Saturday, November 8, 2008

Egypt 2008: Giza pyramids sound & light show

Throughout the trip we had a tightly packed schedule with very little free time. Only towards the end of the cruise did we have much time to ourselves ... plus the last day in Cairo. Even during the last few days in Luxor we had a schedule to keep. Not that I'm complaining ... this was by our own choice, we wanted to see as much as we possibly could while we were there. But it did take a lot out of us ... when we got back home we both felt like we needed a vacation to rest & recuperate after our vacation! LOL!

Anyway ... after arriving at the hotel, we only had a couple of hours to get settled in and look around the hotel before it was time to head out again. Our scheduled event for that night was the sound and light show in Giza. It's an hour-long SFX run through of the history of ancient Egypt, using the Giza pyramids as backdrop and the Sphinx as narrator. :-) Wael met us in the lobby and took us out to our trusty minibus for the drive out to Giza, which used to be a separate village, but is now a section of Cairo (Cairo is a huge metropolis with 18 million inhabitants). CH and I chatted about this and that until we suddenly OMG spotted the pyramids!! :-o Or two of them anyway. This of course got us totally psyched. Seeing them, even from so far away, was just amazing. I already posted the first picture I took, which was almost beyond blurry. (I'm still learning about that new camera of mine ... :-) I also shot a short video, again, through the car window:

SO COOL ... !! zomg pyramids!! :-D

This was the first good picture I managed to take. Ie, in Giza. ;-) CH in the corner. Pretty good if I do say so myself. It was an amazing sight ...

Just seeing the pyramids (the PYRAMIDS!) was so ... awesome. It was the same feeling I got the first time I saw the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. Both sights made me feel almost incredulous, because these are images that are so iconic, but then you're standing there and you realize that wow ... they really do exist. :-)

This (above) is the Sphinx and the Khefren pyramid. There are a total of 49 pyramids in Egypt (so far - no telling if more remain to be discovered) and the three famous ones in Giza are the graves of three kings of the same family, Cheops (to the right when seen from the Sphinx), his son Khefren (center) and his grandson Mykerinos (left). They are successively smaller as it was considered disrespectful to construct one's own grave larger than one's predecessor's. Cheops is the largest; if it appears to be smaller, that is a trick of the terrain. Khefren's pyramid is built on higher ground, but it is in fact smaller than Cheops'.

Before the show started, there was a performance by a group of bagpipe players (yes, really) dressed in what obviously was supposed to be 'typical' ancient Egyptian costumes. I reserve judgment. I was too far away to get good pictures, this was the best I could manage:

After the show though they performed again outside the seating area and I got much better pictures then. Oh, the authenticity ...

The show's good, I recommend it. You get a lot of interesting information, it's well presented, the light effects are pretty cool, and it doesn't last too long ... you don't have time to get bored. :-) I filmed part of it. Pretty dark a lot of the time, sorry ... but the audio's pretty good. The show lasted for a little under an hour, my video's about ten minutes.

Right before the show started. From left to right: Mykerinos, Khefren, the Sphinx.

The ancient stone constructions were lit with different colored light.

Designs were traced on the walls of the pyramids - this is the face of king Khefren projected on the wall of his own grave.

And much more elaborate images were projected onto a wall that stretches below and in front of the Sphinx.

The lights that were left on after the show was over were perfect for taking night shots.


Me, feeling the happy!!

The best picture I took all night. IMO.

If you want to see more pictures from this event, click here. (The ones in this post are the best though. ;-) More on my Egypt photobucket albums later ...

This was a great start to our stay and we were thrilled that we'd decided to see this show. The very next day we would be going out to see the area in daylight.


Mombi said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! I'm so jealous!

Paz said...


Leisha Camden said...

Yeah ... pretty good, if I do say so myself. :-)

RHJ said...

Takk for bildene!

De motbeviser påstanden om at ingen gidder å se på andres feriebilder! :-)

Findabair said...

Stunning shots, particularly the last ones!!

Is it just me, or does the sphinx look unexpectedly small? Was that the impression you got in real life as well?

Leisha Camden said...

The Sphinx is smaller than most people tend to expect, yes. (But then again, what wouldn't look small next to the Khefren pyramid. ;-) But I had been told so many times that it's smaller than you expect it to be, it's smaller than you expect it to be, it's smaller than you expect it to be... that I actually thought it was pretty big. :-)