Day 1 - Cairo Trip

Travel from Cairo to Ismailia took 1,5 hours only by car or bus, beside the road you can see everything is green but dominated with buildings and empty land which is the soil color is cream-colored.

6 July 2012 - Ismailia
Arrived in Ismailia at 7am, and Khalid welcomed me, he said sorry to me because he actually should pick me up in the airport but the car having trouble, okay that's not problem, the most important is I already in Ismailia safe and sound. Khalid is a big man, he looked very strong with his muscle, even I am imagining how if Khalid punch me in the face? maybe I can faint easily -_-
My arrival in boarding house for Summer School means my farewell with Uncle Ahmed, We shake hand and I wished we can meet again soon, but till now I didn't meet Uncle Ahmed :(

Khalid showed me the way to my room and I dragged my 24 kgs suitcase to my room, I knocked the door and I heard Zuhdan's voice from outside and said salam when I enter the room. That was my first time I see Zuhdan and Abdullah.
I still remember my first sentence to Abdullah is "You must be Abdullah Saraj!", that's the first time I see him, so that far, I just know his sister (Najla) told me that she came with his brother, even I don't know how's Najla's face right before I meet her.
I still clearly remember what clothes they wore when I first time see them, Zuhdan with batik's t-shirt and Abdullah with white t-shirt and he just woke up from his sleep. Directly I put my suitcase in the floor in front of cupboard, and I see my bed in front balcon door and window.
I was standing in front of mirror and admired my self that I already in Ismailia safe and sound suddenly I heard door opened and there's a girl with pink clothes, pink hijab with attractive headband and black skirt, my brain worked quickly to process who is she, that's Najla, the girl who chat with me in Facebook frequently and always around me for the next days. We said salam and shake hand, I am not forget to give her the small unworthy gift as reminder our first meet in Egypt as my promise also, so I get it from my backpack, the gift is really fragile so I put it in my backpack than my suitcase, till now my gift is hanged in her house in Netherlands

It is in Netherlands now (not the calendar)
Okay, at that time I just know that day is Cairo Trip Social Program, what??!! I just came from Cairo and now I have to go to Cairo?? Alright, quickly I packing again and showering, after that I go to Dining Hall to meet another participants. First boy I met is Lukas Herman from Germany, he's tall and skinny (not like me) and I met others too, and finally I met my Indonesian friend too, Erika, she is my senior but in another medical school. She's nice girl very kind-hearted person, as a leader of Indonesian Group (we already connected before our depart from Indonesia and discussed so many things in Facebook) I have to take care my Indonesian friends.

Abdullah and Lukas
Abbas and Yehia smiling after received souvenirs from Indonesia

Me wearing udeng, traditional cap fro Bali Island
We go to Cairo by bus, I am not  alone ofcourse we are almost 50 person, in the bus I am talking with people and meet new friends from around the world, I meet Tamima, Flavia, Julia, another Lukas,  SCMSA Members and so on.

I also shared Indonesian souvenirs to all people in the bus, I bought so  many souvenirs as well as Zuhdan and Erika, I thought all participants already shared the souvenirs from their country, but Erika told me that no one shared souvenirs yet, so we start to shared the souvenirs, I think Indonesian participants is the first participant to start sharing souvenirs, Khalek announced participants to prepare the souvenirs but no one give us souvenirs except Kristina, my friend fro Czech Republic, ok, no problem, maybe you all busy so don't have a time to buy small souvenirs. Imagine 3 Indonesian students bought souvenirs and each of the are different, I have Wayang (traditional puppet from Indonesia) keychains to be shared, Zuhdan has small miniatur of wayang and Erika has fans and Indonesian keychains, we have more than 100 souvenirs and we shared it once in the bus. I am happy to see people received our souvenirs.

Our plan for today is going to Mohamed Ali Pasha Mosque or Alabaster Mosque - Citadel Salah Al-Din, Pyramids in Giza and Sphinx and Khan el Khalili Night Market

The entrance ticket

The location map

View Larger Map

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque (Arabic: مسجد محمد علي, TurkishMehmet Ali Paşa Camii) is a mosque situated in theCitadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848.
Situated on the summit of the citadel, this Ottoman mosque, the largest to be built in the first half of the 19th century, is, with its animated silhouette and twin minarets, the most visible mosque in Cairo. The mosque was built in memory of Tusun PashaMuhammad Ali's oldest son, who died in 1816.
This mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from no matter which side. 

The mosque was built on the site of old Mamluk buildings in Cairo's Citadel between 1830 and 1848, although not completed until the reign of Said Pasha in 1857. The architect was Yusuf Bushnak from Istanbul and its model was the Yeni Mosque in that city. The ground on which the mosque was erected was built with debris from the earlier buildings of the Citadel.
Before completion of the mosque, the alabastered panels from the upper walls were taken away and used for the palaces of Abbas I. The stripped walls were clad with wood painted to look like marble. In 1899 the mosque showed signs of cracking and some inadequate repairs were undertaken. But the condition of the mosque became so dangerous that a complete scheme of restoration was ordered by King Fuad in 1931 and was finally completed under King Farouk in 1939.
Muhammad Ali Pasha was buried in a tomb carved from Carrara marble, in the courtyard of the mosque. His body was transferred here from Hawsh al-Basha in 1857.

When 3 Afghani gathering (Oops, am I Afghani?)

They are my love in Egypt

Architecture - Muhammad Ali chose to build his state mosque entirely in the architectural style of his former overlords, theOttomans, unlike the Mamluks who, despite their political submission to the Ottomans, stuck to the architectural styles of the previous Mamluk dynasties.
The mosque was built with a central dome surrounded by four small and four semicircular domes. It was constructed in a square plan and measured 41x41 meters. The central dome is 21 meters in diameter and the height of the building is 52 meters. Two elegant cylindrical minarets of Turkish type with two balconies and conical caps are situated on the western side of the mosque, which rise to 82 meters.
The use of this style, combined with the presence of two minarets and multiple half-domes surrounding the central dome — features reserved for mosques built on the authority of the Sultan — were a defiant declaration of de facto Egyptian independence.
The main material is limestone but the lower storey and forecourt is tiled with alabaster up to 11,3 meters. The external facades are severe and angular and rise about four storeys until the level of the lead-covered domes.
The mihrab on the southeastern wall is three storeys high and covered with a semicircular dome. There are two arcades on the second storey, rising on columns and covered with domes. Although there are three entrances on each side of the forecourt, the usual entry is through the northeastern gate. The forecourt measures 50x50 meters. It is enclosed by arched riwaks rising on pillars and covered by domes.
There is a brass clock tower in the middle of the northwestern riwak, which was presented to Muhammad Ali by King Louis Philippe of France in 1845. The clock was reciprocated with the obelisk of Luxor now standing in Place de la Concorde in Paris.
The interior has a measure of 41x41 meters and gives a great feeling of space. The use of two levels of domes gives a much greater sense of space than there actually is. The central dome rises on four arches standing on colossal piers. There are four semicircular domes around the central dome. There are four smaller domes on the corners as well. The domes are painted and embellished with motifs in relief. The walls and pillars are covered with alabaster up to 11 meters high.

The next destination is Pyramids in Giza and Sphinx

The entrance ticket

The location map

Giza is the location of the Pyramid of Khufu (also known as the "Great Pyramid" and the "Pyramid of Cheops"); the somewhat smaller Pyramid of Khafre (or Kephren); the relatively modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinus), along with a number of smaller satellite edifices known as "Queen's pyramids"; and the Great Sphinx.
Of the three, only Khafre's pyramid retains part of its original polished limestone casing, near its apex. This pyramid appears larger than the adjacent Khufu pyramid by virtue of its more elevated location, and the steeper angle of inclination of its construction – it is, in fact, smaller in both height and volume.
The Giza Necropolis has been a popular tourist destination since antiquity, and was popularized in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today it is the only one of those wonders still in existence.
Erika posed in Pyramid

I have no idea what I am doing

A sphinx (Greek: Σφίγξ /sphinx, Bœotian: Φίξ /Phix) is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and the head of a human or a cat.
In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman. She is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer her riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster.[1] Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx). In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent in contrast to the malevolent Greek version and was thought of as a guardian often flanking the entrances to temples.
Why always Abbas??
 Khan el Khalili Night Market

Interesting neighborhood with different and unique atmosphere, its also a souvenirs paradise.

Hundreds of shops next to each others sailing the very same it gives you a good chance to find the best deal! the secret word of that place is BARGAIN like a local otherwise you'll be eating alive!lol

Due to the few numbers of tourists these days and because the shop owners are desperate to sell you can take an advantage of the situation and get cheap as dirt prices.

This long street to the south of the main souk is still quite a touristy area, but the further west you walk along it, the more 'local' it becomes. It also becomes increasingly narrow and congested, but the sights and smells more than make up for it: traditional clothes cheek-by-jowl with leopard-print; beaten copper next to plastic. Spice stalls give out their warm, sweet aromas, with chilli peppers adding their distinctive scent.

Tiring because of shopping? try mango juice and... falafel :p

To be continued...

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1 comment:

R.a.W | Ramble and Wander said...

Ooh yes! I miss mango juice in Cairo! I had some at Khan el Khalili. Asik juga ya kalo travel ramai2 kayak ini.