PHOTOS: Tourist risked prison to climb to top of Cheops Pyramid and take photos
A daredevil Russian photographer has described how he sneaked up to the top of the Cheops Pyramid at Giza, Cairo, risking up to three years in prison to take some amazing snaps.
Safely home in Moscow, Russia, 20-year-old Vitali Raskalova described how he and his friends had to hide from the tourist police for five hours at the tomb near the base of the pyramid before making the climb, which is forbidden because it is dangerous and also to protect the ancient structure.
Raskalova said: “While we were hiding, we were shivering from the cold. We got to the pyramids earlier in the day, as most ordinary tourists on a ticket.
“At 4pm we sat down and waited for the opportunity of darkness to climb. To climb over the rocks is very dangerous, many of them fray right under your feet.”
The Russian described hearing the call to prayer as he and his friends climbed up the 140m-high tomb.
He said: “Climbing on the stone flags of one of the most ancient buildings of humanity to the sound of prayer… a terrible echo peals on Giza.”
He added: “We were afraid we might see an armed guard. At the top, admiring the spectacle, realising that you’ve climbed up a surviving wonder of the world at the risk of dying. It was one of the busiest nights of my life!”
He also described seeing paintings and inscriptions at the top left by tourists up until 1980 when climbing the pyramids was banned after several tragedies.
He said: “At the very top of the pyramid are many paintings and inscriptions and in many different languages, Arabic, French and Russian. There are legends that here there is also a painting of Nikolai II.”
The Russians were caught on the way down and had to pay $100 fines.
See more of Raskalova’s pictures of Cairo at http://raskalov-vit.livejournal.com/131308.html