Sphinx - Giza, Cairo

The Sphinx is even more impressive in reality than it appears in pictures. It is cordoned off, unfortunately, and visitors are only allowed to view it from a distance leaving no access to the temple beneath. Still, we are completely captivated by that enigmatic face.


The ancient Egyptians considered the Sphinx the sacred guide of the the solar barge.

A barge or barque is a ritual boat used to carry the resurrected king along with the Sun God Ra, across the heavens to the afterlife. The Sphinx is believed to be the holder of the password that allowed access to the Solar Barge for the journey from earthly Giza to the abode of Osiris!

Giza Solar BArge
Khufu’s Solar Barge

In 1954, archaeologists found Khufu’s funerary Solar Barge in a chamber beneath his pyramid at Giza, undisturbed for centuries. The original Lebanese Cedar planks and Halfah grass ropes still incredibly intact! The ropes were too weak to be used for the reconstruction though.

It took years for the barge to be re-assembled and it is now displayed in a modern air-conditioned museum, built right above the pit where it was discovered. The well designed boat shaped building does seem a bit incongruous in its setting against the Great Pyramid, but the air conditioned interior is a welcome respite from the sweltering heat of he desert sun.

For all you doubting Thomases…this IS the real thing. The original vessel, re-assembled from components from more than 5000 years ago. Disbelief slowly gives way to total amazement! And goosebumps, at the thought that those ancient planks of wood came from trees that were alive during the lifetime of the Pharaoh!

Do not miss this museum when you visit Giza.


The 5000 year old solar boat of Khufu in Giza.

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Hi, I'm Madhu. Wanderer. Travel blogger. Story teller. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I am on a mission to make up for lost time.

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