Cairo – Finale

For some reason I never got the chance to finish my Cairo trip jouranl (for part I – IV, click here). I was thinking that the only way to do so is wrap it all up in one final post, and this is what I am going to do…

As you may already know, I have mixed feelings about my Cairo trip… I had good and bad times, and I was so upset I thought I was not gonna go again ever, but looking back to it now… after three months, I may give it another chance… this time with someone who knows their way around Cairo!

My last post was with me storming out of Amr Ibn Alas mosque in the religions compound! Well, I thought I would first share some more pictures of that area… thats the ceiling of the hanging church

Hanging Church

and when we were walking around and about the compound

Rel. Comp.

Rel. Comp.

Rel. Comp.

Rel. Comp.

And before it got dark… we decided to go to Khan Khalili! A place I was looking to go to SO MUCH! We got there, the sun was still up! Ahmed, the driver, said that he will let us walk around alone (which was against what we agreed on) but we were like fine! I am telling you, it was bad idea…. because having him walking with us would have made things smoother. We saw what seemed like a flea market outside and decided to pass by!

I walked around looking for something to buy for my nephews! I wanted to get tarboush, but instead I found some cute keychains with initials on them! Thats “S” for Saleh, “A’ for Ahmed, but I cannot find “E” for Essa… so the vendor, a young girl in her late teens maybe, hands me an “F” saying who would notice the difference… I told her that I wont buy unless I find the “E”. I gave up, when I decided to leave, she pointed at my bag! I was SO SCARED but acted all normal… she was pointing at the bottled water… which she took out of my bag and had few sips from… when she wanted to return it, I told her she can keep it! I thought that was SO WEIRD! Jo then told me that that same girl was playing with her necklace… like actually touching it! Right then and there we decided to head to Khan AlKhalili.

The place is amazing, the vendors are annoying! It was so sad… they get so close leaving no personal space and I almost got suffocated! I found so many things that I like but they were charging me A LOT for it… oh I wish I can go again with someone who knew their way around Cairo šŸ˜¦

And AT LAST… we found Fishawi Cafe, and YES! I actually had tea with mint there šŸ™‚ It was SO RELAXING after all that crazy walkaround the Khan!!

Fishawi Cafe

At that point I did not care much for the cleanliness! I just wanted to go ahead with the whole experience. A guy insisted on taking Jo’s shoes off to bring them back looking “brand new” and of course we made a scene there :-S

The shoes were brown leather and had white threat trimming… and when he returned them back they were all brown!! He actually turned the white thread into brown! We were laughing, but I can tell Jo wasnt happy!!

We go back to the hotel freshen up and go to La Bodega for dinner (it was recommended by friends… but I did not like it THAT much) the food was average, nothing like Abou El Seid.

We got up the next day and headed to the Egyptian Museum to see some Pharaohs’ Mummies!!

Egyptian Museum

It says no photography allowed but everyone was taking pictures with their mobile phones! It totally pissed me when I saw some tourist ignoring that and taking flash photos of the mummies!! Speaking of mummies… the one I still see as well preserved and kinda scary was a female mummy called Nesi Khonsu!

Later on we went to see some more mosques… after all, isn’t Cairo the “City of 1,000 Minarets”!

I was so excited because I have heard so much about the mosque from my friend Dalia, who by the way kinda planned my “what to see in Egypt” and I am taking her with me next time I go šŸ˜‰

First stop was Sultan Hassan Mosque…

Sultan Hassan Mosque

We go in, and as usual… I go in for much lower price than Jo, cuz I am Arab and Jo is American! I was admitted for free this time, but she had to pay EGP50 (25 for each, because we were gonna go to AlRifaie Mosque too, which is right next to it).

Refaie Mosque

As we enter the place… the guard welcomes me in and hinting for tips… again! I go in and the tickets booth lady want Jo to pay more “if she wants” but Jo refuses.. I got upset of the way we are being treated… cuz it felt like I am a walking ATM machine when I say I am Kuwaiti… so may God please please forgive me that I lied at the entrance of Sultan Hassan mosque and said I was from Yemen! It worked out perfectly!! Sad, but it worked! I was kind of left alone, and the EGP20 tip did not seem so little anymore…

Those are few pictures snapped inside AlRifaie Mosque

Man Praying + Tourists

Rifaie Mosque

I have so many more pictures of Mosques and shrines, but below are some pictures I snapped while in the car heading back to the hotel…

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

Cairo Misc

On our way to the airport, Ahmed – the driver- kept reminding us to pay. Jo & I were told not to pay him until we reach the airport, but since he was insisting I gave him an envelope with EGP1,600! I was told that it was WAY over priced, but we agreed on paying EGP500 per full day and since we were there for two full days and one night… we did not mind! I really thought that he was gonna be happy and grateful… instead, he parks his car in the safety lane in the middle of the highway explaining that he must count the money… and he actually did, and all upset and grumpy! Started to drive at 50-60 KM/hr and at that rate I was sure we were gonna miss our flight, I asked him to please speed up and he goes “we’re fine”… Jo then got angry, she started sending messages to Kuwait about it, and I am glad she did.

What killed me more that when we reached the airport, Ahmed kept telling me that I ripped him off and I did not count for anything with regards to parking spots and tips!! His boss was there in the airport and he approached us screaming at Ahmed, but we were confused we did not know what was going on… he comes to me and tells me why did I give him more than what we decided on… Ahmed then denies everything! He denied driving slow, or asking for more… and started to play the “poor me” role which got me really upset and really looking forward to LEAVE ASAP! His boss take him aside and I dont know what happens but he was screaming at him, I ran away inside and the two guys who received us at arrival are helping us now with the departure! The boss comes in before we leave and appologizes for Ahmed’s behavior! Oh well! I hope my next trip will be much better than this one!

Useful Link: Egypt Mosques

15 responses to “Cairo – Finale

  1. Ansam
    i was wondering what happened to the last part , thanks for posting it , it was fun , you had the typical kuwaiti or gulfi first timer to cairo experience
    šŸ™‚

    that’s cairo for you , In Istanbul ,they are classy , they don’t charge you for visiting famous mosques but you can leave a donation after your exit if you like to.

    • I know its been ages since my last post about Cairo! I am glad you liked it daggero! I have never been to Turkey but would love to go one day!

  2. Ansam… refa3tai thaqtti!!! all of this happened to you there??? You need a second Trip ;p if your friend can’t make it…you just tell me we’ll go together šŸ˜‰
    Azoz got lost in Khan Khalil… I almost reached the Yalahwiiiii!! stage before one of the vendors found him and brought him to me. Surprisingly he refused to take a tip!!!
    In Khan I went to Najeeb Mahfouz coffee shop… it was amazing, situated at the heart of the Souq.
    I really enjoyed your Trip Diary.

    • I dont mind at all! I wanna give it another good try! I laughed out SO LOUD at the “Yalahwi stage” expression hahahahaha. El7emdella 3azooz did not get lost! My God!! WHEW!!
      I am glad you liked my diary :-* miss you!

  3. I can’t believe they charge to visit a mosque. 7aram!!!!! and to charge different prices based on nationalities? again 7aram. what kind of islam is that?! thieves!!!!!

    • Its different charges for different nationalities in almost every place I went to… that includes museums, pyramids, mosques…

  4. Btw i am usually a silent reader, but I really love your blog. from your general posts, to the informational ones, and especially the recipes. i really enjoy all of it.

    • Oh thanks šŸ˜€ You are more than welcome to post anytime you want! I am gonna cook this weekend *inshalla* so stay tuned!

  5. The whole scene with the boss fighting with the driver was so he could get you to say, “oh thanks, here’s a couple of EGPs for you, you’re such a life saver”, while in reality, they’re both in on it.

  6. You can’t help but laugh at the situtions your put in when you’re in Egypt ;p
    They get on your nerves but they are funny!
    Next time just tell them “Talk to the Hand… Me No Arabic No English”!
    Did you go to Kerdasa?

  7. Come on guys from where you asume that both men were fooling. Anyway just want to explain that they take money cause these mosques are considered historical monuments that needs maintenance all the time and the diffrent charges is for everyone welfare an indian cant pay like an American for instance.
    I must admit that some people there are not trusty but not all i also beleive that they are kind and welcome everyone it’s just that the economic there is too bad this doesnt mean that i encourage such cheaters but sometimes i pity them.
    Ansam try to go again with an egyptian friend who can be your guide.
    i can give you some tips before you go there again.
    LOVE you BLOG

  8. Pingback: El Fishawy Cafe | FIVE ONE EIGHT

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