Photos from on top of the Great Pyramid


59 Responses to “Photos from on top of the Great Pyramid”

  1. nachoproblem says:

    Shiny. :)

  2. angusm says:

    If I can be excused for posting a link to one of my own photos, here’s a shot of the pyramids at Giza from the air, showing modern Cairo butting right up against the site:

    It also shows how damn big those things are.

    Must make a spectacular view for anyone whose window happens to look out in the right direction.

    • Jonathan Roberts says:

      I once took a flight that got into Cairo about dawn. I didn’t see the pyramids themselves (I think I was looking in the right general direction but the pollution was terrible), but going up the Nile at night was incredible. Quite a few lights were on on either side of the Nile and a short distance in each direction, but other than that it was just black as far as you could see.

  3. wss233 says:

    Oh please. This isn’t edgy or thrilling. Climbing the pyramids is a colonial cliche. For centuries Europeans did whatever they wanted with the monuments they found in Africa and the MIddle East with no regard to what the local populations thought. “The Rules” in this case are eminently reasonable and designed to protect  these monuments of Egyptian culture for posterity. There’s nothing new in these photographs; all I see is a very old sense of entitlement manifest once again in a bunch of ignorant tourists with no sense of history.  

    • Terry Border says:

      I have to agree with this. I wandered around there in 2000 and was approached by a local who offered to help me do this very thing, but thought it was a bit crass (as well as dangerous). A bit like climbing up into Abe Lincoln’s lap (the memorial sculpture) if no one was looking.

    • sdmikev says:

      christ, this guy needs a valium or something..

      • wss233 says:

        Thinking about stuff is so stupid. I guess what I meant was: “Ooh! aah! Pretty lights in picture so pretty.” 

        • sdmikev says:

          Sorry, but your first comment was just a little too damn uptight for something that is really not that big a deal.

    • okalokee says:

      Either wss233 just did a great send-up of Pretentious Hipster Archaeologist, or s/he really *does* need a valium…

      • SamSam says:

        Can you explain exactly what you mean by the use of the word “hipster” in this context? I am interested in how this word keeps evolving (or, frequently, is just used to disparage someone without really caring what the word means).

    • xzzy says:

      It is, however, the first time I’ve seen photos taken by someone standing on top of a pyramid. As someone who will probably never visit Egypt and certainly wouldn’t try to sneak my way atop a pyramid, it’s pretty cool to see the photos.

      So I’ll give these guys a pass. Some of them are pretty darn good landscapes, so that helps too. If they had gone all that way and taken cell phone pictures, I’d have been a lot less impressed.

    • AviSolomon says:

      To their credit, they do reference Nicholas II:)
      Incidentally, some of the original limestone casing of the Great Pyramid is in the British Museum.

    • Mordicai says:

      “Hey, someone’s selfish sense of entitlement let them abuse archeological treasures, YEAH, exxxtreme!  Maybe next they can play frisbee with the Rosetta Stone, TO THE MAX!”

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      To be honest many of the ancient monuments were just as likely to be stolen by ancient civilizations (Rome stole Egyptian monuments) as they were to be looted by local civilizations.  When I was in Turkey I  saw old Christian churches with their walls studded with old pagan temple stones.

      • RElgin says:

        . . . and in Greece, the same crazy Christanos razed temples and used the pieces to build tacky churches.

      • Ryan Lenethen says:

        Where do you think the Vatican got pretty much all their materials from particularly all the marble? I found it to be disgusting and abhorrent. They basically intentionally destroyed history. The wealth was sick.

    • bigdaddyhame says:

      to be honest, the egyptians disregarded (and/or pillaged) their own burial sites for centuries/millennia before anyone in Europe even took notice.

    • As beautiful as the shots are, that was my first thought.  You can see the state of the site, it’s crumbling.  I don’t know about clumping Europeans into on big pot of t**ts, but it is pretty selfish on these peoples part.

    • Pansee Atta says:

      My feelings exactly. The pyramids are crumbling, a trend exacerbated by dozens of foreign jerks climbing them all the damn time. The rules are there for a reason. As a real life, modern day Egyptian, I find this actually really offensive.

  4. IslandBased says:

    Was this taken with a dashboard cam? ;<)

  5. mensan98th says:

    This needs to go into a game.

  6. Daneel says:

    I am kind of surprised nobody has linked to this interactive panorama yet.

  7. chgoliz says:

     The first thing tourists notice is the KFC sign you have to work around when taking photos, to maintain the illusion that this historic site is “out in the desert somewhere”.  I’ll see if I can dig out a photo I took of a LEO on camelback in the foreground with that sign in the background.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      To be fair ancient Egyptians had to deal with a big “Ramses Beer” billboard

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Oh, so uncomfortable.  I can’t imagine how anyone came up with the idea to ride these things.  It’s like sitting on a way-too-large butt plug that’s covered in flies.

    • BillStewart2012 says:

      I was there in the mid-80s.  You’re out in the middle of the photogenically empty desert, then you walk around the other side of the pyramid to the parking lot, down to the busy street, and you’re in town.  (At least at that time, it was still the edge of the town, but the big hotel is there.)

      I went jogging up there one night, and found the place was closed, but there’s a guard and an old guide.  The guard’s job is to make sure you absolutely can’t go in there because it’s closed, unless you hire the old guy to take you around.  I had some cash and it was absolutely worth it, even though some of the rooms are hard to see by cigarette-lighter. 

      On the other hand, even back then they were serious about not letting you climb up the big pyramid, because the stone is fairly soft and it can’t handle a lot of people climbing on it.

  8. This looks a bit like the aerial view I got of the Pyramids using Google Earth. which didn’t break any laws at all. Just saying.

  9. kartwaffles says:

    At first I was like “huh… when did LJ add Microsoft Translator”?

    Anyhow, the comments section there linked to a mirror on vkontakte:

  10. Antinous / Moderator says:

    You can’t get within a quarter mile of the Great Pyramid without some official asking for a bribe to take you to the top.  It’s not all that transgressive.

  11. chgoliz says:

    Now that I have a little more time, my favorite set-in-Egypt, Americans-can-be-self-centered-jackasses story:

    Got to the tomb room in Khufu’s pyramid.  It’s very dark, with close, fetid, almost unbreathable air.  Walk over to the open tomb and look inside….there’s a guy lying there, 4 feet down.  Yes, that’s right….people are climbing all over the outside of the pyramids, OK fine, but INSIDE the friggin’ coffin, for Ra’s sake?  So I start alerting the children of the situation so they don’t have the same heart attack I did when they look inside….and a woman, clearly the guy’s partner-in-weirdness, comes over and shushes me, explaining how important it is that he not be disturbed while he’s absorbing the spirit from his former life (because of course everyone was a king or pharaoh in a past life….no one was ever the laborer, dontyaknow?).  I look at our guide and she nods sadly.  Apparently it’s a common problem.

    • RElgin says:

      This passage should be in a story or could lead to a full-sized story.

    • Jonathan Roberts says:

      I once spoke to an American who had just come back from Bagan in Myanmar. Of course he climbed the pagodas and accidentally knocked the top off one of them…

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        One of my yoga students visited the statues on Easter Island a couple of hours after that Finnish idiot broke off an ear.  I gather that there was much yelling and flailing of arms.

  12. duncano says:

    Uh, ya. Not really that big a deal to climb up to the top. When I visited the first time 30 years ago people were doing this all the time. At that time you could also go inside, along a very steep passage to the chamber where the sarcophagus had been. As neat as it was to go in, it was depressing to see literally every square inch of the interior carved with graffiti in all languages.

    And camels are the worst transport ever. Definitely.

    • Al Billings says:

       You can still go in (or could in 2008) down the long scary nightmare inducing tunnel into the fetid chamber. My wife made it all the way (to find the room packed with Japanese! Who knew?!) but I only made it halfway before the claustrophobia kicked in and I realized, “No one is making me do this but myself.”

      • chgoliz says:

         I brought an extra kid in with me because his adults made the same realization halfway up, but he was still eager to go.

      • BillStewart2012 says:

        I thought the inside of the Great Pyramid was just fine; it’s pretty big and roomy.  The pyramid at Chichen Itza, though, is much more cramped, and it’s a lot more humid, claustrophobic, and smelly. 

    • Jonathan Roberts says:

      The Great Wall is the same. In some places, every square inch is a testimony that someone from around the world (China, more often than not) was there.

    • chgoliz says:

       There is graffiti in the Galapagos (one of the most protected sites in the world); however, it’s many hundreds of years old so it’s not quite as offensive to witness.  The US wasn’t a country when those scrawls were etched, so I don’t have to be embarrassed that “one of us” did it.

      • BillStewart2012 says:

        The Acropolis in Greece has graffiti from Lord Byron on it.  (Of course, its more serious problem is that it was used for ammo storage during one of the Greek-Turkish wars in the mid 1800s and got blown up; it wasn’t really a “ruin” until then.)

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