King Tut, Mummies, Egyptian city life was on the menu that morning.
We woke up in a high class hotel which I didn’t like. Being able to open the window and not feel like you’re an animal in a pet store is very important to me. You can soak up more of where you are by leaning ou the window and smelling the air. You can’t do that when the windows are huge glass slabs. And the people aren’t as approachable. In huge classy hotels I always feel like there’s a bit humanity missing. But that’s a little bit of a diversion…
First thing in the morning Tim and I were hustled off to a two hour stint through the Cairo museum.
Wow, it was unlike any museum I’ve ever experienced!
Our guide, Hisham Saleh, ended up being the one we had in Alexandria! He knew that it was a ridiculously short time to see what would normally take a week or so to soak in.
Hisham tried to focus on a few key things, and proceed chronologically, and then give us half an hour to explore on our own. He talked a mile a minute while we shuffled past an already crowded interior, wiped sweat from our faces, and tried to drink a little water here and there.
- The Cairo Museum hasn’t been touched since the early 1900’s.
- It’s not air conditioned, and is badly need of repairs.
- In one way it was neat to see that things so old were still enduring, and it made the Museum seem less stiff and sleepy. Even the thought of museum make me start yawning. It’s much more exciting to see the artifacts in context with their own environment, than in an abstract, quite, cool, sterile building.
- On the other hand it was sad to see it so neglected. I wonder if the government has anything to do with that?
- My favorites were:
- Seeing King Tut’s possessions and realizing that since he wasn’t such a high achiever, what must have the possessions of other famous, but high achieving pharaohs been like?
- The symbolism that our guide told us about which helped to understand the art better.
- The mummies of Ramses II and the one which is possibly Hatshepsut.
- A reed basket which made me think of Moses on the Nile.
- The remnants of sled that had possibly been used in the building of the pyramids. My students and I had learned about it in class, so that was pretty cool to see it in person. It would have been nearly 6,000 years old!
- Everyday little artifacts.
- Stringing together all the museum pieces into one story, and seeing how it connected to the Old Testament and God bringing salvation to mankind.
Then we left. Two hours were gone in a poof. Tim and I went out for lunch with friends from our travel group, Sanjay and Pritty. We found Shwarma at KFC – it felt like a sacrilege to eat at so un-Egyptian a place – and then walked around.
I had my hopes set on going to Coptic Cairo and seeing the site within a synagogue where Moses was found in the reeds, and then visiting a Coptic Church next door which was built over a cave wherein Joseph and Mary and Baby Jesus took shelter on their journey into Egypt.
It didn’t happen. I didn’t feel comfortable going alone and Tim was up for it, but later, and apparently by that time it was too late to venture that far. I wonder if we should have tried?
So we ended up going out again with our friends Sanjay and Pritty and checking out one of the famous Souks or Bazaars. I like it because you could see some medieval architecture and I was able to haggle and get some book marks for my students.
The activity was interesting to watch. Defiantly different from doing your brands at Walmart!
Interesting: Pritty got lots of hisses for not wearing a veil over her beautiful hair.
After that we went to an area where everyone want to go out for sushi.
I was still dejected that we didn’t make it to Coptic Cairo, and that it was more prudent for me a gal to go with someone anywhere in that geographical area, so decided to camp out at a local western-style cafe down the street and catch up on my travel journal instead of eat something you could get anywhere else in the world.
The funny thing was, I ended up getting pretty much something I could have gotten anywhere else in the world too!
It was a good decision because we were all recharged when we got back together, and from there we had a fun Cairo-style ride back to the hotel.
We said our goodbyes to Sanjay and Pritty and then packed and got our beauty sleep for the second half of our a flight to Jordan on the morrow.
Just a little note: I was doing these posts every day, but I am going to dial back and do them only once a week so that you can get higher quality content!
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