It must be frustrating to plan the trip of a lifetime and have your photos ruined by events outside your control. Like renovations.
Visitors to Ottawa the past few years have seen the iconic Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings with scaffolding and boards. It’s probably going to be another decade before the renovations are finished. Which means no good pictures in the meantime.
That is annoying, but the alternative would be the deterioration of the buildings until they crumble to dust. And Canada’s Parliament is not alone in having to renovate a popular tourist attraction.
I have been in London when Big Ben was under repair and Istanbul when there was scaffolding inside the Haggis Sophia. If it is old, it will at some point need repairs. And if you wait until there are no tourists, the work will never get done.
So I was not surprised to see scaffolding on parts of the Sphinx when I was in Egypt recently. Exposed to the elements, I would imagine it needs frequent touch-ups.
If you visit the Pyramids of Giza you will also take in the Sphinx – it is only a few hundred metres away. Kind of a two-for-one deal of top tourist attractions.
How you approach the Sphinx is up to you. We took in the pyramids first, which meant that, after more than two hours in the sun, I was not able to appreciate it the same way I would have had I been fresh. My body at that point just wanted the experience to be over.
Still, there is something special about this man/cat buried in the sand on the outskirts of Cairo. As a child, for some reason, I was more interested in it than in the pyramids. Even with scaffolding somewhat distorting the view, I found it intriguing.
Changing times has meant a change in the way we visit some iconic structures. My wife has been inside the Parthenon, but that was long ago. I could only look from outside. You can’t get close to Stonehenge either, or so I have been told. Certainly you can’t touch the Sphinx. The security guards would probably shoot you if you tried.
But you don’t need to touch it to appreciate it’s uniqueness. I may have been hot and tired, but I still felt drawn to it. Just like when I was a child.