This thread of posts is on my bucket list, both the parts of it I have done and those I am yet to do. It has been written to provide consistent content for your perusal (particularly with lockdown at the moment). I hope West’s Bucket Lists will provide some inspiration, perhaps for your future travels, and even a little escapism in these uncertain times. This post is number 4 on West’s Bucket List. Enjoy!
I am desperate to visit Cairo and the surrounding area.
As an ancient history enthusiast, as well as a former student of the subject, Cairo encapsulates one of my many visions of paradise. The Giza pyramid complex, the Saqqara Necropolis, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, all rank very high on my list of attractions worldwide that I desperately want to visit.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, to spare you the full history lesson, was built further away, temporally, from Augustus’ Ara Pacis than the Burj Khalifa was. If that architecture factoid doesn’t stun you then I don’t know what will! Thus, as the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this one of a kind pyramid has become that symbol which defines Egypt, at least in my eyes. To boot, the sphinx, right on it’s doorstep, is too good an opportunity to pass up if I’m ever in the region.
As the pyramids and the sphinx are practically rockstars of the ancient world, you probably don’t need me to explain why I want to see them. The necropolis at Saqqara though, might not have caught your eye before. The Pyramid of Djoser, at this site, is around 4,700 years old and is a legacy of a way of life so unimaginably different from our own that it is almost impossible to comprehend. It is so ancient that it claims to be the oldest still complete building known to exist in the entire world. An opportunity to see a building like that is something I just can’t possibly give up on.
Finally, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo houses one of the artefacts I must one day see. In the same personal pantheon in which I have placed marvels such as the Lewis Chessmen, the turquoise double headed serpent of the Aztecs, the golden ornate belt buckle of Sutton Hoo, and the Antikythera Mechanism, I have also set the golden mask of Tutankhamun. It is perhaps the singular most beautiful piece of art I have ever laid eyes upon and I desperately hope to come across it, at its home in Cairo, one day.
Of course, there are far more reasons to visit Cairo than just the history. Koshary, for example, is a spicy street food made of assorted vegetables, lentils, macaroni, and rice, and is supposed to be a delectable dish, and a local delicacy. So, if you’re after great food and interesting culture, I’m sure Cairo can give that to you as well, it’s just not the main reason I’m going there!
Let me know if you have any recommendations for what to do/try in Cairo. I am always welcome to some good ideas!