Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cairo, Egypt (April 4-6, 2008)

Cairo is a vibrant and captivating city, with thousands of years of Islamic and Coptic Christian history. The nearby Pyramids of Giza comprise the only remaining wonder of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Just walking down the street, one can feel the bustle of ancient civilizations from every side.

Cairo is a perfect city for wandering, with beautiful mosques, towering minarets and crowded street markets around every corner. The city is alive with sounds and smells - from the persistent honking of car horns and ritualistic calls to prayer, to sidewalk shawerma stands and sheesha bars. Through the center of it all flows the famous Nile River, dotted with ferry boats and feluccas.

I spent two day - not nearly enough! - exploring the magnificent Pyramids of Giza, the spectacular Egyptian Museum, ancient Coptic Cairo and hectic Khan al-Khalili:

The Nile at sunset
Coptic Cairo, once known as Babylon, is home to several beautiful Coptic Christian churches, which predate the arrival of Islam in the city. The Hanging Church (above) is one of the oldest churches in Egypt, and the nearby Church of St. Sergius claims to hold the bodies of the Holy Family in its crypt.
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As claims to be the oldest mosque in Africa and is a haven of peaceful reflection and prayer in the center of an otherwise loud and bustling city
A busy Cairo street. Crossing the street in Cairo was a thrilling - and potentially life-shortening - experience!

1 comment:

Scott P. Hu said...

Hey Frances! Love the photos!!! So I see you made it to my former city... It's a crazy place! I only wish I was able to meet you out there. There's a whole other side of Cairo to see. Anyways, hope all is well! I'm heading off to Moscow on Sunday...