See the pyramids along the Nile….

#100. See the pyramids.

I’ve seen the only remaining wonder of the seven wonders of the world, have you?

whoa, it's a pyramid! by me

The first thing that I ever wrote down on my list of 100 things to do before I die was to see the pyramids. I have been fascinated by Egyptian history since reading Lloyd Alexander’s Time Cat when I was little and finding out that the Egyptians thought that cats were gods. I’ve always been a cat person, okay?

There’s something iconic about getting to see the pyramids. Eiffel towers, Colosseums, Statues of Liberty are the bookmarks of travel guides, the milestones of trips around the world.

The question is, do you see the pyramids to say that you have seen the pyramids, or do you actually see the pyramids? Do you stop and think about what you’re seeing? About how long it has survived? About the thousands of people who built it, or the millions of people who have stood where you’re standing and looked up?

The pyramids aren’t what you think they’re going to be. Behind them you can see downtown Cairo. Across the street from the Sphinx there’s a Pizza Hut and a KFC. The pyramids are no longer a relic of a great civilization. They are, instead, a magnet for tourist dollars and cheap souvenirs.

I wouldn’t let them ruin it for me. As I stood there on the sand, I forced myself to look up and not at the merchants circling nearby. I forced myself to remember every favourite moment in all of my favourite historical fictions that made me fall in love with ancient Egypt.

The pyramids are a feat of engineering and design. A colossus, withstanding the test of time and giving the Pharaohs what they desired most - immortality. Because thousands of years later, we still stand amazed.

3 Comments

  • By Lisa, January 29, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    Wow, I am really jealous that you got to see the pyramids. My mom and I have wanted to see them for *ages*…my aunt did warn us about the fast food chains like right across from them, she said it was sort of unexpected. It’s truly amazing when you think of all the time and effort that went into crafting them…people don’t build like that anymore!

  • By Christine Sweeton *The Chris*, January 29, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    They are on my list. (A list I have yet to write.) I can’t wait to see the pictures and hear about the trip!!

  • By Eleni, January 29, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    Wow, that’s so cool. I’d love to see the pyramids some day. It is amazing how old they are, and it’s mind-boggling to think that *real people* toiled in that very spot 4000 years ago to build it. I wonder what, if anything, will remain of our current civilization in 4000 years.

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