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Ambler and self with Sphinx and King Cheops Pyramid behind"
||9/11/41 Sunday. Church
parade at 9am. All huts fumigated to kill bed bugs. Leave at 10.30. Great day. Visited
King Cheops pyramids and spent all afternoon there. Tram 15 from Cairo and changed to 14
at Gizeh. Crossed the Nile by a big iron bridge which opens in the middle to let boats
through. Big buildings on either bank. We went along for a while and then we crossed
another bridge to go up the left bank.
House boats by the dozen up this branch of the river. Some quite big,
and dinner parties are held on them. At Giza, a guide did his best to engage us, and he
had dozens of testimonials in a book. No good.
Tram ran quite straight for miles through green fields of all sorts.
Irrigation canals running through and big fine houses. Pyramids right at the edge of green
lands up on a terrace. Bitumen road right up to foot of them. Mena Hotel there too, with
its course and baths. Very odd to see the ancient and modern right alongside each other.
Tram cost PT1 from Cairo.
Engaged guide, Abdul Mawla, and he showed us around for two hours. The
biggest pyramid was huge 451 feet high, finished in 3,733 BC. Took 300,000 slaves
30 years to build it. Three sides are always in the sun, and one in the shade. Stones are
about 6' x 6' x 4'. It takes you half an hour to climb. The guide could talk good English
and he said the war had knocked back their earnings. No tourists now.
Some of the granite blocks in the temple are huge one of them is
20' x 16'. All are dovetailed together. What a job to transport them from the quarries 600
miles away. Some alabaster stones left, and at one time the big pyramid was covered with
them. Later kings took them away to build some of the mosques in Cairo. Saw Sphinx and
took some photos there. A huge head, and down below you can ride on camels.
Abdul tried to make us pay another 5 PT each when leaving, but not for
us. He said he acted with Jack Hulbert in a picture, The Camels are Coming. Did not
have time to climb one of the pyramids. Had a beer in town at the Blue Nile, and passed
off a 25 cent piece that had been given to me, to a gharri driver. We shipped it quickly
and could hear him yelling in the darkness.
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