I thought it couldn’t get any hotter than outside. The weather around 10:00 was somewhere near 40 degrees outside the Pyramid in Dashur, and climbing 200 feet up the side was exhausting in the heat. But once I set foot inside the pyramid, there’s wasn’t even a breeze to cool the air. And now with every step down into the center the air got hotter, but with a stale smell to it. The passageway was hundreds of feet long and only about 4 feet high, causing me to crouch with sweat dripping into my eyes. By the time we made it down into the center of the structure, it had to be another 10 degrees hotter than outside. It felt like I was melting, my legs were on fire and I was getting dizzy with heat exhaustion. I loved every minute of it.
I felt like Indiana Jones going into the unknown. The way these things were built is amazing. Huge stone blocks put together with not even a hairs width of room in-between them. No concrete sticking out, just the weight of a million tons pressing down keeping everything together. Yet there are passageways leading to a Queens tomb and the Kings tomb, and a large gallery that raises up 50 feet into the middle. How the hell did they build these things? Are there more passageways that haven’t been discovered? And inside a huge room where the Kings tomb sat empty, the precious items stolen long ago. Being inside made me feel like a child again. I remember reading about them when I was very young and being amazed, thinking about one day going to explore the ancient wonders of the old world.
If walking the alleys of Rome was “tripping over history”, being amongst the ruins of Egypt is like experiencing the start of civilization. This is where it all started. This is where we evolved from wandering packs of wolves to creating monuments that will outlast us. Walking through the Egypt section of the Louvre is nothing compared to walking through the endless statues, sculptures and Pyramids that are located all around the Nile. I never knew there were over 100 Pyramids dotted throughout the valley, and this was only a portion of what Egypt had to offer. It must have been some sight to see all the Pyramids in the desert, as the sun reflected off of their massive white limestone casings for as far as the eye can see. It truly would have looked like burial chambers of the gods.
After visiting the Step Pyramid, we went to the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza. I couldn’t help but be in awe of the sheer scale of the 3 Pyramids, they are much bigger than I ever imagined. And as we climbed up the side of the second pyramid of the day, the adrenaline of going inside fueled my legs that felt like mush. The thing that striked me the most odd was that there were no hieroglyphics inside the Pyramids. In fact there were no markings of any kind inside that I could tell. I always thought there would be innumerable inscriptions on every solid face inside, but apparently not.
It was always a dream of mine to go see the Pyramids, and I’m glad we were able to make it happen. It only makes me want to go back to Egypt in the future, and further south near the Valley of the Kings. The pyramids are only the tip of the iceberg in the sweltering desert, with more than 80% of the important finds being further south.