Monday, January 18, 2010

October 30-31 Cairo (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Coptic Cairo and a Nile dinner cruise)

In the morning of the 30th, we visited the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities at Midan Tahrir where among the many thousands of treasures and interesting artifacts housed there is the famous exhibit of Tutankhamun. I was not able to take any photo inside the museum as cameras are not allowed inside. We were required to temporarily deposit them at the guardhouse or leave them in the bus. Bummer! We then went to Coptic Cairo, the center of Christianity in Egypt and visited some churches, among them St. Sergius which is presumed to be the locale where the Holy Family had lived during their flight to Egypt. Our day ended with a dinner cruise at the Nile River and early the following morning we headed to Cairo International Airport for our flight back home.

New Cairo

Nile River

If you are used to the skimpy dresses of western women, you'll feel sorry for the guys here..... everything is left to their imagination LOL.

Street scene

A couple waiting for their bus

Old Cairo

Note the mispelled words (click to enlarge the pic).....I see them even in the US of A.


Our local guide in Cairo (that's him in yellow shirt) said that for tourist guides to be accredited by the government, they need a degree in tourism or archeology. Unless he is stretching the truth, that's a pretty tough academic requirement for a guide.

The guy at the far right in gray jacket is our security escort. He's got a mean submachine gun hidden inside his jacket. All tourist groups in Egypt and Jordan are accompanied by a security officer and all the popular tourist spots are heavily guarded by uniform policemen. I wonder what they are protecting us from? Maybe they are protecting the populace from us, the camera shooting and souvenir hunting tourists LOL.

Cruise boat waiting to take a load

One of the belly dancers at our dinner cruise

There goes the pilgrim's halo LOL.

Farewell to the Land of the Pharoahs!

23 comments:

Hilda said...

Too bad they didn't allow photos in the museum, but I'm glad you were able to take that one photo of the church interior. The walls are fantastic! Are they mosaic or painted tiles or murals? Even the bus stop is amazing!

docgelo said...

it's interesting to know that you were guarded by armed man during your pilgrimage. do egyptians think that people who join this holy land trips are war-freak? LOL. or perhaps it worked to your advantage as tourists.

bertN said...

Hilda, this is the only museum I have been to, so far, that does not allow cameras inside. Usually museums have signs all over the place that flash photograpy is not allowed or that photography is a no-no, but you are allowed to keep your camera when you get in.

docgelo, the security officer is supposed to be there to protect us from whatever. I do not really know what the deal is. We had them in Jordan and Egypt and it is interesting to note that tourism is their main income generator.

Sidney said...

Well...as long as you can take pictures of the belly dancers...;-)

bertN said...

Sidney, I need a better camera for a tough job like that LOL.

Photo Cache said...

on one hand banning photography at the museum of antiquities is good. on another, tourists feel shortchanged. altho' i saw a chinky eyed tourist whip out his celphone and snapped away. either he is clever or crazy :)

BlogusVox said...

Those body guards are just precaution against islamic extremists who are fond of attacking tourist. Just a couple of years ago, some european tourists died when members of an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaida attack them in the Pyramids. Just recently, they also attack some tourists in a beach resort near the red sea.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

The tourist police are everywhere - Cairo, Luxor, Aswan. It's OTT really and quite frankly, it won't stop terrorists. Too bad, I didn't get to take photos at the Cairo museum as well - I salivated at King Tut's OTT death mask!

bertN said...

Photo Cache, I also saw some tourists surreptitiously taking pics with their cellphones LOL.

BlogusVox, that explained all the security measures!

The Nomadic Pinoy, I agree it is impossible to stop terrorists - they can be anybody anywhere and everybody is the open target.

Reena said...

wow, you've got two shots of he belly dancers ha. hehehe... in fairness, malinis ang egypt streets base don your photos. :)

i saw your previous post too and left a comment there. i almost mised it. galing tlga

bertN said...

My buddy who has an dslr took a lot of good pics of the two belly dancers. I was struggling with my point and shoot LOL.

Streets in the older section of the city are not malinis at marami ring estambay sa kalye.

julie said...

Wow, ganda. i've already opened severa abs for te other entries. baka nga re guide since this country has a rich cutural heritage, mahirap na magkamali sa facts :)

bertN said...

julie, thanks for dropping by. Talagang yung government nila is doing its best to keep the tourists coming. Sana ganyan din sa atin.

sheng said...

There goes the halo. Funny, but I think that was the reward for taking that pilgrimage.

dodong flores said...

I am always fascinated about the story of Tutankhamun. Too bad cameras are not allowed inside the museum. Anyhow, you've got photos of the belly dancers, Hehehe...
Perfect timing for the last photo in this entry. You were able to take a photo of the shadow of your own plane while in motion.
...and, oh! Those misspelled words...

dodong flores said...

By the way, let me plug it here. A friend featured me in his blog. I can't help it but my desire to share it with friends is overwhelming. You can find it here: http://www.renztaburada.co.cc/2010/01/dodongflores.html. Thank you very much...

bertN said...

sheng, I agree LOL.

dodong flores, thanks for directing me to your friend's blog. He did a good write up about your and your love of biking. Just exercise caution when biking - you know how dangerously chaotic urban traffic is and how people drive their cars like there is no tomorrow.

dyosa said...

Wow, pretty tough requirement for a tour guide.

Ooh, belly dancer. She has beautiful legs ha. :)

Thanks for sharing your travel stories and your wonderful photos. :D

bertN said...

dyosa, I did not notice her legs as I did the other parts of her body. Just kidding.

dodong flores said...

Hello, Mang bertN. Ye's I'm extra cautious when riding my bike together with motorists that drive their cars like there's no tomorrow. Mag-ingat talaga ako especially that a baby is on the way.
By the way, I would like to inform you that I am moving my bikelog website to www.bikelog.co.cc since Google/Blooger changed their web publishing policy. They will stop supporting FTP publishing on March 26 so I am forced to use custom domain instead. I'll work on with my travelogue website before March 26. It's not easy to move files (especially photos) from your own server to Google's custom domain so it must be a tedious transition project in my part. I may however use the same path and URL for my travelogue website so you don't need to change your link towards my site.
I saw your comment just now. Yes, that's how busy I am (and not only me but most urban workers). You see, we are overworked yet underpaid. Pero this is still better kesa wala...
Sige, hanggang dito na lang muna. I'll see you on your next post ;)

bertN said...

dodong flores, thanks for letting me know about your bikelog's
new address. Bike safely and be as visible to motorists as you possibly can; always keep in mind, it is not only your life but the life of your better half and your baby that you are keeping from harm's way. Take care and happy biking.

Missy said...

Nice photos, love them all. Pretty scary to see the bodyguard while touring the place but at the same time you feel safe ;-) coz somebody was watching you. As if they can defend all of you just by himself hehehe if terrorists attack you.

bertN said...

Missy, the bodyguard gives a feeling of false security, but it does contribute a bit to deter potential troublemakers, I think.