Two Weeks in Egypt - October 2012
Day Four: The old Citadel and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali
Today we had some time in Cairo to negotiate the clogged roads. We drove across the city to visit the Egyptian Museum and its priceless collection of artifacts (no cameras allowed), and then up to the high point of the Saladin Citadel and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. Later in the day we headed north to the coast and Alexandria.
With all this driving across Cairo we gained a good impression of the city, its people and its chaos. Despite the recent uprising and interim government, most people were still going about their business - whatever that was! There is a separate page showing life in Cairo as seen from the windows of our tour bus.
The Medieval Saladin Citadel and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali
High on the highest hill over Cairo lies the Citadel, built to defend Cairo from the Crusades in 1176-1183 AD. Inside the Citadel lies the large Mosque of Mohammed Ali, built between 1828 and 1848.
Off to Alexandria
From the Citadel we headed north to Alexandria. It took over 3 hours, including a stop for refreshments at the half way point. At one point, the bus was stopped at a "checkpoint" where men in police uniforms told the driver he had been speeding and would need to pay a fine of about $US200. After some animated discussion, and resigned looks from our guide, the money was paid and off we went. I asked later about the speed limit for buses on that road - 100 kph. No wonder the driver was annoyed. I had been tracking our progress using a GPS app on my iPad and it showed we had been doing exactly 98 kph for some time! Even the Police here are not being paid regularly, so have to resort to other means of income.
Soon the sun dropped from the sky and we had another brilliant, if hazy sunset.