Sunday, 26 November 2006

Erik in Cairo part 4: Old Cairo and a very nice dinner

Saturday started with Egypt's most famous Azhar mosque , we went in, walked around and a nice man there told us the history of the mosque through the years which was quite a lot of new info for me as well, the mosque is really impressive and just hearing how active it was through the years teaching seroiusly all the students from around the world different arts and studies of language and Islam makes you feel the hugeness of this place.

Next we went around the Hussein mosque and into Khan el Khalili, Cairo's most energetic bazaar, with all the souvenirs, jewellery, spices and much more all around it and of course crowds of people, then we went into a place that had loads of old mosques and building, and from that moment i was exploring new places in Cairo as well, although i've been living in Cairo for 7 years now, i've never been there, we found a mosque (of Sultan Barqouq) dating back to the 1300s, that was really impressive too, the decorations of it dome and ceilings are still as new and going inside, you can see how old the place is and the contrast between that and the decorations is really dazzling!
After that i decided to go see the Gayer Anderson museum, a lot of people recommend that and i wanted to give it a try, by the time we arrived there it was already closed, but at least now i know where it is and now i saw Ahmad Ibn Toloun mosque famous for his outside spiral stairs on the minaret.
I also drove around Amr Ibn El-As mosque (for the first time in my life as well), this day was probably more interesting to me than to Erik, i'm really happy that i saw these places, but Erik likes it too, he appreciates the idea of seeing all different faces of the city, and when i tell him that some places he would have never seen with a normal tour guide, he smiles at me and says "well...isn't that what the Hayek travel agency is all about? Taking you where no one else will?".
After driving for a long time, we both needed a caffeine dose, and i needed some rest from Cairo traffic. I made a small call and within a couple of hours we were enjoying our dinner cruising the Nile on the Nile Peking, great food, great atmosphere, great view and great company, what else can a person wish for? And the fact that the Nile Peking actually cruises was a surprise for Erik...a pleasant one i believe.

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