Simon and I were in Egypt for four nights, and kept very busy the whole time. It was exciting, and we’ll have more on that SOON, but we also took one day off on Friday to see some sights. Friday in Cairo is like Saturday in the US — it’s a six day work-week and Friday is the one day that most professionals take off. Retail, restaurants and tourist attractions are open. We hired a car and driver, and told him we wanted to see as much as humanly possible in one day! He sighed that everything would be very busy since it was Friday and all the locals would be out shopping and running around as well, but he would do his best. He certainly did, and here are the results:
There are 9 pyramids all in the same general area as well as the Sphinx. It would be a recipe for heat exhaustion to walk between them, so we rented a camel. In this pic, we’re on the camel while talking on the cell to the chums. As François and Johan love the movie Despicable Me, they knew all about the pyramids and when I told them where we were, F’s response was “O-M-G.” By the way, riding a camel tied up in a caravan for 30 minutes on TV = easy. Riding a camel freestyle through the desert like a horse = not so easy.
After running back to the hotel to freshen up, we headed to the Citadel. By the way, before traveling I found a lot of conflicting information on the internet regarding appropriate tourist dress, so here is my opinion. You need to be the most conservative when visiting religious sites (cover head, arms and legs.) Otherwise, it wasn’t necessary to cover the head but pulling long hair back is a good idea. I always felt comfortable when dressed as you see in the pics. Here I am in front of the Mosque of Muhammad inside the Citadel, and Simon is on the other side, overlooking Old Cairo. Also, a beautiful door inside the mosque. I was very hesitant to take photos indoors and of people, but the unwritten rule is that if you are invited to take photos, go right ahead.
Outside one of the Christian churches in the Coptic area – I like the juxtaposition of the old and the new with the church and the Metro station.
The stairs leading to the Hanging Church.
Next, we went to the Khan el Khalili, the marketplace, both to have the experience and to find a few souvenirs for the family.
While going between the sights, we discussed with our driver whether it was smart to go to Tahrir Square. He gave us a very straight answer. On that particular Friday, not a good idea. A protest was happening that afternoon, and it was the day before the Anniversary of the Revolution of ’52. Anywhere outside the Square is fine on any given day, and Tahrir Square would have been OK on a weekday providing one is careful and respectful. On Friday, this is as close as we came — you can see tents in the distance, but in the foreground people are walking around normally.
Here’s the interior of Nile Maxim, the riverboat restaurant we chose for our last night in the city.
That’s all we could fit into one day, but I have a feeling we’ll be back…