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Home » Review: A Thrilling Trip On The Horizon Of Khufu Expedition

Review: A Thrilling Trip On The Horizon Of Khufu Expedition

If, like me, you have always dreamed of visiting Egypt but funds have not allowed it, there is a thrilling new way of learning more about this ancient country.

I decided to try out the Horizon of Khufu immersive expedition, a virtual reality experience in Stratford.

Having never experienced virtual reality, it was intriguing to say the least.

MOST READ: Lottery players urged to check EuroMillions tickets for unclaimed £1m prize My first adventure was actually finding it after Google Maps led me to a car park beneath the Westfield Shopping Centre. I took the last century approach and asked people until I was directed to a place opposite a Tempur outlet outside the mall, near a John Lewis exit.

Once inside, my companion and I were given a locker for our stuff and then led to name our avatars – the characters you assume in the virtual reality (VR) world.

Slightly nervous, I asked what I could expect during the 45-minute trip and was asked if I suffered from vertigo. Hmm, a little.

Whizzing off to see the splendours of Ancient Egypt (Image: Excurio)

I could see the room in front of me was a flat surface with black and white shapes printed on the floor and made a mental note to remember this.

We received the VR equipment – goggles with dials to get images in focus and control the volume, and also a backpack containing the whole of Egypt – ok, no, just a computer.

With the goggles on I could see my companion had transformed into a digital avatar with his chosen name hovering above his head.

Those on the Horizon of Khufu virtual reality expedition will have a great informative trip (Image: excurio)

We were warned there might be a few groups in the room, and to avoid bumping into other people we should walk in the blue squares, that red grids signified walls and if in trouble, a white beam would appear and to walk towards that.

Suddenly I saw our virtual tour guide Mona, who led us to the Great Pyramid of Giza.

This breathtaking pyramid served as the tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu some 4,500 years ago.

Mona shines a light on the entrance to the pharoah’s tomb (Image: Excurio)

Mona shone a light on its entrance half way up, suggesting we go and have a look.

I won’t lie, my excitement turned into sheer terror. I took tiny steps with my arms out to balance because I thought I’d fall over.

The block we were standing then started rising, as I muttered to myself “this is a flat surface, this is not real, I cannot fall” and missed all the historical information.

In short, the experience was magnificent. Mona took us into tunnels and chambers in the interior, unveiling the ancient secrets and tomb of Pharaoh Khufu.

In the king’s chamber with Bastet, goddess of protection (Image: Excurio)

In one of the King’s rooms, Mona dropped her torch and vanished to go and find another.

We were plunged into darkness, but a mystical cat, Bastet, goddess of protection, appeared and the adventure went up a gear.

Treading carefully over stone bridges that appeared magically, we stepped into areas in the pyramid’s substructure inaccessible to any human.

We were led back outside to the Giza plateau and became giants looking over a magnificent landscape, with a birds-eye view of how the temples were connected.

The king’s boat floats into view (Image: Excurio)

In a magical moment the King’s boat floated into view and we were invited to step on board to visit the land of the dead.

We had a “return ticket” the cat purred, which was a relief.

I expected the Styx, but blue skies and fishermen and water lilies near the banks indicated this was the River Nile.

On board the king’s boat travelling down the Nile (Image: Excurio)

As we cruised, I felt incredibly privileged to be there.

We alighted at a temple where funeral rituals including the embalming process were explained, and attended the funeral of the Pharoah Khufu, led by his son.

There was quite a crowd, with historical figures I didn’t recognise and several avatars indicating fellow visitors, who did feel solid when I accidently bumped into one.

We left the temple, said our goodbyes, then one of the staff said we could take our visors off and that was that. I felt quite sad, I wanted to stay longer in this beautiful country that I have never visited in real life.

It is not often you get to journey into another world – and then the land of the dead – and come back.

The whole experience – created by virtual reality studio Excurio in collaboration with Peter Der Manuelian, an Egyptology professor at Harvard University – was exceptional.

There are jaw-dropping moments, it’s exhilarating, informative, and it can be enjoyed by anyone.

Vertigo aside, which did get better, I would go again in a heartbeat.

Tickets start from £20. Visit: horizonkheopsexperience.com/london