Cairo City Tour

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August 25th 2018
Published: July 17th 2019
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Today, was dedicated to exploring the wonderful city of Cairo. Our first stop, the Egyptian Museum!

The Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum houses the worlds largest collection of ancient Egyptian Artifacts. During our trip to Cairo, the Egyptian government had just finished building a beautiful, new, more advanced, and larger Egyptian museum closer to the Giza plateau. The museum officials were in the process of moving the artifacts from the current Egyptian museum to its new location. So not all of the artifacts were on display at the old museum.

The old museum looked like it needed a makeover as it was in a state of organized chaos. It was small and overcrowded with no air conditioning. However, it did have the ambiance of an old storage warehouse. Going through the museum would not be as interesting without our Egyptologist, Sam. Sam, knew a lot about ancient Egyptian history and was able to explain about the importance of the most memorable artifacts at the museum.

One of the most interesting items on display at the museum was an entire room dedicated to the boy king, Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen is one of the most famous Egyptian pharaohs not because of his deeds but because unlike many of the tombs which have been discovered during the years, the tomb of Tutankhamen was still relatively intact when it was initially discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. We saw Tutankhamen, famous face mask made from solid gold which is believed to be a representation of Tutankhamen's face. Other artifacts from his tomb included vases, jewelry, pots, a large finely decorated chest and several weapons.

Another interesting room that you need to pay extra to enter is the Royal mummy room. I thought the Royal Mummy was well worth the extra money. Although, Renata and I were not allowed to take pictures, we got to see the mummified bodies of ancient Egyptian's great pharaohs. Some of the mummies that we saw include the body of Queen Hatshepsut and Ramses II. According to our guide Sam, there is a international law that if any Egyptian mummies are discovered they need to remain in Egypt because it is their sacred resting place. Therefore, mummies are the only artifacts that outsiders are not allowed to remove from Egyptian property.

The Hanging Church

After exploring the museum it was time to head out to explore the rest of Cairo. Our first stop was the Hanging Church.

The Hanging Church, residing in the heart of Old Cairo, is built atop of a Roman built fortress. It gets its name from the fact that its nave is suspended over a passageway giving it the impression that it is hanging in mid-air. One of the churches most notable features is its ceiling which is built of vaulted timber and resembles the interior of Noah's Ark. The church remains one of the most important churches used in the Coptic Christian community.

Mosque of Mohammed Ali

Our next stop after the Hanging Church was the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. The Mosque of Mohammed Ali is located in the Citadel of Saladin. The Citadel of Saladin was built between 1176 -1183 A.D and is home to 3 mosques and 4 museums. The Mosque of Mohammed Ali is the most famous mosque located within the citadel.

One of the interesting facts about the mosque is that there is a clock in the courtyard of the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. We learned from our tour guide Sam, that the clock was given by France in exchange for one of the obelisks of Luxor Temple. The Obelisk now stands in Place de la Concorde in Paris. And apparently according to our guide Sam, the clock situation in the Mosque of Mohammed Ali has not worked in years. By today's standards, definitely not a fair trade.

Khan El Khalili bazaar

Our last stop in Cairo was the Khan El Khalili Bazaar. It was interesting exploring the bazaar, but Renata and I found the majority of the vendors were selling the same tourist souvenirs. We ended up sitting down and grabbing a drink with our tour group at a cafe by the bazaar to cool down after a hot day.

After exploring old Cairo we headed back to Giza to a restaurant overlooking the Pyramids. As our last day in Cairo, we relaxed as we enjoyed the memorizing sunset over the Pyramids of Giza. It was a wonderful end to mark our last day in Cairo. When we headed back to our hotel, we said goodbye to Sam, an amazing guide and great Egyptologist. He was very knowledgeable about Egyptian history. It was a bittersweet to say goodbye to Sam but for the next couple of days, Renata and I are going to enjoy some much needed beach days in Dahab. I cannot wait!

Additional photos below
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Animal Mummy

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