Back in Cairo after the cruise on the Nile, for a last round of sightseeing – this time to sites not originating in Ancient Egypt.
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 theHilton 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.
Coptic Museum, Hanging church in Cairo
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.
Backgammon players in Khan-al-Khalil, Cairo
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.