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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cairo Tower Egyptian Museum and Tahrir Square

So last week i had a Monday off because of Taba liberation day. (Im not really sure where Taba is and my roommate who is Egyptian also had to look it up apparently it is near Isreal which makes sense if Egypt is liberating something its most likely from the Isrealis.) Anyway so on Monday my friend Nate and I wanted to escape campus and go exploring and hopefully get to the Egyptian Museum.

I would just like to preface this story with the fact that the Egyptian Museum website is the worst in the world and if someone wanted to find a job in egypt with some basic html skills they could easily design websites for people in Egypt i mean it was terrible. So for this reason we had no idea when the museum opened of closed but out of fear it would close at two (a lot of government run buildings close around two in Egypt.) we decided we will walk over inquire for next time because the earliest bus leaving campus was at 12. We got on the bus arrived in Zamalek (island in denial (it sounds like the nile get it?)) and had some ful and tumiyya (beans and falafel) from a street vendor which cost us like 2 pounds hitched a cab to Cairo tower or Burg Al-Qahira.

It was a really quick cab ride over and the cab driver was a nice guy asked us how we were enjoying Cairo so far since he instantly realized we were Americans. So Cairo I realized has actually does not really have any sky scrapers its a city full of 18 million people almost and the tallest building around is Cairo tower or maybe the Pyramids. Which compared to building in New York well are not nearly as tall maybe back before the switch to AD they were really tall but not compared to todays buildings. Anyway we went up the tower took some photos and decided to walk across the bridge down to Tahrir square where the old AUC campus was, the Egyptian Museum, and of course where Egypt had its revolution/ is having.
West side of Cairo or Giza
Well we got down started crossing Nate turns to me and says "Julian i look extra white today, so if we get arrested im sorry." It was fine other than of course trying to cross the streets Tahrir was quiet with lots of murals and people selling Egyptian flags. A regular day but it was still really cool to be in a place where a year ago people were revolting and maybe now they will have a government that is run by the people Insha Allah.

Through the smog you can kind of see the Pyramids

East said of Cairo across that bridge is Tahrir

I'm in denial
So we start heading to the museum but we decided to wait for a bit because Nate had invited Nadine a girl from our Art and Architecture course to join us even though shes Egyptian she has not really seen the whole museum which makes sense because it was immense. Before that though we met a guy who of course "worked at the museum" said he was going to a mosque to pray but that nate and I should visit this really cool place across the street. For once we thought this guy was legit he even stopped nagging us and started to leave. Then out of the goodness of his heart he said hey why not i have time ill take you guys over there! 5 seconds later im in this small shop with a guy trying to sell me "real papyrus look government stamped antiquity." Not even sure what that means then he decided instead of buying papyrus we looked like the guys who needed essential oils, perfume and cologne. He let us try the lotus flower scent which i do have to say smelt pretty good. When we had the chance we made a bad excuse and got out of there.

As soon as we step outside , "Hey! Dont worry im not a tour guide. I work at the museum there is this really cool place you should come buy. But dont feel preassure im going to go pray. Actually i have the time let me just take you two there!" after "uncle Hassam like uncle Sam but HAssam" took us to another store awfully simliar to the last one we were of course sprayed with tutunkhamun and ramses the 2nd scents. After Hassam asked if Nate had a girlfriend back at home for every day of the week we left and the again, "HEY! Dont worry im not a tour guide. I work at the museum there is this really cool place you sohuld come buy. Im going to pray so ill just show you its right around the corner!" but this time instead of Uncle Hassam it was to me "I am from upper egypt and you have the face of a Nubian, but not the color!" very clever. We got out of this mans deal and crossed back the street and entered the museum with Nadine.

The Museum was incredible. I realize how someone could spend all day there and still not see everything i mean this is almost 4 thousand years of history and even though i was not allowed to take photos it was incredible. I saw king Tut (right above), mummies, statues, art, real papyrus, greek art, roman, chariots, tombs, golden boats, i mean just everything possible. The only problem as with everything tourists pay the special tourists price i mean all in all i spent 15 dollars but it was sad to go with Nadine because she spent only 1. But still a successful day i would have to say.

1 comment:

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