Friday, November 26, 2010

Cruise Port Review: Cairo, Egypt, Part 2

(Be sure check out Part 1).

Lunch. Well, sort of. We had a very full agenda for our day in Cairo and we didn't want to take time out for lunch. So, based upon our wishes, Egypt and Beyond Travel sent one of their staff members to a takeout falafel place. The bus swung by and she boarded with bags of falafel sandwiches, water and bananas. We ate on the bus, ready for our next stop....

The Ben Ezra Synagogue. This is the oldest existing synagogue in Cairo. We had to walk a way to get to it. It is located in the old Coptic section of Cairo. On the way we also stopped at an old Coptic church which had actually been underwater before restoration. I found it fascinating that something could be under water in a desert.

Last on our daytime agenda was the Egyptian Museum. No photos here as cameras are not even allowed into the museum. Our goal was to see the King Tut exhibit. I could have sworn that I had read this was the 'new' Egyptian museum but you couldn't prove it by me. Inside it smelled old and musty. The museum itself could have been a museum IMHO.

The King Tut exhibit was crowded. Very crowded. We had a limited amount of time in there with lines around the display cases. The craftsmanship of what I did see was, of course, exquisite. Amazing amount of gold and number of relics found in the tomb. The small room with the display of his burial mask, two of the coffins and several cases of smaller pieces was just part of what was on display. Outside that room there were displays of his beds, throne and additional coffins (he was buried in multiple coffins, one inside the other). Of course all the gold amazed us but we learned that gold was not, at that time, the precious metal it is today. Actually, silver was more valuable then.

We were supposed to go shopping. On our agenda was the Khan el-Khalili Arab market. But we couldn't do it. Even our group of consummate shoppers were done in. So off to the Cairo Hilton for a chance to freshen up and change before heading out AGAIN for our Nile dinner cruise.

Thanks to Ellen we all had Nile view rooms. With sliding glass doors that opened onto a small balcony, we were able to view the Nile and listen to the noises of Cairo as the city began to get dark. We were being picked up at 7 p.m. The Nile dinner cruise included a buffet dinner with entertainment. And we had a real surprise in store for us!

There was a wedding celebration on board! A beautiful glowing bride, the groom, mother and mother-in-law, brothers of the bride and some friends. It was a real treat interacting with them.

Dinner was a selection of Egyptian food. There was something for everyone: fish, chicken, vegetables. A table was set up with salads and another table with desserts. Certainly plenty to eat and I thought it was delicious. Entertainment was a very good belly dancer and a whirling dervish, an exhibition I had never seen before. (He never stops...not until the performance is over!)

At 10 p.m. our guide and bus were waiting to take us back to the Hilton. Breakfast at 6:15 a.m. tomorrow and on the road to Alexandria by 7 a.m.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your blog and will save it in my favorite places to view when I go to unfamiliar ports. thanks for your hard work