Cairo, in the shadow of the pyramids
Cairo, now the capital of Egypt, owes much to Memphis, the first capital of a unified country attended Upper and Lower Egypt. Launched at Saqqara the XXVIth century BC by the architect Imhotep, fashion Pyramid has been in the vicinity of Cairo one of the most visited places in the world.
Cairo is a bit like Karnak. The city is a happy shambles of architectural styles, periods and peoples. While it is challenging and gives the Egyptian capital this excitement, this dynamism is surprising captive and frightening all at once. But I had come for something specific.
Pyramids of GizehComment say. I was happy to finally find these pyramids, views and reviews, repeatedly described sung, photographed, peeled by a multitude of candles, scholars and scientists looking for a little help from pub failing reputation. They are there, finally, in front of me in the light of a late afternoon slightly hazy. I do not know if it was the fatigue of a morning arrival at Cairo airport, a night in Luxor appallingly short cluttered farewell to my companions cruise or the day spent in the noise and dust the Egyptian capital.
The pyramids are there in front of me and I do find incredibly small! Sitting on a stone, I turned a blind eye, reasoned the crazy mess that existed in my head, pushed my disappointment, calmly made the point. I repeated figures learned by heart: sphinks of ChéphrenChéops, 146 meters high at the origin (138 m at present), 230 meters later, 2.3 million blocks of stone around, the average weight of each block 2, 5 tonnes, all spread over 201 levels. Scientists from the expedition to Egypt have calculated that putting butt all blocks of the three pyramids could circle the France of a wall of three meters in height. Good. Here, it does not rain too therefore nothing can really narrow. Well, attention, I reopens eyes. Whew! It works. The again my beautiful, Cheops, Chéphren and Mykérinos, massive, but slender, proudly bearing this elegance, this nonchalance acquired over the centuries. In low against the pyramids of gizeh the Sphinks throne. At the foot of the Sphinx carved in the likeness of the Pharaoh Chéphren hiding the ruins of a temple dating from the third millennium BC and restored by Touthmosis IV.
Egyptian Museum Caire Un guard who goes through there simply advised me to visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. “There, I said it, you have all the riches of Egypt and much more.” The wealth of Egypt, the museum is full, even overflowing. The gold of Tutankhamun is there, of course, accompanied by his usual fan club. The mummies are legions, the countless statues, sarcophagi multiples. The head rotates so many wonders accumulated. Begun in 1858 by Auguste Mariette, enriched and enlarged by Gaston Maspero and his successors, the museum’s collection comprise almost half a million pieces. Only 120,000 are exposed! Then, as during my visits to the sites, I preferred to wander randomly corridors and showcases flee guides and walk too learned to love at first sight, the emotion. I left exhausted but happy. I will return tomorrow.
Coffee El FichaouiUn moment to finish the day I realize them in a coffee but not any: El Fichaoui coffee.
The carved wooden benches, upholstered, decorated chairs spread in the aisle of the souk tourists, obligatory hawkers, children smiling angel-carrying trays of bread rounds. Everyone does his market here sitting. The seller of leather made his demonstration of quality, it burns her scalp which does not damage itself. Shoe cleaning, street vendors offer crafts, necklaces, tissue paper, lighters… veritable spectacle decorated ice, the doors are carved wood, wrought iron seated wearing brass trays. A large wooden crocodile looks at you, glued to the ceiling, with huge glass lamps.
A tiny lag time before someone does approach: children, men, youth or Canadian Egypt. She has lived here for fifteen years. She went to Paris five years ago, coffee El Fichaouielle found the French very warm. It also accuses the people here very friendly too demonstrative, it can disturb foreigners. A European fills her book tour, she draws these unusual scenes. Hours parade. Everything happens. We could affection for a cat that begs your caresses, discussions with its neighbours, people photographed without knowing each other to the sound of conversations, laughter. You may be fortunate that young adolescent groups cairois connected sit. So noises, laughter, drum, good spirits jumping from one group to another. Eternellement… trendy coffee Fichaoui attracts the world. Lost in the souk to tourists, they remain for hours to recharge your batteries, alone or in groups, to smoke hookah.
Concentrate Cairo in which you sip guava juice or carcadet… seven shots ring without feeling the afternoon parade. But time does not count. Cairo the SouksNous are here, sitting in front of our embers hookah, marvelled at this stage filled with dissolute characters, tending our glass to receive this beverage sacred: “dayman” (your hospitality can be perpetuated). In response, “damit Hayaatik” (your life can be perpetuated). The tea, sweet liquid, color of honey, golden, bitter, sweet, hot, always served with manner and sensuality; served in small teapots red, decorated with tiny flowers.
Every evening at 18 pm, the lights are switched on, leaving room for an atmosphere of night full of laughter and good humour.