Friday, January 23, 2009

Cairo again, Citadel and Khan El Khailili Bazaar...

DAY 9 last day...
Nite view of Cairo city. I took these pictures from the balcony of my hotel room. All I can say is it is very noisy with cars honking away. It was our last night in Cairo.

Visit to the Muhammad Ali mosque in Citadel.

The magnificent Muhammad Ali mosque which was built in the Ottoman style. The mosque is the tomb of Muhammad Ali Pasha who was the ruler of Egypt. He was also the founder of the country's last dynasty of Kings and Khedives. This mosque uses the alabaster extensively.

Our last stop before proceeding to the airport was the Khan El Khailili Bazaar. It is one of the most interesting bazaar in the whole Middle East. We were early and not many shops/stalls were opened. Yes, I was a bit disappointed. Anyway, the stroll was kinda interesting. A medieval kind of atmosphere is what you feel as you walk here. Our guide told us about the behaviour of some vendors. How some will say 1 doler (US $) for something they hold but in actual fact, it costs more. The one doler/doorlah is just for the 'looking at' part. I was actually looking forward to this but sadly, none of the vendors behaved in such manner. It couldbe because it was still early. Many vendors were just opening up their stores.

Copper tooling by one of the men here.

The Hussein mosque which is located right next to the Khan El Khailili Bazaar.

Picture of a hookah. A water pipe for smoking.

Our guide told us that smoking one sheesha is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. Omigosh... Sheesha interests me because it is something new that has hit our shores. Also, I find that hookahs, it comes in beautiful designs.A man smoking the sheesha. Our guide told us that smoking one sheesha is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. Omigosh... Sheesha interests me because it is something new that has hit our shores. Also, I find that hookahs, it comes in beautiful designs.
Falafel or taamiya as it is called in Egypt. This is pita bread cut in the center and filled with fava beans and lots of vegetables. It is sooo yummy. One taamiya wasn't enough. Hubby had three more packed and we took it with us to the airport. the sheesha
Oh...tour has ended and it is to the airport now. Flying from Cairo to Bahrain and to Kuala Lumpur. I actually felt very reluctant to leave Egypt. Felt tears coming as I climbed into the coach. It isn't just the sights, the people we came into contact with...they were wonderful. Kisses for all of them. Yes, this visit is wonderful alright.
Yes, oh yes, I finally got a picture of my 'Sheikh'! I would be sooo sad if I had to leave without a picture of 'Sheikh'. How I lament. Hubby finally found one and took this picture. Yippeee... Very nice man, my 'Sheikh'. I think he relented seeing my pathetic look. heeheee

Sorry, the picture isn't clear. I couldn't delete it. A last and precious moment with our Egyptian guide as he wave goodbye before getting down the coach. Silent tear shed by many and mostly by my son. A guide by the name of Hany, without whom, our tour wouldn't be so enjoyable, pleasurable, words could describe it. Egyptian guides, they actually do their job well. I/we think because to become a guide, Egyptians have to go through a course in Egyptology. To obtain a degree in Egyptology, it takes four years. No wonder. Another word of thanks too to our local Tour Manager, he is none other than Nick. Someone who is helpful right to the last bit.
Picture of Hany
Picture of Nick
Our grand finale, airline food...yuksss... and home.:o)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Egyptian Museum & Fort Qaitbey...

DAY 8 contd...
We headed for the Egyptian Museum next. A museum that houses the world's greatest collection of pharoamic treasures.
See the horse drawn carriages? I just love these sights.
Back alley.
We are inside the Egyptian Museum. The only museum that allows snapping of pictures.

Reliefs in Hieroglyphs. Egyptian layman.
Reliefs done in colour. Notice how the paint still stays after centuries.
National petrol of Egypt.

Mediterranean Sea
A 'friska' (tit-bit) seller along the promenade. I could've kicked myself so hard. I bought friska from this vendor and only realised I didn't take a close-up picture of him until he walked away. aaarghhh...

Trinklets, sea shells, corals and many other things on sale here. Remember, corals bought here or anywhere else in Egypt will not be allowed to be taken out of the country.
Fort Qaitbey (The original site of the ancient lighthouse-one of the seven ancient wonders) in the background.
Flag atop Fort Qaitbey. This flag is changed once every 2-3 days. Weathered by the sea breeze, it tears ever so often.
Italian monument to Khedive Ismail. It is now monument to the Unknown soldier.

Secondary school children.

Notice the buildings in Alexandria is of a different architecture. Was told by the guide it is more of Roman architecture. Huge columns used.
We travelled back to Cairo (by coach) after Fort Qaitbey. :o)

Pompey's Pillar...(Egypt)

We are now in the city of Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt. Alexandria, the Pearl of the Mediterranean. A city that was discovered by Alexander the Great.

Our first stop for the day was Pompey's Pillar. A granite column erected by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

Tram service in Alexandria. It is the oldest tram service that is still running in Africa.

Our next stop, the Roman Catacombs (underground tunnels). The higher level of the ground in the picture shows the original level when it was discovered. The catacombs was discovered when a donkey drawn cart fell into a pit. No pictures are allowed to be taken inside the tunnel. Sorry. We were taken down the into the tunnel and below the ground to see the catacombs. It was a really scary walk down into the ground. Since no pictures were allowed inside, the web would be an interesting place to read more and find out more.
Now to our next place of interest... :o)