The Trip To Egypt, 2004

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Egypt Home
Day 1, Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Day 2, Pyramids and Sphinx At Giza
Day 3, Dahshur (Bent and Red Pyramid),
Day 3a, Sakkara (Stepped Pyramid)
Day 4, Abu Simbel
Day 4a, Aswan
Day 5, Philae Temple
Day 5a, Kom Ombo Temple
Day 6, Edfu Temple
Day 6a, Esna Temple
Day 7, Luxor, Medinet Habu, Village of Deir El Medina
Day 7a,Temple of Hatshepsut
Day 8, Valley of the Kings
Day 8a, Valley of the Queens, Luxor Museum
Day 9, Luxor, Tut's Tomb
Day 9a, Temples of Karnak and Luxor
Day 10/11, Cairo, Museum, Manial Palace, Churches and Mosque

Return to Cairo, Museum, Manial Palace, Churches and Mosque




 Jan's Notes  Jim's Photos And Comments

Last day in Cairo
Manial Palace
Oldest Church in Cairo
Oldest Synagogue in Cairo
Mosque (famous)

No rental of apts. You buy. In the 1859-s the monarchy ended w/Nasser who wanted to please the poor so he did rent control. Any apts. Built <1950 (most) rent control enforced so can never raise rent so people playing $50 for 5 rooms. Aki's father is a landlord who does all maintenance because the tenants won't and doesn't pay for landlord so no repairs done. Landlords wait for building to collapse so they can build a new one. Tenants can't be kicked out even if you don't pay the rent. If you die, the apt. goes to your kids. Since there's no housing for young couples the marriage age has risen to 37-41 for men and 27-32/34 for women. People need time to save for the cost of buying a house.

Manial Palace 1910
On island. Sole building on the island when built by Prince Mohammed Ali (a common name). He considered himself disliked by the royal family. He was too wild for them & embarrassing to them. He was pushed out of the crown 2x. So he built himself this place including a throne room just like the real one. That building has been closed for restoration.

Building we saw--the ground floor shows lifestyle. Turkish & Persian influence. The rich at the time sent their kids to France for education so spoke French. Garden is 33 acres. There were 183 gardeners from Italy. Banyan tree is the largest in the country.

1982-leased to Club Med but 2 years ago, took Club Med elsewhere but garden ruined by hotel. King Farouk was a stamp collector foremost in the world. When he was deposed, they sold his whole collection for 400 lbs in the street-trying to rebuild that collection now. Did it to show him disrespect. Royal lingerie sold in the street at auction. Palace was opened to the public the day the monarchy ended and people told to see it-how rich he was-and spit on the carpets. Farouk's family jewelry: jeweler was Cartier. He had world's 2nd largest diamond. When the royal family left they took only what they were wearing. Jewels were collected & filled 48 boxes & stored in bank. The keeper of the jewels committed suicide when announcement of display of jewels came in 1992. So must have taken them.

Famous picture: Family was Albanian but fled to Egypt; after a while Egypt wanted him to be Sultan. He had to agree to work with the Senate. He agreed but then after he was made Sultan, fired them. He had many Mamlouks-military didn't like. So Ali said let's sit with all the Mamlouk leaders in the palace and work out agreement and peace with them. Betrayal! When they arrived they left their swords-proper etiquette and then he slaughtered them except for one Mamlouk who escaped & fled Egypt.

Egg stores; people eggs there. Subway system; 1 Egyptian pound to go any distance.
Slaughterhouse neighborhood.

Arabs came from Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) 640 AD. Arabia was city of the soldiers-they came first, then city of the quarters-other living quarters, then Cairo. Cairo was born here. Cairo name origin: picked spot by advisors who awaited a good star. Star was El Kahrera (couldn't quite read my hand-writing)=Victorious so laid first stone here.

Hanging Church
Oldest Coptic church; church of San Sergio; still in use. Welcomed Arabs to remove the Romans. Arab soldier saw gap in the wall. Arab army therefore able to get into Babylon fortress. That was day one of Arab history in Egypt. Non-Moslem ghetto here by hanging church. Original door from 642AD; locked into their ghettos. This church is very unusual; service is still in Coptic-dying language. Priest does his service w/his back to the congregation. Saw cave where the holy family fled after all male babies to be killed (per Bible). Saved the baby Jesus. San Sergio's=Greek name.

Ben Ezra Synagogue. True story of synagogue has been lost. But current story is that a general ordered new mosque. Architect said the land was owned by Egyptian Jew who refused to sell but agreed to give the land if it would be a synagogue. No problem. Building is mosque in style, even though synagogue. 950 original; new building is only 220 years old; older one too damaged.


Egypt Air: build another airline to go to Tel Aviv so other Arab nations won't be angry,. Called Air Sinai. Tel Aviv decided to offer svc. to Egypt so Egypt had to return the favor, The name Israel is censored due to the war. But after peace signed tourists from Israel started to come.

Mo Ses=Egyptian=son of water because he was found floating in a basket.

After the peace gave old books on the religion to the museum in Tel Aviv.

Hanging Church: named because built on top of the Babylon Fortress. C.9th-14th century icons. Built late 3rd century. Still in use. 100 years later than Coptic church.

Largest cemetery=550 years old. 11,000 people living there. How this got started: once per year is remembrance day and people spend the day at the cemetery. Built a basic hut with basic furniture to be comfortable when they visit on that day. Then they needed someone to guard the furniture so hired job-less people from the rural areas. Then they'd bring a wife and have a child and a family would begin who'd need housing. Now they live there & perform funeral service activities.

1183 AD Fortress built by Saladin against the crusaders but the crusaders never reached Egypt.

Egypt: Islamic law allows up to 4 wives but all must be kept equally materially, physically and financially and civil law discourages.

We flew back to Cairo for the last two days, but since we arrived early and had the first day off, some of us went back to the museum to explore other corners of it. We found more amazing things, including crates ready to seal to send to exhibits around the world. Having seen all the sites onour tour, we can understand the problem Egypt has - an overabundance of history and artifacts that make it very hard to decide what to preserve next!

Manial Palace, inside

Some nice gardens exist, but Aki said the formal gardens were torn out years ago by Club Med

Moslem religion proscribes the eating of pork, based on historical health problems with pigs. These are cards distributed with prepared airline meals that Aki saved.

Aki telling us the story of this tomb where the Shaw of Iran is buried in the mosque.

Kids in the mosque - like all kids they can ham it up for the camera!



Several in the group went on to Jordan to visit Petra. Here is Jan's story and photos.

That's all for now. This includes about 7% of the photos I took and I expect to add a page of simply art photos and some others I like, someday.

Egypt Home


(c) 2004, Jim Hayes


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