When you hear the word “Egypt,” mental images of the three great pyramids are bound to come to mind; however, the desert surrounding Cairo is also full of these stunning memorials. For a breathtaking family adventure that is sure to leave a lasting impression, take your kids to explore the many pyramids of Ancient Egypt.
There are more pyramids than you know of
After getting a good night’s rest, your first day should undoubtedly be spent on a trip to see the most ancient of monuments in the Giza area. At Saqqara, you will find the step pyramid of King Djoser. Curious children will enjoy roaming about the complex and hearing about the kings and architects who made this nearly deserted area the lively Egyptian capital of Memphis over 4,000 years ago.Continue on to the Dahshur area where you and your child will find an interesting example of an ancient architectural success and failure. The angle of the Bent Pyramid was changed halfway through construction, and is most likely the first attempt—and fail—at creating a smooth-sided pyramid . The Red Pyramid, however, seems to have worked out just fine. This pyramid is almost as large as the Great Pyramid itself, and you can go into it. After climbing the many, many steps to get up to the entry way, you will have to crouch down for the descent into the belly of the pyramid. Here you will find a massive vaulted ceiling, which is believed to be the main burial chamber.
Climb into a sarcophagus
An absolute must for the adventurous family is a trip to Meidum and Mastaba 17. The pyramid at Meidum is a small feat compared to the many stunning architectural accomplishments that litter the desert around Cairo, but this mastaba offers visitors the opportunity to really. This excursion is not for the claustrophobic or faint of heart. The owner of this huge, mound-like tomb is still unknown, but it has something that the others do not. Children and parents alike can pass through the small entrance and proceed to crawl through the narrow passageways, cross wooden planks, and climb up and down ladders until they make it to the massive sarcophagus which still lies in the back of the tomb. Climb in and try it on for size!
The main event
Every child—and probably adult as well—dreams of seeing the Pyramids of Giza one day, and you won’t be disappointed. Up close and personal, these stone giants are even more impressive than in their photos ; you feel both shock and awe when considering how the brilliant architects and brave laborers made these. During your time at the pyramids, you and your child can explore the pyramids inside and out, check out the queens’ tombs that surround them and see a real-life ancient Egyptian boat which was dug up and reconstructed next to the Great Pyramid. A short distance away, you and your child will find the famous Sphinx who is still there keeping guard. If those little feet are tired by now, or you simply want to give your child an immense experience they won’t forget, you can easily catch one of the gentlemen roaming the area offering camel rides around the complex. Be sure to come back after dark for the informative and fun light show performed at the Great Pyramids.
The pyramids near Cairo come alive for the discerning traveler, so if you or your child is interested in history, architecture, culture or food, plan your next family getaway to Cairo. There is no end to the wonders you will experience and the mini-adventures that you will have as a family.
Shauna Armitage is a parenting blogger, a freelance travel writer and the co-founder of Pure Wander Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @CarpeCalamus