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Andrea & KTQ’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 30 Jan 2007

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Maphow quickly things can change.
it is perhaps impossible to properly convey the madness that resides in the streets of cairo. horns honk endlessly, people weave in and out of trafiic, shops and stands line the streets and what seems like thousands of people going about. a far cry from the posh and manicured streets of notthing hill. needless to say it has been an exciting and hectic first 48 hours in egypt.

this morning, in an effort to see Cairo bathed in the early morning light we woke up at 6:00. forgoing the hours seems like a tiny sacrifice when you are able to witness all the beautiful things this city has to offer without all the hussle bustle. and it is quite a hussle! the constant buzzing of the car horns in the city seems to subside in the wee hours of the morning, but just as that starts to happen the shouting arabic in the streets seems to take its place. both seem to be a constant hum that drives this crazy city.
well worth the effort though. old cairo is the coptic cristian area of the city and as such home to the most beautiful churches, several of which we were able to wander through this morning.

yesterday, we decided to tour through Islamic cairo to visit some of the famous mosques and nearby souks (bazaars). After arriving we quickly realized that it would be a good idea to cover our heads with headscarfs. This area is quite conservative and although men and women seem to flood the markets in equal amounts during the day, almost all of the women don religious garb (whether it be the hijab, hiqab or burka.) Needless to say, our visible outsider position would have been intensely magnified if we hadn't covered our heads - not to say that we don't get excessive amounts of attention wherever we go! quite overwhelming at times! while we were there we visited Egypt's oldest mosque (over 600 years old) Al-Azhar and walked through the Khan El-Khalili souk. we were even fortunate enough to hear the adhan (call to prayer) atop the minaret of Quhnsuh al-Ghawri. with a breathtaking view of the whole city we heard the muezzin's rhythmic singing echo through all the dilapidaated buildings, market and rubble. truly awe inspiring.

the rest of our days have been spent packing in as much of this crazy city as we can. the pyramids and the egyptian museum were all to ancient to digest. must rush off -- we are headed south to luxor and will be spending our time touring more ancient sights and saling in a felucca (small sailboat) up the nile BUT we are leaving for the train station in less than half an hour.
promise to post pics soon.
and in the mean time we're going to brave these crazy streets like an egyptian - "close our eyes and pray to allah"

peace and love.
andrea and ktq

peace out friends.