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Pancakes in Khan el-Khalili

Cairo Travel Blog

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The gate to Cairo: Bab Zuweila
My second day in Cairo. The locals call the city Masr. It was a wonderful day, but it was also the hardest day I ever had on a trip!

It must have been the sudden heat and the crowdedness of Cairo, for halfway the morning I simply broke down. I felt a terrible weakness emptying my body of all energy. I couldn't walk or talk and could hardly shallow food. My travelbuddy pulled me inside a lunchroom for sugarcoated pancakes and orange juice to strengthen me. I must have struggled a whole hour with a small slice of pancake. The rest of the morning we took it easy, visiting a few mosques to lay back on the ground, and I slowly recovered.

It happened in the old city of Cairo. The medina (Khan el-Khalili), also used as a bazar.
A street in Cairo.
A taxi brought us to the northern gate (or so we thought!) so we could traverse the medina all the way to the south. Quite a walk. But halfway we lost our direction. Somehow, the road didn't correspond to the maps in our Lonely Planet guide. We were searching for a particular mosque that simply was not there! Shrugging, we continued our walk till the medina stopped, and then it turned out we were at the northern end! Haha! The taxi-driver must have brought us to southern gate.

A great medina, by the way, to be sure! It is one big medieval block of heritage with numerous shops and mosques. At the southern end (NOT northern :-) ) two huge watchtowers err... tower over Cairo, with the gate (Bab Zuweila) to Khan el-Khalili in between. You can ascent the towers of Bab Zuweila and get a great view over Cairo! And there's a nice mosque to find right after entering the medina.

That afternoon, we went to the Cairo Citadel, or Saladin Citadel, after its builder. It is a big, crusader like fortress, but really not that interesting. By now I was getting a bit more talkative, regaining my strength since that morning. More interesting was the oldest mosque of Cairo: the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. A very basic building, but very large too. Ibn Tulun is basically nothing more than a very large courtyard, with a rather well-known minaret.

We would spend the night in the train! We had booked the train to Luxor, our next destination! It was a real adventure, and I had a hard time trying to get to sleep.
sylviandavid says:
Alarming to have everything shut down....maybe heat stroke?..... glad it worked out. nice blog and nice day description
Posted on: Oct 26, 2010
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The gate to Cairo: Bab Zuweila
The gate to Cairo: Bab Zuweila
A street in Cairo.
A street in Cairo.
Khan el-Khalili
Khan el-Khalili
Time to lay down and relax
Time to lay down and relax
The view from the Saladin Citadel.…
The view from the Saladin Citadel…
The Saladin Citadel
The Saladin Citadel
Inside Ibn Tulun
Inside Ibn Tulun
Off to Luxor!
Off to Luxor!
Walls of old town Cairo.
Walls of old town Cairo.
Cairo
photo by: vulindlela