"Modern Cairo: The Land of Pharaohs" Cairo by goutammitra
Cairo Travel Guide: 3,868 reviews and 8,936 photos
We landed our land of dreams on the afternoon of 13th October'2010 after 11 hours of long flight from Kolkata. We arrived New Delhi by Indigo flight at 11.00PM in the night of 12th.Oct, then we took the Oman air flight in the early morning for Muscat. We reached Muscat at 9.30 local time, after a stop over at Muscat transit lounge for 3 hours we again boarded Oman air flight for Cairo, after 4 hours of long flight we reached Cairo at 4.00PM local time. Virtually we had no sleep last night as New Delhi International airport allowed us to enter inside the airport but the waiting lounge had only small bench type chairs where reclining was just not possible, neither any proper food was available. Everything was posible and available after we checked in at 4.00AM.
The Cairo airport is one of the most modern and busy airport , our transfer was almost quick and easy. The Giza city is about 45 KMs away from airport and it was getting dark, so we moved straight to Giza Pyramids Light & Sound show.
Our Egypt journey satarted with one of the most beautiful show ever seen in our life and dirct encounter with the mighty Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Our visit started
Cairo is the capital of Egypt, the largest city in Africa and the Arab World, and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a center of the region's political and cultural life. Even before Cairo was established in the 10th century, the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt due to its proximity to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids in adjacent Giza.
Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Maṣr , the Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's continued role in Egyptian influence. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab World, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city, and the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.
With a population of 6.8 million spread over 453 square kilometers (175 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional ten million inhabitants just outside the city, Cairo resides at the center of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the eleventh-largest urban area in the world. Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic, but its metro – currently the only one on the African continent – also ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 700 million passenger rides annually.
The area around present-day Cairo, especially Memphis, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are generally traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium AD. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile. This fortress, known as Babylon, remains the oldest structure in the city. It is also situated at the nucleus of Egypt's Coptic Christian community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine church in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, including The Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo.
After the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641, Rashidun commander 'Amr ibn al-'As established Fustat just north of Coptic Cairo and Babylon. At Caliph Umar's request, the Egyptian capital was moved from Alexandria to the new city. Fustat also became a regional center of Islam and home to the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, the first mosque in Egypt. When the Abbasids usurped the Umayyads in 750, they moved the capital to al-Askar, which they had built just north of Fustat. In 868, under the Tulunids, Egypt's capital was moved further north to their own settlement, al-Qatta'i. However, neither al-Askar nor al-Qatta'i achieved the prominence of Fustat; al-Askar had become indistinguishable from Fustat by the end of the 9th century, and al-Qatta'i was destroyed by the Abbasids when they recaptured Egypt in 905. With the Abbasids' second conquest, Fustat once again became the capital of Egypt.
We were also very fortunate to enter inside the second Pyramid for an additional payment of LE 30 (for Pyramids you pay LE 60). It was an awesome experience and a bit suffocating. We missed the largest Pyramid as you to arrive there by 8.00AM, they issue only 150 tickets for the day.
Visiting Cairo museum is an experience itself. It is one of the best museums in the world and the Jewelery treasure of the Pharaos is worth seeing. The designs made in 4000-5000 BC, will put to shame any modern jewelers of India and Switzerland.
- Pros:Very fast growing modern city with friendly people
- Cons:Traffic jams and no control over selling of water
- In a nutshell:We are in love with this city, we shall be back again!!!!
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