Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Cairo Museum, the Citadel, and .... Garbage City?

Having already been to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, I will not re-post everything I saw!!!  Here is just a sampling, though, of some of my favorites I enjoyed while David took it all in for the first time:

















This is a sphinx made in the likeness of King Hatshepsut - She was queen of Egypt until her husband died, and then she acted as regent on behalf of her stepson who was too young to rule.  In time, she adopted the role of Pharaoh - not queen.  She even had statues of herself made where she looked like a man. She died around 1458 B.C, and was buried in the Valley of the Kings.  Her step-son, who then ruled after her, had most of her statues and evidence of her work as pharaoh destroyed, so we don't know too much about her - except that she was one tough cookie!









And a prized shot of King Tutankhamun's burial head piece!  Stunning!!!





And for me, a very special moment occurred when Mohammed, my guide on my previous trip to Egypt, met us for lunch.  It meant a great deal to me that he was willing to take time out of his day just to say hi!  You are a wonderful person, Mohammed!!!






After the museum, Diana took us to Saladin's Citadel in Cairo.  While the one we saw in Alexandria was fairy tale-like and mostly intact, this one was much larger and more spread out. It had two lovely mosques as well -
 












 




I particularly loved the older one.
 












 There was also a military museum, but I was too pooped to go explore - 







When most people think of Egypt, they of course think of Muslims, but turns out that there is a pretty big population of Coptic Christians living there as well.  Many of them live in an area now referred to as Garbage City.  Doesn't sound so great, but actually it's pretty cool - They collect garbage and then recycle what they find. It was a Sunday so we were not able to visit the store that they have.  We did see the churches that were carved right into the mountain, though!























 















 








Saturday, July 9, 2016

Alexandria!

Next, we were off to see a new city for me: Alexandria.  Now, I knew that this would be a different experience than what I had the last time I was in Egypt, but somehow it still surprised me. Alexandria, named for Alexander the Great, was very much a city of blended cultures.  While there was still a huge influence of the Egyptian beliefs and art, it was combined with the styles of the Greeks and even the Romans.  

See, already we have ionic and Corinthian column toppers!











Here's a view of the Roman triumphant column: Pompey's Pillar




But first we wandered through the catacombs of Kom ash-Suqqafa ~

It's dark down there!!!!


Pompey's Pillar!





Guarded by sphinxes ~




Just doing my part to keep national treasures safe! ;)


















Our next stop on our whirlwind tour of Alexandria, was the citadel - a fairy tale like structure built by the sea ~



















Why yes, I am drawing my bow-string!










To keep up our strength, we feasted on a seafood lunch, including these GIANT prawns!!!!



And our final stop was at the Library of Alexandria -

                           No, unfortunately not THAT one :)  But they have built an incredible library here that seeks to recreate the spirit of the great library erected by Ptolemy. It is a work of art in itself, and houses some fine artwork along with some old printing presses!