Tuesday, November 03, 2009

And whilst we're talking about pyramids...

Alright, now I've been, what did I think?

The pyramids at Giza are, in themselves, pretty impressive. A lot more eroded than one is led to imagine, but pretty impressive nonetheless. So, why in the name of Cthulhu would you put a bus park at the base of one of them? And, if you got a ancient boat to display, why would you put it in an astonishingly ugly building right in front of another one? Put it this way, if the ancestors come back, those responsible had better have an good apology ready.

Giza has suffered from horrendous encroachment, virtually all of it illegal and, thus far, unpunished. The fact that you can see Pizza Hut and KFC signs close to the monument does everything to sap any sense of atmosphere from a visit to the pyramids. Compare and contrast with Machu Picchu, where there is no development allowed anywhere near the site except one fairly inobtrusive hotel built outside the exit.

And yet, this would not be enough to kill off the wonderment but for the never-ending hassle of wannabe guides, hijacking you and then demanding money. Heavens, even the security guards want tipping.

My advice to the authorities would be to remove all of the camel riders, fake guides and purveyors of astonishingly tacky souvenirs, and take a look at Skara Brae to see exactly what can be done with such a fantastic piece of history. If need be, do the former at gunpoint.

All of this said, the pyramids are amazing. If I had been given thirty seconds to just admire the view, I would have waxed lyrical about the wonders that allowed the Ancient Egyptians to build such enormous structures using only the primitive tools available then (oh yes, and tens of thousands of slaves, but let us not cavil...). I have to say, the Sphinx is a bit smaller than I had expected...

1 comment:

Jennie said...

At least you're not female. My friend Becca said she couldn't move for swarthy gentlemen asking her "fancy fucky?", on top of all the annoyances you mention.

Even my mum was constantly propositioned in Egypt...