Cairo Journals

Phascinating Pharoahs

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A September 2003 trip to Cairo by Gaires2359

Historical Tours of Cairo Photo, Cairo, Egypt More Photos
Quote: This is a mystical land where most of the ancient wonders once stood and the Giza Plateau still stands.

Historical Tours of Cairo

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Attraction | "Walk Like An Egyptian"

Historical Tours of Cairo Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Egypt is home to the oldest standing stone building in the world; which also happens to be the only surviving WONDER of the ancient world. The ancient Egyptians created a civilisation that lasted for over 3,000 years. It has been calculated that during this period more than half a billion people existed on Egypt's soil. The Egyptians developed a remarkable knowledge of astronomy, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, and had an organised taxation and legal system with a police force and courts. Women had more legal rights than those in some countries today. They wore fine clothing and used a wide range of cosmetics and beauty products. Tutankhamun and Ramses the G...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Historical Tours of Cairo
8, Tarsana Sporting Club
Cairo, Egypt

Pyramids Sound and Light Show

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Attraction | "Sound & Light Show at Giza Plateau Pyramids"

Pyramids Sound and Light Show Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Just about every major site in Egypt has this compulsion to put on a sound and light show, which begins at sundown. It involves the monument being illuminated by coloured floodlights while a recorded voice narrates snippets of history and mythology. The narration leaves a lot to be desired, but it is worthwhile going just to revisit some of Egypt's sights by moonlight.The entire programme, lasting about an hour, gives a rather simplified but overdramatised version of Egypt's history. The commentary may not be impressive, but it is rather entertaining when re-told by the Sphinx in its booming, albeit accented voice, which sounds suspiciously British.Having seen the pyr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 14, 2004

Pyramids Sound and Light Show
Giza Pyramids Plateau
Cairo, Egypt
+20 2 3385 7320

South Saqqara

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Attraction | "Saqqara Sights (Day Trip)"

South Saqqara Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo and opt for an easier pace of life by taking a visit to one of the lesser visited places of interest, like Saqqara. Indisputably one of the richest archaeological sites in Egypt, Saqqara boasts some of the oldest monuments, dating from the earliest ancient Egyptian funerary structures to Coptic monasteries. It was developed as the royal necropolis for the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis just west of here, but as Memphis grew, so did the city of the dead until it covered an area approximately 7km from north to south. While Saqqara continued to be used as a burial site for officials during those days, it was eventually abandoned and, apart from the pyramid of D...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2004

South Saqqara
About 11km south of Saqqara
Cairo, Egypt

Memphis

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Attraction | "Memphis (Day Trip)"

Memphis Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
The ancient city of Memphis was the capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom and for the most part of the Pharaonic period. It is thought that it was founded in about 3,100 BC by King Menes, the ruler responsible for uniting upper and lower Egypt. Situated at the head of the Nile Delta, this majestic city controlled important overland and river routes. While Thebes (the site of modern day Luxor) became the ceremonial centre of Egypt during the New Kingdom, Memphis was still an important administrative and commercial centre until well into the Ptolemaic era. There are countless descriptions of the city in classical texts from Greek writers and historians such as Plutarch. In the 5th century AD, the hist...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Memphis
24 kilometres south of Cairo
Cairo, Egypt
No phone available

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, St. Mary's Church)

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Attraction | "Coptic Cairo"

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, St. Mary's Church) Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Coptic Cairo is actually the modern name given to the oldest part of the city. Lying in an area within the walls of the 3rd century Roman fortress of Babylon is a haven of quiet, narrow lanes and ancient holy places. It is the real Cairo that you have come to visit, with people going about their daily business, oblivious to foreign visitors. The main entrance, leading to the interesting Coptic Museum and the beautiful Hanging Church, is between two round Roman towers, against which the waters of the Nile once lapped before the river shifted its course to the west centuries ago. A second, stepped entrance to the north leads along a sunken alley to the rest of the churches, the synagogue, and the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2004

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, St. Mary's Church)
Shar'a Mari Girgis Street
Cairo, Egypt

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, St. Mary's Church)

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Attraction | "The Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo"

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, St. Mary's Church) Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this church is popularly known as the "Hanging" or "Suspended" Church (Al-Muallaqa in Arabic) because it was built over the Water Gate of the old Roman fortress of Babylon. Remember the ancient wonder, Nebudchadnezer's The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? The original structure was built possibly as early as the 4th century, but it was destroyed and rebuilt in the 11th century. Expansion and reconstruction have gone on ever since, making it difficult to date precisely any specific part of the church. The foundations of the Church can be seen from the courtyard of the Coptic Museum or through the glass panels interlaced with the wooden flooring. The façade is surrounded ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2004

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, St. Mary's Church)
Shar'a Mari Girgis Street
Cairo, Egypt

Egyptian Museum

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Attraction | "Museum for an Everlasting Civilisation"

Egyptian Museum Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Founded by Frenchman Auguste Mariette (1821-81), Egypt's first national museum of Pharaonic antiquities opened in 1863. Housing the largest, most extensive collection of Pharaonic treasures in the world, it is one of Cairo's most popular sights. Outgrowing the two homes it was previously housed in, the museum then settled on its present, purpose-built premises in 1902. It has more than 120,000 items on display and is rumoured to have another 150,000 stored in the basement! The pride of the museum is without doubt the collection of artifacts recovered from the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun. However, that is not all the musuem is famous for, as it also houses excellent pieces from every period o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 29, 2004

Egyptian Museum
Tahrir Square
Cairo, Egypt
+20 (2) 579 6974

Egyptian Museum

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Attraction | "Egyptian Museum - Practical Tips"

Quote:
There are a lot of independent guides who tout for business at the museum's gates, and as there are few labels to explain each exhibit, it is worthwhile to hire one to show you around. Most guides speak French and/or English and are likely to be working students, earning money for their educations. Ask questions and negotiate a price before embarking on the tour. Ask a few guides and shop around for the rate to determine what is fair. Passing through the gatesAfter your hour-long queue during high season, you will have to go through a security check, passing your belongings through an x-ray scanner. Objectionable items need to be placed in the left-luggage, but this is not very safe, as the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 29, 2004

Egyptian Museum
Tahrir Square
Cairo, Egypt
+20 (2) 579 6974

Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

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Attraction | "Khan al-Khalili, Cairo at its Most Magical"

Khan el-Khalili Bazaar Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Any exploration of Islamic Cairo begins at the medieval bazaar of Khan al-Khalili, the commercial heart of the quarter. The original Khan was laid between Al-Muizz li-Din Allah and Midan Hussein, but today it encompasses a wider area made up of several markets, selling everything from water pipes and handicrafts to silks and spices. Traders line the streets all the way to the old city gates, a mile to the north and south, but the bazaar's narrow alleyways are at their densest in the original Khan area. The quarter's many old mosques, houses, and palaces offer an escape from the incessant sales pitches. Built in 1382 by Garkas al-Khalili, Master of Horses, to Sultan Barquq, Khan al-Khalili is one...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 29, 2004

Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

Cairo, Egypt 11211

Coffee Culture - The Egyptian Way

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Story/Tip

Hooked on a hookah Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Filling its own little niche all over Egypt and found on almost every street corner, the ubiquitous coffee house, or AHWA, plays an important role in the everyday life of Egyptians. Not unlike the Starbucks of the US or the cafés of continental Europe, AHWAs are social places where the locals congregate. They are places where people meet for a chat with mates, idle away an hour reading a newspaper, or watch football on the telly. A typical coffee house is no more than a collection of old tables and chairs placed in a narrow alleyway, like Fishawi's in the Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar. Frequented predominantly by Egyptian men, foreign women are usually welcomed. Coffeehouses are busy at all hours of t...Read More

Aladdin's Cave of Treasures

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Story/Tip

Khan-El-Khalili Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
Egypt's souks and bazaars are magical wonderlands, offering the visitor an eclectic mix of trinkets and souvenirs. The quality can vary greatly, so always inspect the items closely and be prepared to haggle over the price. Whilst on first encounter, it may seem to cater excessively to tourism, explore deeper, and the narrow alleys become a bustling hive of small workshops turning out attractive jewellery and copper- and glassware. Here, you can buy direct from the artisans and cut out the middleman. And uncover that one hidden treasure that's been eluding you ~ like a Tiffany-inspired bracelet at half the cost you'd pay back home! It’s a treasure trove, filled with little box sets of backgammo...Read More