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Touchdown in Cairo

the trip begins

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We landed in Cairo in the early afternoon, so we got to our transport to the hotel where we would stay. It was called hotel Happy Cairo. Location was perfect, the rooms unfortunately were a little old and weathered, and not too clean. There is a metro station on the corner of the street, but a few things were manageable on foot. We wandered around a bit and the first night ate at a place called Kazzaz. Really nice food, not a very fancy restaurant but simple, a lot of locals there too. It is a recommendable restaurant, also it isn't expensive (in our opinion) and as i said the food is good.

The next day we walked to the Egyptian museum, it was about 20 minutes. The museum is huge and obviously something you shouldn't miss. Get there early though, it gets really, really busy later on the day. The museum is magnificent, although the display of some of the pieces could be better. The pieces are marvelous, sphinxes, mummies, coffins, jewelry, lots of temple parts, it is a lot to see and you can spend a few hours there. There is also a royal mummy room.
The museum was being renovated as well so it was a bit of a mess with people working and painting and parts of the museums collection wrapped in plastic. Also our guide said they are building a new museum in/near Giza, and parts are going to be moved there as well.
We also went to the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, also known as Abu Serga. This is a Coptic church and is one of the oldest Coptic churches in Egypt, dating back to the 4th century. It is famous because in this church is the crypt where Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus are said to have rested for a few weeks or a few months. It is a very beautiful church, simple but elegant.
We also visited the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, the first mosque built in Africa. It has been expanded over the years and there isn't much to see anymore of the original building, but still impressive.

Of course we also visited the amazing Plateau of Giza, with the Sphinx, the pyramid of Cheops and of Chefren, the side pyramids of daughters and mother and wife, and graves (mastabas) of the nobility. The pyramids are huge, the one for Cheops is 146 meters, and the one for his son a little bit smaller, 136 meter. The smallest one is for Menkaure. You feel really small when standing next to one building block that is as big a a man and weighs tons, and the look up to a building so high. Incredible what that civilization has accomplished in times so long ago. And this was just a small part, with the hieroglyphs, paintings, colors and everything else they had. The Sphinx is the guardian of the plateau. It is hard to describe how it all fits so beautifully together. Rumors are there were two Sphinxes once, but they never found the second one.
Next was the city (now museum) of Memphis, the former capital of Egypt and now nothing more than a tiny open air museum. It is nice to see though. There is also a building where you can see a huge statue of Ramses II, unfortunately broken at the knees and apparently they still have to find the feet, but it is already 11 meters long as it is. Also there is a mini Sphinx, as in smaller then the one in Giza. It is still a very big sphinx.

And don't forget Sakkara, a temple complex with several pyramids and a big part of the city/town has been excavated as well, very different from the Giza plateau. They are renovating the pyramid of Djoser at this moment so that was all up in scaffolds.


Posted by Astreia 12:02 Archived in Egypt Tagged markets mosque church egypt museum building sphinx cairo pyramids Comments (0)

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