DAY 14 – SUNDAY, MAY 7:
Today was our last day in Cairo and the last full day of our trip! The weather was the same as yesterday as we traveled to various sites around this huge city!
Following breakfast, we departed the hotel around 8 a.m. and headed for the Citadel. This is the highest point of Cairo, providing a great view of the city below. Also on the Citadel is the Alabaster Mosque (also called the Mohammed Ali Mosque). It was built in the 1800s. While it is a beautiful building, it represents a religion void of truth and hope.
From here we drove to Old Cairo. A wonderful experience awaited us as we visited one of three Coptic Churches. The first church (St. Sergius) was in the middle of their Sunday worship service. It was special to listen to the prayers and see the people engaged in the service. We also visited the Ben Ezra Synagogue. It was built in 882 AD. While it is primary functioning as a museum today, there was once a large Jewish population here (there still is one active synagogue nearby used by a tiny population of Jews today).
Over the lunch hour, we strolled through the Khan El Khalili Bazaar for some shopping and a snack & coffee. A few of us enjoyed bargaining here!
This afternoon we drove to the Egyptian Museum. It houses 200,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt. It is quite massive. Heba took us around to see the highlights of the museum. This included the Rosetta Stone (the only replica in the museum), statues of Thutmose III (great conqueror who captured Megiddo in Israel), Hatshepsut (queen who took in Moses?), Amenhotep II (Pharoah of Exodus?), Akhenaton (monotheistic Pharaoh), and Ramses II; many papyri and sarcophagi; the Merneptah Stele, the Amarna Letters, and much more. We made a few connections with the Bible (e.g. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, etc…). The highlight on the second floor is the King Tutankhamen (“Tut”) burial artifacts. This included seeing the famous gold masks and sarcophagus.
About mid-afternoon we returned to the hotel for a time of relaxing and late check-out at 6 p.m. We enjoyed dinner at 7 p.m. We then drove to the airport for our flight home.
The end of an wonderful and exciting optional extension!
(*Note: At present we are will be driving to the airport for our night flight home.)
DAY 15– LATE SUNDAY NIGHT/EARLY MONDAY, MAY 8: DEPART CAIRO FOR U.S.A.