The Holy Land Tour – Cairo

As much as I’d love to say that the one thing that I fondly remember about Cairo is Umm Ali, it’s sadly the traffic. I haven’t been to New York, so even after knowing that Cairo is half the size of NYC but houses double the population, little was I prepared to spend 2 hours just commuting between tourist spots! It was one of those times that I wished I was from the Jetsons.

Three breakfasts with a patisserie station – Need I say that this was the best holiday EVER!

The Apple Strudel was Master-chef perfect

Photo Courtesy : Slim Paley

Umm Ali, fnally! Photo Courtesy : Slim Paley

We headed out to Lake Qarun, Fayoum – roughly about a drive of 2 hours from Giza. This is believed to be the place of Qarun, a man from among the Children of Israel who was abundantly blessed in wealth and was equally arrogant. He refused to show gratitude to the Almighty and met his downfall. His story, as revealed in the Quran can be read here. Alhamdulillah for eveything!

Lake Qarun

Lake Qarun

mashaAllah, this lake attracts thousands of migrant birds in a particular season every year.

When you’re in Egypt, you absolutely have to have Ful Medames at every meal. You’re just not, well, full if you don’t have it. And so we reached the Citadel, built by Salahuddin Ayyubi (yes, this warrior built structures all over Arabia).

Here’s an interesting story  – Apparently, he lived during a time when gunpowder hadn’t come into existence. The enemies would patiently wait for  over two months outside the massive gates, all ready to attack, only to return home in total disappointment!

Walls of the Citadel, Cairo

Walls of the Citadel, Cairo

We did breeze through the Military Museum, where you could easily spend 2 hours (but we were rushed for time). DSCN1746And I was awed by Muhammad Ali Masjid, the architecture is similar to the Blue Mashid in Turkey but might not exude the same magnificence.

Mohammed Ali Pasha Masjid

Muhammad Ali Masjid

The low hanging lights that are a dominant feature

The low hanging lights that are a dominant feature

DSCN1756DSCN1743

And after all that brisk walking, it was time to revel in the marvel of riding on the longest river in the world –

Cruising on The Nile

Cruising on The Nile

The Nile River

The Nile River

A beautiful wrap up to the day – Meeting Shaza after eleven long years. That very statement made us quiet for a whole minute thinking about how old we’ve become. Childhood friends are really snippets of your life, they remember every detail of how you were as a child – and she lost no time (in the two hours we had together) to remind me of my “secret” gang in school and how, umm, mean I was to her.
Haha. You know I love you. And I will definitely be back to Egypt inshaAllah. We have to take the felucca together, go scuba diving in Dahab. And have unlimited Umm Ali!

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This entry was published on May 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm and is filed under Religion, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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