Studio.

lola ramona heart shaped bag retro lolita

We were in Egypt in late February to March: it’s a great time to go, as the weather is not too hot, and there aren’t many tourists around.

It’s best to wear outfits that cover your shoulders and knees; my leggings by Charli Cohen were perfect for the occasion. Of course, I lived in sunglasses and a big hat. My large bag by Lola Ramona was handy for carrying bottles of water and hand sanitizer.

young travelers tour egypt

Striking geometric poses in front of the Pyramid of Khafre or Chephren, the second tallest of the three. You can see remains of the original Tura limestone casing at the tip of the triangle.

ancient egyptian nail art hieroglyphs nails

While you’re in Cairo, you must go to the outskirts to witness the first “step” the Egyptians took in building the pyramids…

Close up on my Marquise scorpion ring by Alex Streeter Jewelry, and Egyptian symbols gel nails by Glam Nail Studio.

pyramid of Zoser djoser cairo

While the Giza pyramids tend to overshadow it, I was impressed by the step pyramid of Djoser. It dates back to the 27th century BCE, and stands 60 meters high. Imhotep, the Pharoah’s vizier, was the architect behind this stepped structure.

cairo hieroglyphics ancient egypt carvings

The pyramid stands in the necropolis of Saqqara. We loved wandering around and popping into the tombs of other kings and wives, which are covered in impressive hieroglyphic carvings.

egyptian poses arm positions

Imhotep’s architecture draws upon light, shadow and shapes for maximum drama.

archaeological ruins cairo egypt

Our Travel Talks guide took us to see the excavations at Sakkara, including a deep trench. In the distance, you can see the points of Cairo’s pyramids.

ancient egyptian oldest pyramid saqqara

Goths tend to be quite fond of Egyptian culture, perhaps because of our shared interest in death rituals. The pyramids were built to help the king ascend to eternal life. And the Egyptians mummified both humans and animals, using techniques that we still cannot replicate today.

egypt pyramid blocks

The video game “Assassin’s Creed” has a Tombs in Saqqara quest, which is rather accurate to creeping around in real life.

ancient egyptian wall carvings art

The various burial chambers are decorated with wall carvings. This one shows servants bringing offerings to the deceased (boy, those giant cupcakes look delicious).

cairo egypt tomb raider girl

Feeling like Lara Croft – Tomb Raider as I explored these ancient passageways of the dead.

tomb unas ankh egypt pharoah

The Tomb of Unas Ankh contained three trapdoors to deter tomb raiders. The walls are inscribed with ancient Egyptian texts about life after death.

bent upside down ankh curving

When you’re here in the flesh, you can spot details that you rarely see in textbooks and documentaries: such as this curving ankh!

The ankh symbolizes eternal life, and is often found in modern Gothic aesthetics (the character Death in The Sandman comics wore a silver ankh necklace).

Imhotep first egyptian doctor carvings physician

Our guide pointed out this scene of a doctor attending to his patients: he’s using a scribe to prescribe medications on papyrus! I wonder why the sick are bent over… perhaps they hurt their backs while trying to move the heavy pyramid stones?

travel talks tours group trip egypt

Other glyphs showed scenes from everyday life, such as hunting, sailing, dancing. Some of the bas-reliefs are still colored with the original pigments.

riding donkey cairo egypt

Outside, Yukiro got into a situation that involved a donkey ride… Let’s just say, I took this photo with the man cut in half on purpose!

stepped pyramid saqarah egypt

Powering up from the sacred geometry. (Yukiro found a number of sand monsters around Djoser’s pyramid, on Pokemon Go).

sakkara djoser entrance to mortuary temple

The entrance to mortuary complex looks remarkably modern.

I’m being photobombed by a souvenir vendor… they’re all over Egypt’s landmarks. If they approach you, simply say no and walk on.

saqqara temple colonnades pillars

Inside the narrow doorway, you’ll find these colonnades. Architect Imhotep designed the 20 columns to look like bundles of reeds from the river Nile.

egypt murals hieroglyphic writing

I still can’t believe how much we saw on our first day with Travel Talk Tours! (You can find out more about our trip, and many other experiences worldwide, on their site.)

egypt group tours trips travel talks

A final Hail to the Sphinx. Can you answer his riddle: “What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?”

If you enjoyed this dispatch from Cairo, then your jaw will drop when you see what we did next… stay tuned for more from Egypt, as well as France and Lebanon!

SHARE & COMMENT

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked with *

*
*