Advantages plenty to see
Disadvantages hawkers can be annoying; mainly outdoor so if bad weather would be difficult to view
|Is it worth visiting?|
Memphis near Cairo, in Egypt is one of the best things I have ever seen. Here at the former capital of Egypt, you can see the prone statue of Ramses II and the Alabaster Sphinx, and is now near a village called Mit Rahina. I visited this on the same day that I went to see the Step pyramid at Saqqara (pronounced Sakkara).Randa our tour guide explained that there was a prone statue of Rameses (how it is pronounced) the second, which they call the The Colossus of Ramses and there is also another statue of Ramses in the gardens. These were both created during his lifetime as he has a straight beard!
As with all places of interest in Cairo and Egypt you have to be aware of the hawkers and beggars who try to persuade you to go with them for them to show you something of interest then want money for having done so. You get used to ignoring them after a while - at least I did. Some of my fellow group were not so good at this and we all felt guilty for ignoring them but if you want to get on and visit these places you need to.However at Memphis there were stall holders and they did not seem to be forcing their wares onto you in the same way as at the other places of interest that we had been to in the Cairo area. At this location I bought 3 obelisks and Randa the tour guide helped me negotiate a good price for them, and I have now given 2 of them as presents.
As you enter the site there is a building on your right hand side and this houses the prone statue, which is enormous and you can go upstairs to view it better. The temple building that houses it is small compared to other temples in the area and compared to Abu Simbel and the temples at Luxor and Karnak is positively tiny, but it is thought that only a fraction of the original remains.I found that it was better to go upstairs to get a feel for what he represented first and then go downstairs to get an idea of the scale and just how big this statue is. It is believed that it was always designed to be prone and is not been abandoned or fallen down.
This trip to Saqqarra and also onto Memphis (with optional stops at carpet shops and papyrus factories) cost £32 English pounds, which I booked when I got to Cairo. We were originally quoted the price in US Dollars, which can get quite confusing!A good tip is to take plenty of water with you as there did not seem to be anywhere to purchase this at the places of interest, but don't buy it in your hotel if you can help it as it cost £15 Egyptian pound for 1 bottle when I got 3 the same size for the same price in the market off our tour guide!
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