Back in Cairo after the cruise on the Nile, for a last round of sightseeing – this time to sites not originating in Ancient Egypt.
This article is one of four from a visit to Cairo and the Nile in 2005. It is based on my diary at the time.
Sunday 9.1.2005, Cairo
A rather relaxing day. We were driven directly to the hotel, the same as last time. Later in the morning we took a taxi to Cairo Tower and were elevated all the way up. The tower is 187 metres and the highest in Cairo. The view was good, despite the haze.
Then we took another taxi to the Tahrir square in downtown Cairo and walked the few metres over the Hilton hotel for lunch – in the lack of a more creative idea. A young, presumably Saudi, couple sat at a table in a corner. He was dressed as us, in jeans and a shirt. She was all in black robes, and had to lift her face-mask for every bit of spaghetti Bolognese she was eating. It looked awkward and strange to us, perhaps not so here.
We then strolled along the streets of downtown Cairo. The city actually lacks a genuine centre. We played cards in a shopping centre café.
In the evening we had a very good dinner at the Sofitel Maadi Hotel, the place who believed we would be staying at. Poor Egyptian wine called Obelisk.
Monday 10.1.2005, Cairo
Not even today we did much, but it was despite that a fine day. We walked the neighbourhood before our guide picked us up.
The guide took us to the Hanging Church. The name is derived from the fact that it is placed on top of ancient Roman ruins and it is possible to look down through the floor nine metres to the ground. The church is very old (100-400 AD) and belongs to the Coptic faith. They are quite big in Egypt. After that we went over to another church nearby, this time belonging to the Greek Orthodox. Both buildings were fascinating.
We were taken to the large and centuries old market of Khan-al-Khalil. It is huge and surrounded by some beautiful mosques. There we noticed a fine mix of tourists and locals as we were walking the alleys.
We tried to get some sleep before we were picked up at 2400 for departure.
This is the tenth video from the cruise on the Nile from Aswan to Luxor. The stops were: Aswan – Kom Ombo – Edfu – Esna – Luxor. This video is however from several sights in the central parts of Cairo.
Tuesday 11.1.2005, Cairo – Amsterdam – Stavanger
The airport was full of Hajj-travellers to Jeddah, all dressed in white. Our plane departed at 0300 as promised and we landed at 0700 (local times) in Amsterdam. My son was tired, hungry and not feeling well. The airsickness bag came in handy.
After a couple of hours of convalescing and muffin eating on Schiphol airport we went into Amsterdam for a bit of walking and a café.
All chapters in this series:
(1) Cairo: A spontaneous tour of Egypt: This time it was my youngest (at the time 7 years of age) son who joined me to Cairo and on the classic Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor.
(2) Aswan and the south: Our tour of the Nile started with a night train up the Nile to Aswan and continued on a cruise ship north to the temples of Kom Ombo, Edfu and Esna.
(3) Luxor: The tour of the Nile continues with Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, and the temples of Karnak and Luxor.
(4) Cairo (2): Back in Cairo after the cruise on the Nile, for a last round of sightseeing – this time to sites not originating in Ancient Egypt.