Giza/Saqqara

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Mar 23rd, 2004, 05:02 AM
  #1
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Giza/Saqqara

It it reasonable/desirable to spend a full day at each of these sites? Given the proximity, it seems like you could do both in the same day, but I haven't the desire or need to rush. On the other hand, I don't want to set aside too much time and wind up being bored or worn out. I have four days in Cairo, and so far the general plan is 1)Giza 2)Saqqara 3) Museum/bazaar shopping 4)Whatever.
Any suggestions for whatever?
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Hi ncanavan:
My husband and I just came back from 2 weeks in Egypt. 1 day is definately enough for both Giza and Saqqara. Perhaps you could use one of your days to do a "city tour" and visit Islamic Cairo, the Alabaster Mosque, etc. Have a great time in Egypt! You will love it.
Lori Glenn
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:24 PM
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sandi
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You can cover Giza (Pyramids & Sphinx) in morning; then Saqqara in afternoon. Do take a tour of Old and Coptic Cairo and the synagogue - get all you religions in and then the bazaar in afternoon. The Museum needs more than the usual morning or afternoon - you need a full day at minimum (and it's still not enough to see everything), but must break it up - TMI, that the Dynasties start running into one another. You might even be able to get a trip to Fayoum the oasis town not far from Cairo, but don't know whether a day w/ overnight is doable.

Whatever you manage to get in, it's better than not visiting here. It's quite amazing.
 
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 09:14 PM
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I agree with sandi, do Saqqara and Giza in one day.

It would be very easy to spend a full day at the museum, but be sure to get a guide. The displays are not very well marked, the place is huge, and it all gets a little overwhelming after a while. SO - take a few coffee breaks to rejunvinate! Also, if possible, try to get a good written guidebook to the museum before you get there. I didn't think the guidebooks in the museum shop were very helpful.

A tour of Coptic Cairo is a nice addition. You get a good feel for the Chritian and Jewish history of Cairo. As for mosques, you can always go to the big mosque at the Citadel, but I really liked the Sultan Hassan and Rafai mosques, located behind the Citadel. The Sultan Hassan is an old mosque with beautful inlaid marble accents throughout. The Rafai is a relatively new mosque, but the former Shah of Iran and King Farouk are buried there.

Have fun shopping in the Khan el Khalili, and don't forget to take a felucca (sailboat) ride on the Nile!
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Mar 24th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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Hmmm...

I don't know. I was doing some more reading on the pyramid fields last night, and it just seems like an injustice, or just plain overload to pack it all into one day. The same problem presents itself in regards to the museum.
In order to appreciate the evolution of pyramid architecture, as well as the scope of history in the museum, I'm thinking about breaking the experiences up into two days - on day one start at Dahshur and end at Abu Sir, then back to Cairo for an afternoon at the museum, and then do Giza (and the museum again) on day two.
So, two questions:

What's the travel time to Dahshur?

To avoid transportation doubts, should I hire a taxi for 1/2 day to take me there and back?

As for mosques, having been to Istanbul on two occasions - I may have had my fill. My greatest aspiration for Islamic Cairo, besides the bazaar, is to hang out somewhere for at least two hours to smoke a waterpipe, and sip tea, and feel, and not think at all.

Oh... right, and a felucca ride.

So, to recap: I want to hang out in the desert, hang out in a cafe, and then hang out on the water.
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Mar 24th, 2004, 03:01 PM
  #6
sandi
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I don't know where my Egypt guidebook is, but any good current book should have information as to distance and how much travel time to consider.

And do sit with a "hubble bubble" - it's so much fun.

As to mosques, have to agree - the mosques in Turkey are much more impressive and in better repair. So you can probably skip some here.

It all comes down to what you want to do and the time needed to get it done. Hey, you're on vacation - go with the flow!
 
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Mar 26th, 2004, 08:55 AM
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I'm just back from Cairo, and we covered quite a lot in the four days we were there. We found one (very long) day covered Saqqara, Memphis and Giza. We didn't feel rushed anywhere, and covered what we wanted to see.

Our four days were spent as follows:
1) Egyptian Museum
2) Saqqara, Memphis & Giza
3) Coptic and Old Cairo. Roda Island
Nile dinner cruise in evening.
4) Islamic Cairo - Citadel, Khan el Khalili, Mosque (can't remember the name of it offhand - where Shah of Iran is buried.)
Pyramids Sound & Light in evening.

I know this wouldn't suit everyone, but I'm happy to share our recent experience with anyone who needs it!


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Apr 28th, 2004, 06:44 AM
  #8
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And now, having just returned, I'll answer my own question.

Giza and Saqqara in one day is too much. By the time you reach the second sight you will be over-sensitized or over-tired, or just plain rushed.

One could easily spend a full day at Saqqara and Dashur, and I recommend it. The Giza Pyramids/Sphinx/boat museum is a minimum of three hours, unless you just don't care what you're looking at. I spent a half day at Giza, and the rest of the day at the museum in Cairo.
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Apr 28th, 2004, 07:25 AM
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Depending on when you go, the concept of a "full day" gets difficult - for a good part of the year the mid-day is so hot that many people tour in early AM (we were at Giza Pyramids before 7 AM) and resume later in the day.
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Apr 28th, 2004, 02:09 PM
  #10
sandi
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Giza, Memphis, Saqqara in one day is too much?

We spent the morning in Giza*, then had lunch and then headed to Memphis and Saqqara - certainly not too much to take in. But the best was that after "all that" - we had tickets for the opera AIDA at the pyramids.

We weren't back to our hotel till way after midnight, and were up early, bright eyed and ready for the Museum.

We were never rushed, nor felt we were being rushed. Our guide just went with the flow, as did we. It's all relative.

*before lunch we even decided to go shopping in a local supermarket - if that wasn't a hoot! Considering everthing was written in Arabic, the Egyptian shoppers were only too glad to help, and laugh with us. But we got so excited when we could determine what some items were because we recognized the packaging, same as those found back in NYC.

 
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