Islamic City

Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
1
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83
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Egypt  ,
Saturday, March 21, 2009

We flew a tiny plane to Cairo from Sharm and decided we weren't interested in staying at the Isis hotel again!  We only had one more night before heading back to NYC so Shaan got us a room at the Marriott.  We had a nice quiet hour while we had coffee on our patio and then hit the (Islamic) town.

We first and foremost went to go find Al-Azhar mosque--in fact, the first mosque established in Cairo.  It's also connected to Al-Azhar University.  We put on our mosque-appropriate clothing (me=head covering; Shaan=just perfect the way he was!) and went in to look around.  Actually, before we went in, we took our shoes off, of course.  Beautiful stained glass windows, great architecture and minarets.  Only one man who tried to give us literature on choosing Islam.

We were able to find a man who helped/let us climb up the minaret and we got great pictures of sunset.  He then pressured for baksheesh and we happily complied.  We had a great experience and the views were incredible!  But then he pressured for more baksheesh after asking what Shaan does for a living and then it got old.  Man, all the money-grubbing!  Again, if we had went to Egypt FULLY knowing to expect all the baksheesh pressure, it may not have been so frustrating... oh well.

After the mosque, we found our way to the Khan el-Khalili market, which we hoped wouldn't erupt into any violence (after terrorist attacks in 2005 and Feb 2009 [aka one month before our trip]).  No violence for us that night. 

No wonderful marketplace finds, though, either--we didn't purchase anything.  We did have some good food in a coffeehouse, found in LP.  Lonely Planet, thanks for all your assistance! 

We went back to the hotel, watched the terrifying zombie movie 28 Days Later in our hotel room, packed up our bags, and flew back to NYC early the next morning!

Our time in Egypt was really memorable and a GREAT spring break!

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