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Last Day in Egypt

March 6

semi-overcast

I was feeling very lousy in the morning so Don went off with others for our last day tour of some of Cairo’s sights. They left about 7 with the intention of going to the Egyptian museum before the crowds. But when they got to the museum there was some security check going on and the museum wasn’t opening to the public until 9.
So off they went to the Klan El Khalili open market bazaar. They went to the al Azhar mosque first, part of the Al Alzar University. This was located in the historic centre of Islamic Cairo and Ashraf said it dated back over 1000 years towards the time in 970 AD when Cairo was founded. The bazaar is also the site of terrorist attacks in 2005 and 2009 when 21 and 1 people were killed respectively. It was a bit early for it as well but there were some shops opening. They spent about a hour wandering around and doing some souvenir buying before heading back to the museum.
Al Alzar Mosque

Al Alzar Mosque

Mosque minaret

Mosque minaret


Bazaar

Bazaar

Bazaar

Bazaar

By the time they got to the museum it was quite crowded but what are you going to do?
Ashraf took them on a tour pointing out some of the highlights of the museum – the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities -ancient coins, papyrus, mummies, statues, various tools dating back 4000-5000 years ago and then let them wander around on their own for a while. The artifacts found in King Tutanhamun’s tomb were probably the most interesting. What is so amazing is the effort and detail that they put into keeping the gods happy and preparing for the soul to return. So much gold, so many amulets, so many words and prayers.
Limestone colossus of King Senuseret I

Limestone colossus of King Senuseret I

Calcite basin supporting a boat with a shrine from King Tut's tomb

Calcite basin supporting a boat with a shrine from King Tut's tomb

A child's mummy from Roman times

A child's mummy from Roman times

4500 year old fine pottery

4500 year old fine pottery


After the museum they went off to the almost 1000 year old citadel of Saladin ( the biggest Islamic fort in the world) and a visit to the Mosque of Mohamed Ali which is located inside the citadel which overlooks the city of Cairo, then off to the Coptic area of Cairo where they visited various churches. Of note is one fourth century church called the “Church of the virgin Mary” which is a hanging chuch built on the ruins of two 1 st century roman fortress towers and the Abu Sergu Church, where you can go down into a cavern where they say Mary Joseph and Jesus stayed when they fled to Egypt shortly after Jesus was born, after King Herod ordered all first born babies killed.
Mohammed Ali Mosque

Mohammed Ali Mosque

Inside the dome of the mosque

Inside the dome of the mosque

Church of the Virgin Mary

Church of the Virgin Mary


They returned to the hotel earlier than I had expected, but satisfied with the day's tour. We had a final group meeting to fill in evaluations and say goodbye. We were given our ride to the airport around 10:00 pm and started our long trek homeward. Which although long, was uneventful, just very difficult for me because I was feeling so sick. But I made it.

Posted by katdill 13:54 Archived in Egypt

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