Day 3 Cairo

posted Dec 25, 2010, 7:49 AM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Dec 25, 2010, 11:12 PM ]
We headed off to the Citadel and the Mosque which is no longer a praying Mosque.  The Citadel is high up from the city overlooking Cairo.  The Citadel is a large walled fortress with palaces that are under renovation.  We did get to wander around and see the polluted views of Cairo and go inside the Mosque.  The Mosque was lovely and large and is nicknamed the Alabaster Mosque because it is predominantly made from Alabaster so when it is cleaned every 3 months it most likely glows.  When we were there it looked very dusty and grimy from the outside.  There were many school kids visiting as well and they were all very friendly and wanted to practice their English skills with us.   I wish I had known some Arabic to practice with them.

We drove to a shop that makes and sells a drink called Assam and it is made from freshly squeezed sugar cane.  The machine that squeezes it is quite hard core.  The drink is different and it tasted like unripe bananas.  You could probably put rum and ice cubes in it and it would have improved the flavour.  Darren and Dax could not drink theirs.

We went to the Coptic area or the Christian area of Cairo.  Approximately 20% of Cairo citizens are Christian.  The first church we visited is the oldest Catholic Church in all of Africa and it is called the Hunging Church and it is built on the ruins of Babylon Tower.  It had an icon picture that dated back to 18 AD which was quite remarkable.  The second church was called St. George and you could buy a candle and light it and so Dax and I did and we said a prayer for my Dad and Dax’s Grandpa.  The next church was the coolest for us because it is built over the Crypt of the Holy Family.  The church is called St Sergius and St Bacchus.  When Joseph had an angel appear to him and tell him to flee and during the flight of the Holy Family from King Herrod when Jesus was just a baby his family took refuge for 3 years and lived in this crypt.  We have never been so close to anything that Jesus had touched so this was a remarkable experience for Darren and I and Dax.

We left the Coptic area and went to the oldest Mosque in all of Africa well at least parts of the Mosque are the oldest.  There is even a part of the Mosque that Alexander the Great was responsible for building.  We actually got to go inside this huge Mosque and I had to wear a green robe and cover my head with the hood.  I looked stunning in my Christmas green.

We then went for a lunch buffet on a boat on the Nile River and the lunch was terrible, usually I like at least a few things in a buffet but I cannot say that I liked one thing.  That was very expensive also and very disappointing.  Later that night we went on a Nile River cruise and that buffet was very good and the entertainment was interesting.  There was a Sousi Dancer which twirls with this large skirt and he never stops twirling and doing things with his different levels of skirts.  He was twirling right over my head and Dax’s and Dax was slowly moving onto Darren’s lap to avoid him.  The dancer looked like an Egyptian Robert Downey Junior.

Well it was time to leave Cairo the next morning and we were not sorry to leave.  Cairo is a huge dirty city with horrific traffic and smog and way too many police officers, there is one on every block.  We are thrilled that we saw the pyramids and we would be interested in seeing Alexandria and Luxor in the future and maybe even Sharm El Sheik on the Red Sea but we won’t stay in Cairo again.