Next stop: Cairo

March 26, 2011

After spending 12-hours night bus ride from Luxor, we reached Cairo.

Cairo, along with Alexandria, are old cities, much in contrast to Dubai. I  imagine how a century back, they were an envied bustling commercial hub in this Arab region. But it seemed to have stopped there. Our guide blamed bad (government) bureaucracy why this city seemed to have not further progressed.

Signs of antiquities were all over but of course, far not as old as the the Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza (dating back from 2560 BC).

We spared only a day for Cairo which was enough to see the Giza Pyramids, the Saladin Citadel and the Egyptian Museum. It was much hazy over the place (I did a little research but it points to smog. It was hazy/ foggy on a warm day even when the sun is on it's highest), and taking photos was challenging as we did not know how to manage it with our camera.

The Pyramids and the Museum
Understanding the ancient Egyptians' belief on afterlife is hugely interesting, largely explaining the existence of the pyramids as well as the many artifacts in the museum in Cairo.

The pyramids are architectural masterpieces.  There's more than seeing its 3D triangular shape, and THIS link provides  the impressive details.

We entered the pyramid of Menkaure and it's just amazing how BIG blocks of stones were closely put together. It makes me imagine a whole triangular prism that has linear cracks.

Khufu's Pyramid - made of 1,300,000 blocks of limestone. A big structure as a tomb for one king. How about that?

We were told it was believed that the sides of the pyramids were smoothed like the tip of Khafre's Pyramid above,
but they chipped out over time
The local youngsters approached and asked to take my photos with them in their phones.
I thought there's nothing wrong so ok I gladly obliged.
All together with the young Egyptians

The Sphinx that stands 65 feet tall
The Pyramid of Menkaure. We had to duck until we reached the bottom. Cameras were not allowed inside.

Next stop is the Egyptian Museum (in Cairo). Cameras are deposited at the gate. Lots of photos are online, although you dont get as much amazed than when you personally go there. Again, an Egyptologist explaining the artifacts helps a lot.

The museum houses over 120,000 antiquities, and the most amazing for me are the mummified people and animals dating back 5000 years.When mummified, the kings/ queens then are elaborately buried along with their things they are believed to keep them through in the afterlife, including their dogs, golden jewelries and weapons.
 
Photo credit


Outside of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo


 THE CITADEL

Then there's the Saladin Citadel.

"One of Cairo's most popular tourist attractions is the Citadel, located on a spur of limestone that had been detached from its parent Moqattam Hills by quarrying. The Citadel is one of the world's greatest monuments to medieval warfare, as well as a highly visible landmark on Cairo's eastern skyline. Particularly when viewed from the back side (from the north), the Citadel reveals a very medieval character." (you may read more about it here)
The Citadel as fortified by Saladin between 1176 and 1183 CE, to protect from the Crusaders
A closer look at the external walls

Inside the Citadel's mosque. Shoes have to be taken off.

From outside the Citadel, this older part of Cairo is a view

There's more to see of Cairo but I guess spending the night before in a bus has exhausted us already. With our backpacks, we were just too tired and at just past 3 pm, we were too eager to rest our tired bodies in a three hours train to Alexandria. I've saved here more of our Cairo photos.

Some links:

Our Luxor trip HERE
Ask Aladin's notes HERE

See you next in Alexandria.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Egypt's anthropoligal history alone would take years to study. I find the pyramids fascinating. That 12 hours bus ride sounds like the ones i took from kalinga to baguio...lol.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Egypt is a very interesting place for me but I don't think we could go there anytime soon. I wish we can also drive to go there like you. I enjoyed looking at your pictures as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Each visit is a learning experience...this is what I like about blogging. Hindi lang para makita ang mga magagandang photos. And this is what I like visiting your posts especially your travel adventures.

    Gustong-gusto ko na marating ang Cairo dahil sa mga pyramids na yan and of course to learn and see more of the wonders of Egypt.

    Thank you for sharing Bevs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just for the pyramids alone and no matter what they say about the state of sanitation in Cairo, I guess it is indeed worth the visit. I like your photos.

    ReplyDelete

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