Touring Cairo and visiting Hossam
Cairo Travel Blog› entry 3 of 29 › view all entries
Our wakeup call was at (ugh!!) and we were in Omerâ€™s CafĂ© by . Included in our tour package was their very extensive international buffet breakfast. Available was everything from made-to-order omelets to sushi. Karl & Gisela joined us as we ate on the terrace.
We met the group at in the lobby and were led by Mohammed to the Egyptian Nights for orientation. After an overview, he introduced Ossama, our tour director, teacher, advocate, and friend for the next two weeks. There were only 10 of us on our itinerary so our full-sized tour bus carried only the driver, Ossama, an armed guard and us.
Our first stop was at the Citadel of Salah al-Din and, within it, the Mosque of Muhammed Ali. Construction of the Citadel was initiated by Saladin in 1176 in order to defend the city. Some of the stones are said to have been taken from the Great Pyramid.
Back on the bus, we were quickly at the Egyptian museum. It was here that we truly began to appreciate not only Ossamaâ€™s encyclopedic knowledge but also his passion for Egyptology and his country in general. As Iâ€™d heard before we left home, this museum does not begin to do justice to the unfathomable treasures it holds. In fact, it looks more like a disorderly warehouse than a museum. However, Ossama used its collection to build the knowledge foundation on which he would build for the remainder of our trip. Of course, the treasures of Tutankhamen, including the magnificent mask, are the highlight of the museum but there is so much more including the awesome Royal Mummies! Unfortunately, photography is prohibited inside the museum so we have only our memories.
Hot, dry and exhausted, we returned to the hotel and the 4 of us has a snack at the â€śBakeryâ€ť. Predictably, Lin rested while I spent some time at the hotelâ€™s magnificent pool. As the sun went down, the flies drove me inside to prepare for dinner.In the meantime, weâ€™d made arrangements to meet Hossam, who Iâ€™d â€śmetâ€ť though TravBuddy.com at . Hossam lives in