Posted: December 15, 2014 by saraherhodes in 1914

Yesterday morning three of us went up to the Pyramids.  They are gigantic affairs, there are two fairly close together and the Sphinx, there are also three small ones.  We had a couple of guides who nearly talked our heads off.  The larger Pyramid which it is possible to enter, was built by King Cheop’s 5,000 years ago.  The Sphinx is 6,000 years old.  We had to take our boots off and go sliding up and down passage ways, it was more of a crawl than anything.  The stone of which the Pyramids are composed is a particular sort of Sandstone, polished like marble.  The only light was afforded by a couple of guttering candles.  We entered a big room, the King’s Chamber, and saw the coffin of Cheops.  This is exactly in the centre of the Pyramid.  When we went into into the Queen’s Chamber, this was a quarter of the way up the pile.  The average size of the stones is 11 ft. x 8ft. x 5 ft., they were brought from Assuan (where Kitchener’s dam is now) six hundred miles away.  All around the place are excavations.  Everywhere you go natives try to sell you coins, etc.  Our fellows are being cheated right and left by these natives.  They give you half a piastre instead of piastres.

Whilst inside the Pyramid, our guides wheedled us into having our fortunes told. “Some of my past life has been bad, and some good, but my future is to be better than the present.  There is also a beautiful girl wanting to marry me. She has plenty of money – at any rate I am to marry money.  My people are thinking of me a good deal, and expecting a letter from me, I am going to get one from you.  Needless to say I am coming through the Campaign alright.”

Last night after a sumptuous repast of dry bread and cold water, a chum and I decided to go to Cairo.  It took us two hours to go 10 miles in one of their Electric Cars.  For the rest of the time I was in a dream – the cosmopolitan crowd, natives trying to sell us things, wandering in and out of shops which are all open, much to the disgust of the owners who pressed on us their wares in vain.  The back parts of the town are squalid and filthy, and vice is rampant.  There are some beautiful buildings in the better part of the town.

During our wanderings we sent you a cablegram, it cost 98 piastres.  On going to the car terminus, we were told that the last car had gone, so we chartered a cab to take five of us for 25 piastres. It was a trap like a barouche, it has one seat with a hood, and the driver sits on a raised seat in front.  Going out we crossed the Nile by a lovely bridge, on the parapet at each side and end are big lions standing, carved in stone.  It is one of the finest bridges in the world.. We arrived at camp at midnight, and managed to get through the lines alright. The police here are models, their uniforms are spotless, and they look well groomed – they look fine on their Abyssinian horses.


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