EGYPT – Cairo, Giza Pyramids // The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
They might not have been built as a James Bond movie setting in the first place – but with their 4500 years old history the Pyramids of Giza are now the oldest setting of the Bond movieverse. Bond visited them at an enigmatic night-time laser show in the 1970s. Lucky you, the show is still running.
Why Bond was here
James Bond learns that some microfilm plans about a dangerous submarine tracking system are on the blackmarket in Egypt. Before pushing a henchman off the rooftop of beautiful Gayer-Anderson-Museum in Cairo’s Islamic quarter, the latter tells him to look for contact man Fekkesh at the Giza Pyramids.
007 arrives at night, but the area is still open for the public as a light show is running and telling tourists about the mysteries of the 4500 pharaonic tombs. Bond doesn’t really listen and heads straight to a temple close to the Sphinx. There he encounters more people then originally expected: Fekkesh, but also Soviet secret Agent Anya Amasova and biting bad guy Jaws, a henchman send by the movies villain Karl Stromberg. Jaws has teeth made out of steel and Fekkesh gets a close look at them in the last seconds of his life, before Bond can reach him.
The easiest way towards the Giza Pyramids is to get on an organized bus trip, if you’re staying at a beach resort and just want to sneak into Egypts ancient sites for a day or two. However, if you travel off the beaten path, you will encounter some hassle till you’re at and in the place.
The Giza Pyramids are referred to as Al-Haram in local language. Take the south-bound metro line to Giza and get off at the same named station. Their, find your way to the multi-laned road north of the station. It’s called Al-Haram, same as the destination it is heading to. People at the metro will try to lure you into other directions and into expansive rides – just ignore them and take a microbus or taxi at the big road. The bus fare is between 2 and 3 Egyptian pounds, a taxi should be less then 10 pounds.
If the driver doesn’t understand you, when asking for Al-Haram, you can also refer to Al-Remaya – the roundabout next to the main entrance of the pyramids. As soon as you arrive, the hassle starts again. People will try to guide you to the entrance or ticket office, but actually lead you to their camels or horse carriages. Just respond with a politely “la, shukran”(No, thanks) and keep on going up the main road till the real ticket office comes in sight.
The plateau is a vast area and there is more to explore then just the big pyramids. When gazing at those beautiful 4500 years old monuments don’t forget to breath – and don’t forget to head to the Sphinx further south of the pyramids. Sphinx is a Greek name – as the Greeks thought they encounter a mystical beast with a lion body and a female head. But Egyptians call the thing Abu al-Houl – the “Father of Dread”. They believe, the head shows Pharao Khafra, who was buried in the middle pyramid.
But absolutely best and bondish is a visit at night – like Roger Moore did it in The Spy Who Loved Me. He visited a night-time light show where the history of the pyramids are told. Even though the movie plays in the 1970s, the light show is still up and running. Check out soundandlight.com.eg for time schedules and language info.
To us as Cairo inhabitants, visting the Pyramids is a must. We recommend going on a weekday morning – maybe even before sunrise – to watch their beauty and enjoy the silence before the crowd rushes in. Because the later the day, the more tourists and mongers fill the place, it’s even worse at the weekends. So pack a lunchbag for a little breakfast with a view on the Pyramids or – on a clear day – even over Cairo.
© 2015 Huntingbond (1,2,4), © 1977 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (3)