Is it me, or are we all just a little bit taken by Ancient Egpyt? The Pyramids. The Sphinx. The giant statues and beautiful artwork. It is astounding to see what they accomplished so long ago.
And while the attractions make it an ideal place, if not THE ideal place to put on your bucket list, local turmoil and political unrest may make the average traveler a little wary about touching down in Cairo. And who could blame them?
That doesn't mean, however, that you can't get up close and personal with some of the most wonderful man-made creations in history. At least not anymore it doesn't. Not since Google Street View just updated to include the Pyramids of Giza - and more.
Google Street View, one of the modern wonders of the world, takes you to the doorstep of what is perhaps the most famous of the World's ancient wonders. In Egypt alone, you may enjoy navigable images of the Great Pyramid at Giza (as well as the other two), the Sphinx, the step-pyramid complex at Saqqara (the world's first-ever stone structure, designed by Pharaoh Zoser and his architect Imhotep), the ancient city of Abu Mena, and more.
The views are remarkable, allowing you in many cases to see the definition and even blemishes on individual stones themselves. It gives would-be travelers from around the world the chance to take in the remarkable sights as though they are actually there. But you can still be in a nicely air-conditioned room just steps away from the refrigerator.
How Google brought Ancient Egypt's wonders to your computer screen
Google seems to have the resources to do just about anything. Even so, every project comes down to people and this one was reportedly hard, particularly because of the local climate both politically and temperature-wise. The rocky, off-road terrain did not really help either.
With no streets near the monuments, the cameras could not be mounted on a car or truck. So, a bunch of Google "trekkers" had to carry back-supported cameras to the sites. I imagine they looked like a team of Ghostbusters looking to bring home an ancient ghost.
The 100-plus degree temperatures challenged both equipment and personnel, but since the 2011 uprising in the country, they had little interference from crowds as tourism has dwindled. The crew worked quickly, motivated by the importance of the project they were working on.
While visitors to the ancient sites have dropped by staggering numbers, Google - and Egypt itself - hopes the new project delivers a renewed interest in visiting in person. Some places are just too special to miss.
As a side note, Google plans to continually add magnificent wonders of our planet to its Street View campaign. So, if you are ever looking for an inexpensive staycation look no further than your laptop, desktop or mobile device. You will be amazed at what you find inside.