Faiyum, a welcome Egyptian escape from the bustle of Cairo

You’ll be able to’t stand upright within the 40m sloped shaft contained in the 4,500-year-old Maidum pyramid. The guards and guides keep outdoors, and the sensation of looking for a secret treasure, like Indiana Jones, grows with each step.

Deep contained in the chamber, it’s utterly quiet. The pyramid was by no means used for its supposed goal as a burial chamber. Your coronary heart beats quicker. Let’s get out of right here.

The Maidum pyramid was a brand new tackle the step pyramids frequent in historic Egypt. It was constructed for Pharaoh Sneferu, born round 2600 BC and the daddy of the well-known Cheops. However he was not happy with Maidum and by no means used the constructing as a tomb – he merely constructed two extra pyramids.

This pyramid is positioned in Faiyum, a area in north-eastern Egypt about 100km from Cairo. In addition to being surrounded by quite a lot of pyramids you may see with out the vacationer mobs of Giza,

Faiyum additionally has a literal oasis – a inexperienced spot within the desert.

Above all else, a visit to Faiyum is a welcome escape from hectic, soiled Cairo.

Maidum is probably an hour’s drive from the Faiyum Oasis, and much more pyramids which might be completely value seeing lie close by. The Hawara pyramid of Pharaoh Amenemhet III (born round 1800 BC) is value a detour. At first look, it would look considerably disappointing – the advanced has partially collapsed and misplaced a few of its authentic top of 58 metres. However the Hawara pyramid is likely one of the youngest in Egypt, constructed centuries after Maidum and the Nice Pyramids close to Cairo.

”You’ll be able to see what they did unsuitable right here, ” says tour information Mohamed Saad Khedr. Hawara was constructed from small, simply moveable clay bricks.

“However many bricks fell over time, and the pyramid has partially collapsed.”

The burial chamber is inaccessible and underwater.

The Nile is the lifeline of the Faiyum Oasis, which has lush inexperienced fields stuffed with clover, date palms, fruit and veggies. Farming right here is commonly nonetheless carried out by hand, and the fields are stuffed with ploughs and donkeys.

Numerous canals and small synthetic lakes run by means of the inexperienced oasis, with the 230sq km Qarun Lake simply to the north-west. The vacation spot is common with Egyptians for weekend journeys.

Travellers who need to keep a bit of longer will discover inns in all value ranges.

Faiyum is a really poor and conservative area. Many journey companies supply day journeys to the area as a part of an Egyptian tour, however they typically solely cease within the souk within the metropolis of Faiyum. In case you have the time, discover the town on foot or in a horse-drawn carriage. You’ll obtain pleasant greetings on the road regardless of the cultural variations. – Simone Andrea Mayer/dpa

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