Thursday, March 4, 2010

Its something I’ve always wanted to do…..

…..a dinner cruise….like the Colonial Belle on the Erie Canal, The Sam Patch and Mary Jemison on the Genesee River or the Minnie Ha Ha on Lake George or how about the Dutch Apple on the Hudson……

I don’t know why exactly, its different? romantic? fun?  Cairo has dinner cruises on the Nile River. And this was the time to experience eating dinner while floating along AND enjoy entertainment.  We not only were entertained but some of us became the entertainment!

 

 

The art of Belly Dancing originated from the Middle East.   It is a popular dance around the world for performances, expression and keeping fit and healthy.  It draws on full body movement from head to toe, not just the belly.  Belly dancing has entranced audiences around the world for centuries.  

 

I have to admit I was entranced!!!  With the beat of the  dumbeks, ( they are goblet shaped drums that is held under the arm and  played with both hands)and the sheer amazement in watching  “how in the world  she is moving like that” I found myself being drawn onto  the dance floor shifting my hips to her instruction “left then right” as the audience encouraged with clapping and laughing, and my husband catching  it all on camera!!!!

Cairo living 3

Camels and horses in the street Old town Cairo…..carts pulled by donkeys, camels carrying wares walking down the street, were a common site.  The marketplace called Khan El Khalily (dates back to 1382) is like none other I have ever experienced.   The crowded narrow lanes are packed with Egyptian  handicrafts,  trinkets, scarves, jewelry, oils and spices.  It is overwhelming, the bombardment of shopkeepers trying to sell their goods.  They don’t take no for an answer.   They want you to buy more then one…for good discount.  They have it in your size…and when you offer a low price or try to say no thank you they tell you you are breaking their heart.   They find great pleasure in the bargaining process.  It took me awhile to get into it once I knew it was more less a game for them.  And at the conclusion of my deal…..Muhammad shook my hand and said…welcome to Egypt. Truly I felt I had traveled back in time when walking these streets.

To catch our breath we spent a few hours in the city park.   It was lovely, with flowers beginning to bud and bloom.  It was elevated a bit above the city which gave us great views.

 

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Can you believe there is a window for men and a window for women???

 

One, most intriguing views was that of the City of the Dead.  Taxi drivers pointed it out all weekend giving their explanation of this very old place that stretches four miles. Very interesting reading:

  • www.touregypt.net/featurestories/city.htm
  • city of the dead 2 city of the dead

    The Citadel   The location, part of the Muqattam hill near the center of Cairo, was once famous for its fresh breeze and grand views of the city, and was fortified by the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) between 1176 and 1183 AD, to protect it from the Crusaders.  

    We had arrived just at prayer time and unable to enter the mosque that is still used today.  

    The history we walked through last weekend has opened my mind with the desire to understand and know more.   Again, so thankful for the internet.

    3 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Deb! These pictures are just amazing!:) You guys packed a lot into the weekend!! I hope John got a video of the belly dancing too!! How funny, you just crack me up!

    I think it is so cool that you add the links in and that you know all this history..I'm so impressed with the job you've done documenting all this, it will be great for you to look back on and share with your grandkids as they get older!! Great job, I so look forward to checking in every day and get so excited when I see a new post! Love you, miss you, Love, Cath

    Colleen said...

    I am so jealous!!!! It looks like you guys had an awesome time and you totally deserve it! All of these pictures are awesome! I love seeing all of the new things you are experiencing! I hear you may come home soon! Hope I get to see you! Miss you and Love you!!

    Carolina Moon Arts Studio said...

    Amazing Deb!! how come you don't have one of those blue outfits on while you dance??? ha!