Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Aegean Sea Cruise: A Bit More From Cairo, & Alexandria, Egypt
I have a few more photos to share from Cairo, Egypt and then a few quick flashes of Alexandria. This one above left was within our hotel in Cairo, it is a replica statue of the "guard" statues inside King Tut's tomb. Next up are photos from a rather interesting place where we stopped for lunch in Giza. It looked a bit like a camp for gypsies, hurriedly put together with color tents and makeshift grounds. But it was actually connected to a hotel (see hotel pool below), and made to look as it were. We sat down and were enthusiastically greeted by a man who mainly spoke Arabic but knew enough English for us to communicate. To the table he brought an individual mini-grill, which had piles of chicken pieces, elongated meatballs and tomatoes. It sizzled and smelled absolutely delicious. Immediately behind him was another waiter who served plates of hummus, diced eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and some other dip, plus a dish of things wrapped in grape leaves and other mysterious foods. Finally a plate of freshly made bread- sort of liked pita bread but all puffy. It was quite good. It was surprisingly good, and I bravely consumed most of what they served. Yes, I was trying to delve deep into the local culture and taste Egypt. Here are a few photos:
above: as we first approached the restaurant, this is what we saw. Naturally I was hesitant, but I always keep an open mind while traveling!
above: this was the sort of hookah bar...
above: it sure looked festive....
above: this was the little grill with all the meat on it sizzling away
above: there were all sorts of dishes with delicacies, including some mystery friend things next to the french fries- I tried it all.
The Imperial Mohammed Ali Mosque
We visited a grand Imperial Mosque, called the Mohammed Ali Mosque. It was up on a high hill in the center of a fortress, along with the Sultan Hassan. Interestingly, this mosque was built by the same architect who constructed the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Within this mosque is the tomb of the prophet Mohammed Ali.
above: exterior view of the Mosque. The silver domes are all covered in lead.
above: the external courtyard, but this is considered a prayer area at the mosque, so shoes came off here.
above: the water fountain within the courtyard to cleanse yourself before prayer
above: this was reserved for the Sultan, who back in the day, would have a grand place within the mosque.
above: beautiful inscriptions on these round panels adorned the four pillars of the main dome.
above: the main dome was surrounded by half domes, all beautiful and ornate. These are actually carved from wood, and decorated.
above: difficult to see in this photo but above the door is a wonderful gold half ring.
above: within the mosque is the tomb of Mohammed
above: and within that room is the actual marble tomb itself
above: I like the lion on the wall here with the mosque in the distance.
above: close up of the water fountain- it was carved from ONE giant piece of alabaster
above: a close up of the detail above the water fountain. You can see the restoration work in progress, look at the panels on either side of the center one.
A few other glimpses of Cairo
Here are some other random photos around Cairo to give you more of an sense of the city:
above: Cairo is a huge, sprawling city
above: its not uncommon to find donkey drawn carts on the main streets
above and below: or herds of sheep crossing in the middle of busy roads!
Finally while in Alexandria I didn’t take many photos, but here are a few:
above: the Alexandria Library building itself is slanted with an interesting glass roof
above: an ordinary building, but I just liked the arched windows with blue tile work
Once again, thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Egypt. We’ll arrive back in Rome tomorrow, which is starting to feel like home we've been there so often this past year. Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great weekend.
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