Day 2: Everyone Wants To Rip Us Off

We woke up late. Really late. It was 11ish when we finally crawled out of bed, and got ready to leave. It’s a Friday so we went for Juma (Friday services) at Al-Azhar Mosque, which is one of the most prestigious and oldest mosques in the world particularly because it’s connected to Al-Azhar  University.

The masjid didn’t look really nice from the outside, but it was pretty OK from the inside. For being one of the most renknowned mosque’s in the world… it looks pretty insignificant. Any mosque in Turkey would overshadow the architecture of this one by a landslide.

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Al-Azhar Mosque

The khutbah (sermon) was of course delivered in Arabic and we had no clue what was being said, but afterwards we might two students from a university  in Alexandria who were traveling to check out the scenes in Cairo. They were Americans, and were studying Arabic up north. One was from Flordia and the other from Austin. They gave us the scoop on Cairo and some of the other cities we planned on visiting and it was pretty helpful. Apparently, hundreds of American students flock to Egypt every year to learn arabic at the American University in Cairo and in Alexandria.

Afterwards, we checked out Khan el-Khalili and the hundreds of shops here. It’s pretty famous because it’s so unbelievably old.

Note to all: No offense, but many of the women in Cairo appear to be rather large in size. The pathways in the bazaar are very narrow, and these women seem to travel in packs. When you see them, move over immediately because they will LITERALLY push you aside without any care in the world. I am NOT generalizing.

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We wanted to try street food. This particular dish was a bad idea for us, although it's extremely popular in Cairo.

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We found this restaurant instead. Lamb, beef, baba ghanoush, couscous, and nescafe. AMAAAAZING! The food was delicious!

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View of the grill

It was very obvious from the beginning, that the only thing the vendors cared about was our money. They could sell us the dirt on the ground, mark it up by 500% and say it’s medicine that’ll cure stomach aches.

These people are ruthless.

Note to all: If you can pass off as a non-Westerner then do it. Fake an accent, give off the name of a country or city proactively, and watch the prices drop very quickly.

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Khan el-Khalili

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Abayas are sold everywhere. Egyptian abays are 'louder' than Saudi abays... more embroidery, colors, and they look better.

Checking out the bazaar took about three hours or so, and afterwards we headed back to the hotel and out again. The idea was to goto Salahuddeen’s castle on the outskirts of Cairo, but that ended up being closed so we made our way to a mosque which was nearby to check it out.

Bad idea.

The mosque itself was really pretty on the inside, but getting back to Cairo was too difficult.

There were no more taxi’s! We waited an HOUR until a taxi finally came, and he overcharged us as well.

Grabbed some chow, got changed, headed to downtown Cairo, crashed a wedding, and came home exhausted!

Tomorrow: Salahudeen’s castle and then off to Luxor!

We woke up late. Really late. It was 11ish when we finally crawled out of bed, and got ready to leave. It’s a Friday so we went for Juma (Friday services) at Al-Azhar Mosque, which is one of the most prestigious and oldest mosques in the world particularly because it’s connected to Al-Azhar  University.
The masjid didn’t look really nice from the outside, but it was pretty OK from the inside. For being one of the most renknowned mosque’s in the world… it looks pretty insignificant. Any mosque in Turkey would overshadow the architecture of this one by a landslide.
The khutbah (sermon) was of course delivered in Arabic and we had no clue what was being said, but afterwards we might two students from a university  in Alexandria who were traveling to check out the scenes in Cairo. They were Americans, and were studying Arabic up north. One was from Flordia and the other from Austin. They gave us the scoop on Cairo and some of the other cities we planned on visiting and it was pretty helpful. Apparently, hundreds of American students flock to Egypt every year to learn arabic at the American University in Cairo and in Alexandria.
Afterwards, we checked out Khan el-Khalili and the hundreds of shops here. It’s pretty famous because it’s so unbelievably old.
Note to all: No offense, but many of the women in Cairo appear to be rather large in size. The pathways in the bazaar are very narrow, and these women seem to travel in packs. When you see them move over immediately, because they will LITERALLY push you aside without any care in the world.
It was very obvious from the beginning, that the only thing the vendors cared about was our money. They could sell us the dirt on the ground, mark it up by 500% and say it’s medicine that’ll cure stomach aches.
These people are ruthless.
Note to all: If you can pass off as a non-Westerner then do it. Fake an accent, give off the name of a country or city proactively, and watch the prices drop very quickly.
Checking out the bazaar took about three hours or so, and afterwards we headed back to the hotel and out again. The idea was to goto Salahuddeen’s castle on the outskirts of Cairo, but that ended up being closed so we made our way to a mosque which was nearby to check it out.
Bad idea.
The mosque itself was really pretty on the inside, but getting back to Cairo was too difficult.
There were no more taxi’s! We waited an HOUR until a taxi finally came, and he overcharged us as well.
Grabbed some chow, got changed, headed to downtown Cairo, crashed a wedding, and came home exhausted!
Tomorrow: Salahudeen’s castle and then off to Luxor!

 

In Cairo, the streets are shared by vehicles and people.



 

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