“It’s not that impressive from up close is it, Jen?”
“Yeah, you can’t even see the top.”

Standing at the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza with my partner Jen, it’s easy to wonder what all the fuss is about. Aren’t you supposed to at least be able to see a pyramid shape! I mean, it’s not called the Great Flat Hexagon. Such is the vast, overwhelming size of the monument, though, that you really can’t take it all in from up close – to our mild disappointment. About all you can see are 15 tiers of steps, huddled together like a jumbled mound of rocks. However – when you step back a bit, that’s when the Pyramid of Giza comes into view and becomes truly “Great”.

My favorite views of the Pyramid, in fact, are from 1) Our hotel room 2) from a viewpoint several miles away 3) from inside the Pyramid itself. I love #1 because we arrive in Giza at night, without yet having seen the historical sites. Opening our hotel window shades in the morning and seeing the perfect shape of the Great Pyramid, right there, framed in our window, is one of the great travel thrills of my life. I love #2 because we were able to view all three pyramids together, in all their immensity, across a vast desert plain. I love #3 because everyone always talks about seeing the outside of the Pyramids; they never talk about what it’s like to actually go inside one of them.
Alas, no, you can’t delve into the full depths of the Pyramid. This is not Indian Jones, alas. There are no snakes. But you do get to climb up an inclined hill inside a vast, atrium-like space, up, up, up to a nearby burial chambers. Okay, it’s empty. Fine. I would’ve preferred a well-placed mummy or two (See Wow Place #81!). But still, I’m inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, in a burial chamber that is 5,000 years old and looks like it was carved yesterday. This is not a movie set. This is the real deal, and how they built it with the tools of the time is completely beyond me.

In this blog, I’ve tried to stay away from the “cliché landmarks” – your Machu Picchus, your Great Walls of China (mostly because I haven’t been there yet!), but I couldn’t resist writing about the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is truly great, and this ain’t no pyramid scheme.

(Life, like Giza, is all about stepping back from overwhelming things and getting perspective. If your work, your friends, your significant relationship are all getting you down, take a step back and see how that changes your view.)