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Published: October 29th 2019
Our last day in Egypt started with another early morning call, for another early morning flight. It was our last day in Egypt, and we were duly subdued at the thought.
That day we were lucky in one respect. It was a holiday, so the traffic when we got to Cairo was much lighter than it would have been on a normal day. The lack of traffic either aided observing the different parts of town we drove through, or maybe impaired it since we moved quicker than we would have done otherwise.
One thing we did not see as much in Cairo as when we were visiting Memphis and Saqqara was unfinished houses and buildings. In Egypt, they have the same situation I saw in Nepal. The housing taxes are sky high, so people do not finish the buildings to avoid paying them. They can have a five year reprieve and, at the end of five years, they add another level and start over again. From what we were told, the government is looking into new laws to change the tax parameters and eliminate this loophole.
One thing for sure, I will not miss the Saladin's Citadel if
I go back to Cairo. What a magnificent fortress! And the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. The glimpses I caught from a distance were magnificent.
There is much contrast amongst the different neighborhoods in Cairo. The older part with its narrow alleyways, and other areas very European and much more upscale and modern.
To save time, we proceeded directly to the Museum from the airport, but it didn't help as far as the crowds go. The museum was crowded, which made it challenging to be able to examine some of the exhibits up close, and time consuming to wait for previous groups to move away.
The museum still contains all the major exhibits that will be moved last to the Grand Museum when it opens. This museum will remain open and will contain many pieces that have been kept in storage for lack of space. That is, if two statues were found, the best was put in the museum and the other in storage. Now that second statue will be displayed in this museum.
I wish we had been able to see the new museum. The jewel in the crown is going to be a complete exhibit
of what was found in King Tut's tomb. Many personal items, additional carriages, walking sticks, etc. Also, the twin of the statue of Ramses II we saw at Memphis is going to be at the entrance of the new museum, completely restored. Sigh!
Still, it was great walking around the museum and viewing the impressive collection. Seeing Tutankhamun's nesting golden shrines was a wow moment. I had seen a portion of the Tutankhamun exhibit before, but the shrines were a treat. What beautiful work. The mask, naturally, has center stage within the jewelry exhibit.
Some of the unglamorous side rooms contain very interesting every day tools and items. It was interesting to see ladders, and other items.
It was also interesting to see the evolution of the mummies and sarcophagus from ancient Egypt to the Greek dynasty, and eventually the Roman influence.
The end of the visit came too soon. I could, again, have spent an entire day there.
That was the end of our trip, unfortunately. The farewell dinner that night was very poignant for me. I left wanting more and planning to find an opportunity to go back. There is much more in
The citadel's walls and mosque.
Egypt I want to see and experience.
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