Monday, December 15, 2008

Islamic Cairo

Egypt is full of more then just ancient temples and pyramids; it is rich with an amazing culture. 90% of the people in Egypt are Muslims and their mosques cover the city.

Friday, November 28, we went to Islamic Cairo to see the Citadel. Inside is the Mohammed Ali Mosque (Blue Mosque) where Mohammed Ail is buried and we also were able to have a great view of the city. 

After visiting the Citadel we drove past the City of the Dead. Here the living live among the dead. The city is so crowded that people are living in and around this huge cemetery in the center of Cairo.

Next, we went to the largest bazaar in the world, Khan al-Khalili. Here we were able to experience more of the Egyptian culture. Working the markets is a skill you need to learn before you come to Egypt. People will try to sell you everything and anything that they can. The trick is knowing exactly what you want and how much you will pay for it. And if you don’t want what they are offering just say “no thanks” and keep moving!

After the market we went to a perfume shop where we tested different kinds of perfumes and oils. The Egyptians pride themselves on making their perfumes only from flowers (no alcohol). We tested many different perfumes and my mom and I both got bottles of Lotus (a flower that grows in Egypt and represents Upper Egypt). We also tested an oil called Sandal Wood that gets hot when you rub it between your hands... I got to experience this first hand when I got a massage on our cruise!

We rounded out the day by going to the Egyptian Museum (back to the Ancient stuff!). This museum is jammed-pack full of artifacts from all over Egypt. It is really unorganized and most of the time the artifacts don’t have descriptions. But hey, it was still fun to see. The best part was seeing all of King Tutankhamun’s grave goods, including his famous 20 lb pure gold Death Mask and his throne. The reason King Tut is so well know is because he’s tomb is the only one to EVER be found that hadn’t been previously looted. Kings Tuts mummy still lies in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings… where we are heading next!


Lauren Jayne said...

ALERT: extreme museum jealousy!!

The Carreons said...

All i can say is...WOW!!!! and I am deeply jealous!