It had been a long time since a destination had aroused as much interest as Egypt. A thousand questions! Much curiosity from you all about this ancient history, about the mysteries of the pyramids, about the powerful life of the pharaohs, about the hieroglyphic writing on the tomb and temple walls. It’s a time travel, really. Sensational!

I chose Egypt to celebrate my birthday and it was perfect. A destination that I dreamed of visiting from school books and realized that many people have the same dream.  Do you as well? I’ll tell you that it’s worth the trip if you haven’t gone yet.

Cairo is often the gateway to Egypt, a huge country in North Africa. You have to have seen it, yes. It can be done on arrival at Cairo Airport “Visa on Arrival” in a few minutes and costs $25 per person.

The pyramids are the number one reason for a trip to Egypt. After all, they are the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world still in existence and have survived virtually intact over 4,000 years of construction. It is said that there are over 100 pyramids in Egypt. I visited the Saqqara complex which includes the Djoser Pyramid or Stepped Pyramid (first built in Egypt), the Unas Pyramid (where I entered the tomb with sarcophagus), some tombs of priests and Pharaoh Teti’s daughter Princess Idut and a corridor of colonnades. But what left me with my jaw dropped was the Great Pyramids of Giza, which today are practically inside the city. I was delighted and very perplexed. In the same area are the pyramids of Cheops (the father), Chefren (the son) and Mikerinos (the grandson). Imagine that the largest of them is the height of a 50-story building and was built around 2,500 BC. Each block of stone used in the building weighed two and a half tons. How did they lift these stones so long ago? The theories are many. Whatever it is … it’s amazing. The Sphinx, a strange lion-bodied figure with a human face, was built near the two smaller pyramids on a single block of stone. Shocking.

I stayed at the wonderful Four Seasons hotel at The First Residence because it is closer to the pyramids (on clear days I could see them through the bedroom window) and knowing that in Cairo a good hotel is critical in terms of safety, service and cleanliness. I hired the driver and guide services from Horus Viagens to accompany me (essential in Cairo) and highly recommend it! My guide was an Egyptologist who spoke Portuguese as well as Arabic and English.

I wish you a beautiful week. XoXo and see you next Tuesday.

Claudia Liechavicius