Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt
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Approximately 12 Hours
An approximately three-hour motor coach ride along the desert road leads from Alexandria to Sakkara—the vast necropolis of ancient Memphis. The pyramids here include the distinctive Step Pyramid, dating back to 2686 BC, believed to be the oldest stone structure on earth. It was built at the decree of King Zoser and thus began the tradition of pyramid building. A colonnaded temple lies in ruins in the same area and is thought to be part of the necropolis walls. Sakkara seems to have been the first area where limestone was employed, not only for the outer casing of the pyramid but also to cover interior walls. Take a moment to browse for souvenirs at a local shop, time permitting, before a buffet lunch is served at one of the leading hotels in Giza. Then, you will proceed to the site of the magnificent pyramids of Giza. These stark and lonely sentinels in the desert are simply an awesome sight. The Great Pyramid of Cheops is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and is said to have 2.3 million stone blocks, each one weighing 2.5 tons. What makes these statistics truly astonishing is that the pyramids of Giza were built around 2000 BC. Continue to see the mysterious Sphinx. With the face of a man and the body of a lion, the Sphinx has puzzled travelers for centuries with its inscrutable expression. It looks to the sun rising in the east, is carved from natural rock and measures 190 feet long by 66 feet tall. At the end of your tour, the drive back to Alexandria takes approximately three hours—time to reflect on the amazing sights you have seen.