Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tour time: Cairo

On a bright sunny morning at 07:00, we and the crew of SV Jubilee hopped in a van with a driver and headed to Cairo for the day. Our goal was to visit the Egyptian Museum, Giza Pyramids, and the Khan el Khalili souk (market/bazaar).

The distance from Suez, where our sailboat was moored, to Cairo was only about 1.5 hours and the roads, unlike our trip to Aswan and Luxor previously, were in good condition, so we were off to a good start! The haze of brown smog preceded the arrival to the large City (2017 population of 9.5 million).

Our first stop was the Museum. On display were rooms and rooms of antiquities both large and small such as statues, items from tombs such as numerous sarcophagi with their inner and outer chambers, jewellery, mummified remains of the ancient royals, etc.

One room was dedicated to treasured items of King Tut. His solid gold death mask weighing 11 kg was on display as well as numerous other items of his of solid gold. We only managed to take 1 photo before being told that photos were not allowed.

Outer chamber of King Tut's mummy

Who can go to Egypt without seeing the great pyramids of Giza! So, after an early lunch, it was on to see these gigantic polyhedrons. To make the experience fun, everyone in our group chose camels as an apropos means of touring the site. The camels were joined together and a guide walked in front to lead the way first to a vantage point for a great photo op, where all 9 pyramids (3 large and 6 smaller) could be seen.

Ridin' high

Look waaay up

Our camel train then took us to the nearby Great Sphinx. It has had some restoration work done to it but still misses its nose. Rumour has it that Napoleon's soldiers shot it off. But more proof indicates that a dedicated Muslim destroyed it when seeing others worship the Sphinx; he was later lynched for this act. We may never know.

Judy and Jordan with Great Sphinx

The third stop of the day was the well known age old Khan el Khalili bazaar. Most of the shopholders are Egyptian and offer the tourist most anything you could want from golden or silver jewellery, beautifully decorated belly dancing costumes, fragrant spices with aromas, T-shirts, and souveniers galore. We wound our way down narrow streets and alleyways taking it all in.

Bazaar alleyway

With all our sights completed, it was decided to make a last stop at a large and well-stocked modern supermarket, something we hadn't seen in months. We filled our carts with items we couldn't get back in Suez.

Arriving back at Sea Turtle after dark, it was a long but satisfying day to be remembered for a long time...


Peter Green said...

What a voyage..... your trip to the souk took me back to my stay in Libya for 3 years working for the U.N. as a microwave Engineer. My wife and I had a wonderful time. That was back in 1963..... I think things may have changed! I haven't read your entries for a couple of months - have got some interesting reading to catch-up. If you are in Victoria, please give us a call and we will have a coffee.

Turtle Mail said...

Hi Peter and Wendy, always nice to hear from you. Hope all is well. Read our most recent blog entry, Greece - Here we come. That coffee may be sooner than you think!