Bāb al Lūq

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    • Day 5

      Fantastic sighseeing day!

      May 21, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

      Went to the Citadel, Alabaster Mosque, lunch (a typical Egyptian meal of bread, plate of carrots/peas/zucchini/French fries (I know 🧐) the warm cream chicken soup, more bread, then a sizzling grill of beef, lamb, chicken and rice pudding w/shaved coconut). Then the guided tour of Egyptian Museum which exceeded my expectations. A wonderful day. We are hot, sweaty. Resting before our welcome reception.Read more

      Traveler  Some of it reminds me of the musem at UPenn, since they have many Egyptian relics.thwt dome ceiling is just gorgeous!


      Traveler  Dome ceiling is made of brass


      Traveler  Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia ...

    • Day 162


      August 30, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 91 °F

      Miles: 2.4 Steps: 5638 Flights: 13

      We went to downtown Cairo today to the Egyptian Museum. What a difference in areas - Everywhere that ISN’T downtown is littered with garbage, buildings falling down and just outright nasty. Then you cross into the downtown area and it’s clean and modern.

      The museum was neat - we saw two actual mummies which was a first.

      Spent the rest of our day at our hotel, working in the room looking at the pyramids out of window. So nice to have that view 24/7 since that’s what we came here for.

      Saw another amazing sunset and the light show. Egypt is in a “reconsider travel here” warning by the state department - but so far, really glad we took the risk and made the stop here!
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    • Day 30

      Yet another Cairo day

      October 21, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

      This morning after breakfast across the road at a café called La poire - which has THE best coffee (and even has flat white!!), even including Italy, so that is a real compliment….we all met in the lobby (actually not Sally and John) and Amr and I shepherded the herd across the road to the museum. It is just a stone’s throw from the hotel, but does entail crossing a busy road. It is Friday, which is like Sunday here, and there were many people visiting the museum, and many large groups. We felt smug to be individuals wandering round, and could dart to where there wasn’t a crowd. Arranged a meeting place and we all wandered and had a lovely time, filling in the gaps from the last visit when we went as part of the tour.

      Then we all met at 3 as Omnia invited everyone to her apartment for “high tea”, and some of her friends came too. It was lots of fun and a highly successful but the stressful part (for Amr) was getting people there and back. We are used to walking there in the past, but it is too far and difficult (with the road crossings and uneven potholed paths) for most of our friends, so amr organised 3 carloads of people….had to explain where (addresses are hard to explain here apparently, as the government changed street names which muddles Google - I think that was the problem, or some difficulty when there wasn’t an Arabic speaker in the car!). It is all an adventure, but stressful for Amr trying to make everything run smoothly.

      We all got there safe and sound, and it was lovely to see their apartment again, which we hadn’t stayed in since the early 90s. Omnia has done great renovations and it looks very good. Then we had the same procedure for getting home to the hotel…this time a complication as the first Uber with Evie, Robin, Sally and John went to the wrong Steigenberger hotel - or was on its way to it, way out near the pyramids!!! They realised something was amiss when they found themselves driving out of the city and fortunately it did get sorted out before going the whole way and they were delivered back to the city central one near Tahrir Square!! Phew…but Amr was stressed even more and once it was over we sat at the bar by the pool with Peter and Louise and had a bottle of wine. Now finally settling down and unwinding….
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      Traveler  The statues are all so BIG!!


      Traveler  I wonder if the run to the wrong hotel was done accidentally on purpose??

    • Day 29

      Another Cairo day

      October 20, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

      A little weary to start, but it turned into a magical day. Omnia had organised a minibus to transport us to and from the Islamic area, and a wonderful guide - a professor in Islamic medieval history and architecture. We left early - you have to pick the moment here, after the school traffic (school starts at 7am) and before the commuter traffic..Pinpoint timing, and our drive was relatively easy - i.e. not standstill gridlock. Met our guide, and she led us through such interesting buildings, with history and background that we would never have found or known. The mosques we were hoping to see were closed for renovation, but there are so many amazing buildings anyway, with beautiful Islamic decoration…a complex which was mausoleum, hospital, school…

      We stopped for a tea break at one point, and were each delivered a little pot of tea and a plate of fresh mint….just delicious! We finally ended with lunch in the same place where we ate on the tour’s Islamic market day (so we knew what we wanted to order from past experience!) and it is all amongst the bazaar shops and we did a little shopping after before getting the bus back to the hotel. Angela sadly was feeling a bit seedy and didn’t come (sad as she would have loved it)…most people have had a touch of the funny tummy, but Omnia and Amr are handing out pills, and most not too dramatic! I had a little way back, but it started in Italy, so can’t blame Egypt!! All totally fine now…

      We got back in the early afternoon and everyone did their own thing for the rest of the day. Omnia, Amr and I went to visit the wife and daughter of their cousin who we will be visiting in Kuala Lumpur next week. They are back in Cairo as the daughter is in university here in her final year. Had a wonderful home cooked meal with them and a very nice visit. We took an Uber there, and got a taxi back as it was easy to hail one…a hair raising ride - no seatbelts and we were actually speeding between intersection jams…as I said before, getting round in Cairo is a complicated and difficult business!!
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      Traveler  Love reading your blog each morning Rosie


      Traveler  Driving in Egypt should have its own blog 😂


      Traveler  Now here we are in an Agatha Christie.


      Traveler  Exquisite and straight from Naguib Mahfouz.

    • Day 3

      Premier jour !

      October 17, 2021 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Réveil super agréable ... Il fait chaud !!! On prend le p'tit dej tranquillou en tongs et sans pull ! Ça fait trop de bien !

      On file ensuite avec Côme acheter un nouveau téléphone ... vu comment a terminé le précédent, je pars sur un entrée de gamme 😬.

      On doit manger ce midi avec une autre famille qui voyage depuis 5 ans et qui termine son Périple par l'Égypte (c'est pas des rigolos du voyage !!!).
      On a un super feeling avec eux et on passera la journée ensemble ... Pour le plus grand bonheur de Côme qui trouve un copain fan de mangas... 🥳🤩.

      Du coup, programme qui s'improvise: repas traditionnel Égyptien (Koshari: des pâtes, lentilles, sauce tomate et pois chiches 🤤), café dans un bistrot du Caire, balade digestive dans le souk du Caire et ré restau le soir !

      Belle rencontre, belle journée !

      Nos premières impressions sur l'Égypte et les Egyptiens est super bonne ... On retrouve un pays avec beaucoup de vie, tout est simple et pas cher, les gens sont adorables ... Et surtout, on peut se balader partout en toute sécurité ... Ça nous manquait !!!
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      Traveler  Bonne petite adaptation dès le début, cest vraiment super 😍


      Traveler  Ça a l’air top !

    • Day 28

      Cairo - moved to a different hotel

      October 19, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Fairly relaxing day. This morning our official tour part ended, and we moved to a hotel in the centre of the city to be easy to get to places. In the interval between checking out, and checking in we first visited a school friend of Amr’s - also called Amr Ibrahim! - who lives in a beautiful apartment just round the corner from the Marriot. The building is one of those lovely ones built in the 1930s and right facing the Nile. It was like walking into another era with furniture from his parents - almost a museum. We had tea there and pastries, and then moved on with the second Amr as well to the Gezira Club which is very exclusive now, but Amr (both) and Omnia have been members since high school, and we went in as visitors. We sat outside under the trees and had one of the beautiful lemon juices they make, and very happily filled in the time between hotels.

      Went back to the Marriot and had a bit of a wait - Egyptian time - for the mini bus to take us and our luggage. Not a huge distance, but much too far to walk with bags - even for us! - along the very uneven footpaths and risking life and limb crossing the roads! Now we are staying in the Steigenberger for 3 nights, and then moving to stay with Omnia in her flat. The others will stay on at the hotel. Omnia has organised some excursions - tomorrow we will visit the Islamic area of Cairo, and visit some mosques not on the tourist route, and on Saturday there is a visit to the Coptic area.

      Tonight everyone did their own thing. I think people have enjoyed the Egyptian experience, and all us oldies have managed the quite strenuous activities!! But it is good to have a break…

      We had dinner with another school friend of Amr’s - Magdi - and his wife and Omnia. Quite a posh dinner in a French restaurant in a boat on the Nile. Lovely evening. Not French food as in France, but I had a beautifully cooked fillet steak, perfect medium rare. Amr and I walked there from our new hotel (the restaurant was just near the old one!!) which entailed ducking across busy roads at peak hour….I used to find this an adventure, but think I am a bit over it now…just getting around anywhere in Cairo is a battle - either you sit in traffic and take hours to get a short distance, or walk into the busy roads…Peter and Louise started off with us just for a walk, but waved us goodbye when we plunged into second lot of cars…I can understand!!
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      Traveler  rewarding risk-taking


      Traveler  Fabulous. Takes me straight back into Olivia Manning,s novels. What a treat they were to read.


      Traveler  Rosie, that is a gorgeous photo.

    • Day 4

      Egyptian museum

      December 6, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

      I had what I consider dinner for breakfast 😁. We spent the day at the museum learning about Egyptian history and art. When a new tomb is discovered it is opened and not entered for 2 weeks. Nobody shaves their face before going in b/c someone shaved once and the bacteria in the air from the tomb entered their skin where they had a cut on their face and killed them. Finished the day watching the sun set over the Nile river and the hauntingly beautiful city from the rooftop.Read more

      Traveler  🤘🏾


      Traveler  Uhhhhhh….they don’t have apples and berries over there??🤣


      Traveler  At first I thought…..”why are u and Shawn all wrapped up and sleeping in bunk beds??”


      Traveler  🤣

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    • Day 6

      Ausflug zu den Piramyden von Gize

      December 27, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Das Schiff hält in Alexandria an um uns zu unserer Reise zu den Pyramiden raus zu lassen 👍😀es geht 3.5 Std. Nach Kairo ins Museum und anschliessend weiter nach Gize zu den 3 Pyramiden es war Eindrücklich und Schön.
      Aber ich sag euch der Car Chaufeur hatte seine mühe mit der Schaltung ( die arme Kupplung)🤣🤣🤣
      Die Sphinx durften wir auch no Begrüssen dann noch ein kurzer Stopp bei einer Papier Produktion und los gehts zum Schiff.
      Kurz vor dem auslaufen Pot Said bei nacht😀
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      Traveler  Hoffen wir das Mueseum war nicht so toll😜


      Traveler  und wo sind die Pyramiden??😳😊


      Traveler  Sie chömed

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    • Cairo's Egyptian Museum

      December 17, 2022 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      While waiting for the train, we had time in the afternoon to visit the museum. It is only a 5 minute walk away. Mind you we had to face the crazy traffic! Luckily several Egyptians offered to take our hands, haha, and walk us across the streets. They are only 2 traffic lights that we have seen in our time here and one is near the museum. Thank heavens.

      We heard that previously the museum had been absolutely packed with artifacts but with the pending opening of the new Giza museum, a lot of artifacts have been moved over there already. We found that going to the museum on our own, was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. We especially loved the King Tut display. For some reason, we didn’t have to pay to take photos, but once again there were several rooms with precious artifacts that we were not allowed to take photos in.

      The museum had a lovely outside restaurant so we ate a tasty spaghetti bolognese lunch there while thinking of an old family friend (Italian) who is in her last hours of life. Here’s to a good life in Canada, Auntie Maria.
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       Did you go inside? [Hugh]


      Traveler  Dis-moi… c’est un loup?


      Ladyandtramp  A Jackal. Anubis. Egyptian god.


      Traveler  Merci!

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    • Day 3

      Coptic Cairo

      March 6, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      WARNING! This entry became longer than I expected, but there are pictures this time.

      Our first full day in Cairo was basically a free day as most of the tour group arrives today. We booked a private tour of Coptic Cairo which took us to some of the Christian churches in the area (Coptic refers to a part of the Christian church that started in Egypt). There are only 2 religions in Egypt - Muslim (75-80%) and then Orthodox Christians.

      The tour was excellent and our guide was very informative. We travelled to the Monastery of St Simon, also known as the Cave church, built into the Mokattam mountain. With a seating capacity of 20,000 people, it is the largest church in Africa. There is a belief that the mountain was moved to settle a debate between a Jewish leader and a Christian leader in the 10th century where "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed then you can command this mountain to move. Nothing is impossible" (Matthew 17:20). So the story goes, the mountain was lifted due to St Simon's great faith. Other parts of the story may have been embellished somewhat... for example, a part of the roof fell away to expose a carved statue of the virgin Mary and child, that was said to be natural, not man-made. Looked a little too perfect to not have been carved by man.

      Nevertheless, the site was fascinating and not often visited because it is located within an area known as garbage city. The inhabitants of this area are garbage collectors who sort, salvage and sell the rubbish. There are around 15,000 people who live here and most of them are Coptic Christians which is why this church exists here. It is not on the tourist map as such probably because access is very limited - you could not fit a bus up the narrow alleys etc.

      Although not part of the tour, our guide (who is Muslim) wanted to show us a large mosque. As usual, women have to cover up so I donned a green hooded gown that made me look like some ancient druid. Brad thought I looked like Yoda from Star Wars. Abdul (our guide), explained some aspects of his faith. There was a group of school girls who followed me and it turned out they wanted to have their photo taken with me. A white foreigner in a mosque is unusual... or maybe they thought I was Yoda (hahaha! ). Then they wanted photos with Brad.

      We moved on to the Hanging Church, so called because it is built upon the original Babylonian fortress so in a sense is hanging on to it. It is there oldest church in Egypt, built around 3rd Century. Then onto a Greek Roman church of St George and finally Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church which is believed to be where the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus Christ, rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. There is a crypt beneath this church where they lived for a few months. At each stop, Abdul insisted in taking our photo which normally we wouldn't do.

      Finally, we stopped for lunch - a traditional Egyptian meal called Koshry at Abou Tarek (A restaurant apparently famous for this dish). A vegetarian meal consisting of chick peas , lentils, rice, pasta and fried onions covered in a tomato flavoured sauce. It smelt good and was very tasty and very filling.

      So, a busy morning. Tonight we meet our tour group. I believe there are 38 people all up, so quite a large group. Sorry about the length of this footprint and congratulations if you managed to get to the end.
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      Traveler  Fantastic...very interesting 👍


      Traveler  Amazing Mandy to see this!


       Yep definitely Yoda! (Alison DFA)


    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Bāb al Lūq, Bab al Luq

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