Pyramid of Menkaure
Pyramid of Menkaure (Giza plateau, near Cairo) — The “little” Pyramid of Menkaure (Mycerinus), standing a respectable 62 meters (203 feet) high, was unfinished at the time of the King’s death, and completed by his son. The nasty gash on the north face was caused by earlier explorers trying to dynamite through in order to find the entrance passage. The pyramid is open to visitors, and lately seems to take the bulk of the tourists denied admission to the Great Pyramid, so is therefore not for the claustrophobic. The burial chamber is empty; the sarcophagus was removed and subsequently lost at sea in transport when the ship sank on its way to Great Britain.
Outside, you can see several courses of granite casing, and the desert in front of the entrance is littered with stones removed from the Pyramid itself. Like all of the Pyramids of Giza, Menkaure’s was once seen as a convenient stone quarry for medieval builders. To the east stands the remains of the mortuary temple and the causeway, while to the south are three Queen’s Pyramids.
An alternative way to enjoy the pyramids is to attend one of the nightly Sound and Light shows, presented in several different languages. Though it may seem a bit too “touristy” to some, the narration has some historical interest, and the light show is truly beautiful. Others prefer to rent horses from one of the many nearby stables and have a gallop in the desert surrounding the Pyramids. Take care as many of the Pyramid horses are poorly trained, and riders have reported more than a few nasty spills.