Cairo, Egyptian Museum & Kahn El Khalili Bazaar – Day 08 Travel Talk Egypt & Jordan Discovered Tour


Egypt / Travel Talk Tours Egypt & Jordan Discovered / Travel Talk Tours Jewels of the Nile
Cairo Highlights & Recap

Having now explored almost the entire length of the River Nile, the Travel Talk Egypt & Jordan Discovered Tour now returns to where it all began in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. The group have just come back from Luxor having previously checked out more of the stunning temples in the region and having an unforgettable experience by travelling over the city in a Hot Air Balloon.

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RECAP: Luxor, Hot Air Ballooning & Karnak Temple to Cairo – Day 07 Travel Talk Egypt & Jordan Discovered Tour

Today we are now back in Cairo and some of the the highlights to look forward to along this portion of the trip include visiting one of the best known museums in the world with its collection of relics spanning thousands of years, the Egyptian Museum. Other locations visited during the groups full day of exploring Cairo include the Mosque of Muhammad Ali and the hustle and bustle of the Kahn El Khalili Bazaar.

Sites & activities include…

  • Egyptian Museum
  • Hanging Church
  • Citadel of Saladin & Mosque of Muhammad Ali
  • Kahn El Khalili Bazaar
  • Government Egyptian Cotton Shop

Day 08: Cairo – 03 December, 2016

After another long journey on the bus our Travel Talk tour of Egypt and Jordan arrived back in Cairo last night with the group once again checking into the Pyramids Park Resort Cairo for the next two nights. This morning after breakfast the day is action packed full of activities visiting some of Cairo’s most recognisable attractions other than the Pyramids with our day kicking off at what is probably one of the most famous museums in the would, the Egyptian Museum.

Once we depart the hotel in the morning we slowly make our way over to the museum all the while tackling the busy Cairo peak hour traffic. But who are we kidding Cairo’s peak hour traffic lasts 24 hours anyway. It was a nice drive through the city as we got to see parts of Cairo we hadn’t seen before, more notably the newer parts where we saw some of the Cairo high-rise buildings for the first time.


We eventually arrived at the museum and it was a busy day with masses of people lining up outside the museum, all we could do was join the line ourselves. When you get inside if you are not paying for the extra photography ticked (more on that below) then you will need to cloak your camera excluding mobile phones. Your guide will take care of this for you so that when you exit the museum he will collect them as one, avoiding the need for everyone to line up and wait to collect theirs individually.

Entry to the Egyptian Museum is EGP 75.00 (AUD $5.50) and it is forbidden to take photos inside the museum unless you pay for an additional ticket, the cost of this photography ticket is EGP 50.00 (AUD $4.00) so it won’t break the bank to pay extra, however it comes down to principle I guess whether you want to pay for it or not. Is it worth paying for it? Given it’s only EGP 50.00 it’s not such a big deal however just keep in mind that pretty much everything is behind a glass case and you will most likely get your reflection in every photo you take of the items close up. That’s why you’ll notice any photos on here are always on a side angle and strategically having to wait for other people to walk past so they aren’t in the reflection.

Before going inside we are given an audio set so we are able to hear Shady talk about the ancient relics inside the museum as it gets very noisy so you wouldn’t be able to hear him otherwise. We are firstly given a little bit of time to wonder the grounds outside the front of the museum to check out some of the statues such as a small Sphinx and part of an obelisk before joining the crowd to go through another security check into the museum.

When we get past the throng of people trying to enter the first thing we are shown is the Rosetta Stone. The stone is the only fake item in the museum with the original being in the British Museum but the stone is significant as it is the foundation of translating the ancient hieroglyphs as we know it today with a Greek translation accompanying it. They were then able to use the Greek translation to determine how to read hieroglyphs all throughout Egypt.

Our guide Shady took us around to all the important relics in the museum explaining to us the significance and where they were discovered which was a great thing to have as you sometimes tend to look at things in a museum and not understand what you’re looking at, or like me can’t be bothered to read the plaque that explains everything. Some things to note in the museum is that the room for Tutankhamun and his artifacts, even if you have purchased the extra ticket to take photos, you’re not allowed to in here. If you wish to visit the Royal Mummies Hall where you can see actual mummies, then you will need to purchase an extra ticket inside costing EGP 100.00 (AUD $8.00) which is actually more than the entry fee into the museum itself.

At this point of getting to the mummy rooms Shady told us a little trick to save us all having to buy a ticket. As there are two rooms one at either side of the museum, one person can use the ticket to see one room of mummies, then when that person comes out they can hand the ticket to another person and they can see the other room.

One of the big things to be on the lookout for in the museum, and while I say be on the lookout it won’t be hard to spot as you get pestered for this, the local kids will harass you wanting your photo to be taken with them. Apparently it’s a game they play to see how many photos they can get with foreigners. It was a strange thing to be watching as we are surrounded by all these ancient artifacts and all these kids are interested in doing is taking their photo with tourists. If you don’t feel comfortable with this all you have to do is say no to them, then they may still try and take your photo anyway, so just embrace it or learn to strategically look away if you can see them walking in front of you trying to take your photo from behind.

When we all finished looking around the museum we headed outside to where our guide Shady was waiting and whilst waiting outside another group of local kids started to stand around us creeping in slowly until Shady in no uncertain terms told them to basically piss off in Arabic. They fled around the corner but in no time were creeping up again, camera phones at the ready.

The next stop on our day out in Cairo was to the Hanging Church which is located in Old Cairo. The name Hanging Church comes from the church being suspended over the top of an old Roman fortress, when inside you can see that glass has been placed in some sections of the floor so you can look down at the foundations below. The church is located in a small conclave of Old Cairo and the outside leading up to the church is more of an impressive sight to look at with the tiled mosaics lining the walls.

After the church we were then given the option to see a Jewish synagogue. Most people were a bit over it by now so most people said no, but because one person said yes then we all we to check out the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Afterwards we were grateful for this one person for saying yes because it was an impressive synagogue to check out. It doesn’t get used much these days as the number of Jewish residents in Cairo now is pretty much non existent, but this, along with the Hanging Church goes to show you how diverse not just Cairo is but how diverse Egypt once was and even to this day, with how easily other cultures are still accepted.

Did someone say shopping? As a large portion of the males travelling on the tour groaned, some of the girls on the trip were jumping for joy at the prospect of our next stop, the Kahn El Khalili Bazaar. The thought of going to the bazaar didn’t exactly thrill me much, especially if you have already been to Turkey and the Grand Bazaar you already know what you’re in for. When we arrived we had a quick wonder around not going off course too far by only looking around a small block of the market. Just like in Turkey every stall is pretty much selling the exact same thing and they are trying all sorts of tricks to get you to come inside their shop. Although I must say it wasn’t that bad with the hassling and would have been one of the better places. There were even shops that had fixed prices attached to their items which was a welcome change. In the end it was just all cheap crap I didn’t need and I was over it pretty quickly, so I was back at the meeting point with our guide having a mango juice waiting for the others to return.

Next we drove to to the Citadel of Saladin which is also the location of the main attraction the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Entry to the Citadel of Saladin is EGP 60.00 (AUD $5.00) however none of us opted to go inside and just viewed the mosque from the outside. We spent about 20 minutes here watching the sun slowly set over Cairo from this high vantage point.

Background Story: Mosque of Muhammad Ali

The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali located in Cairo and situated within the Citadel of Cairo is also the most prominent and viewed mosque in the capital. Constructed between 1830 and 1848 the mosque was created in the style of other mosques built by the Ottoman Empire and is a adjoined by two minarets each being 82 metres high.

In 1845 the then king of France presented a brass clock tower to Muhammad Ali, the gift was reciprocated with the Obelisk of Luxor which continues to stand today in Paris in the Place de la Concorde. In 1931 a complete restoration of the mosque was undertaken as the building began to show signs of wear and tear with many significant cracks. Today it is one of Cairo’s most visited attractions.

Our final destination for the day was built up to us as being the last government shop of the tour, an Egyptian cotton shop. In my head I had visualised it like the other shops we had to stop at as we would learn about Egyptian cotton, how it’s made and where it comes from. No, it wasn’t like that at all. Without a doubt the worst experience of the trip was going here because it was simply a shop selling clothes, linen and anything else that is made out of cotton. On arrival we were given a card to make down what we would like to buy. I did one lap of the shop and waited outside.

We then started to head back to our hotel, this was also going to be the last time we would see our guide Shady. On our return he would have the group meeting with his next tour and off he goes again starting another lap around Egypt. We were running late getting back to the hotel so his meeting had to be postponed, but on our return back we said our goodbyes. For other people in the group only travelling on the Egypt portion this would be out last night with them also so we agreed to meet up later in the evening in the lobby for our final gathering.

There is one final optional extra activity that you’ll have the opportunity to experience, that is the Sound & Light Show in front of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. I was really surprised that not many people opted to do this, out of all of Group A and Group B only six people came along but it’s worth doing as you get to see the pyramids lit up at night viewing them from a whole different perspective. The cost of the Sound & Light Show is GBP 15.00 (EGP 350.00, AUD $25.00) which includes your transport to and from the hotel.

We were late arriving to the show as we had to contend with the Cairo traffic which was absolutely gridlocked, bumper to bumper all the way into town. When we arrived our Travel Talk rep apologised but it wasn’t their fault at all and we probably only missed the first 2 minutes of the show. Watching the Sound & light Show for me brings back memories of Rodger Moore as James Bond following Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me, just think that movie was filmed in 1977 and by watching the below scene from the movie nothing has changed since then with the show. The only difference was that the audience was very miniscule compared to back then.


As old and tacky as the show was I still enjoyed it and was glad I went along. After the show all of us were starving as we hadn’t had dinner and it was as if our Travel Talk rep read our minds when the first thing he suggested was that we go to KFC. You couldn’t have put a bigger grin on my face at this point in time!

We headed back to the hotel and we were running a little behind time because of the traffic again and our KFC took a while for some reason (must have had to go out the back to find the chicken) we had to meet with our new guide for the Cairo to Dahab to the Egyptian border portion of the trip. The meeting was delayed because I was late getting back and was the only one who went to the Sound & Light Show that was going on the next part of the trip.

When I got back I went straight into the meeting room of the hotel and we started our meeting explaining how the trip will work moving forward. There will be two groups once again, one group is travelling to Jordan which is the group I am part of, while the other group will spend the week in Dahab. Tomorrow we will be leaving at 5:00am as it is a long travel day to get to Dahab and tonight if we wish to pay for the optional activities we can do so too.

The two optional activities for people travelling on the Egypt & Jordan Discovered tours are snorkelling at the Blue Hole in the morning at a cost of GBP 12.00 (EGP 275.00, AUD $20.00) which includes transport and snorkelling gear, and also quad bike riding in the afternoon for GBP 12.00 (EGP 275.00, AUD $20.00).

After the meeting all of us from Group B met up for our last night together as a group as we split off either going to Cairo Airport for a flight elsewhere or continuing on to Dahab. Next on the Travel Talk Tours Egypt & Jordan Discovered by Nile Cruse Tour we will be departing Cairo travelling east getting closer and closer to Jordan, but before then we’ll spend two nights by the Red Sea in the town of Dahab.

OTHER REVIEWS OF TRAVEL TALK TOURS IN EGYPT

Although I have a little bit more of Egypt to see along this journey continuing onto Dahab tomorrow, this is the end point of the tour for anyone travelling on any of Travel Talk Tours 9 day Egypt tours which are the Jewels of the NileFelucca OdysseyEssential Egypt. Below are some other travel bloggers that have travelled on these 9 day adventures and from their experiences you’ll also see that they had an amazing time travelling with Travel Talk in Egypt. Check them out…

Suitcase And I – Travel Talk Tours Egypt: Jewels of the Nile Review

Finding the Universe – A Nine Day Tour of Egypt with Travel Talk Tours

About this tour

Egypt & Jordan Discovered by Nile Cruse
During this two week adventure with Travel Talk Tours our journey starts off in the capital of Egypt, Cairo before making our way south, down along the River Nile. Travelling by road to Luxor and Aswan, and checking out many of the famous monuments and temples along the way, we also have the choice of participating in some exciting optional extra activities. From Aswan at the bottom of Egypt and close to the Sudanese border, we jump on board a boat and spend three nights sailing along the Nile back to Luxor, checking out Edfu Temple and get a brief glance at Kom Ombo Temple along the way.

We end up back in Cairo to explore the capital in greater depth with a city tour before we start heading east towards Jordan. Before hitting the border we arrive in Dahab for two nights of relaxation by the sea and then travel by road from Egypt into Jordan via a 30 minute crossing through Israel. We spend our first night in a new country out in the desert park of Wadi Rum before heading to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra, a real highlight. We’ll go for a swim in the Dead Sea on our way to the capital of Jordan, Amman where our tour will come to an end. Before bidding farewell to our fellow travel companions we’ll spend two nights exploring this exciting capital.

This tour of Egypt and Jordan can be taken in three different forms, however a number of people on this journey travelled on nine day Egypt tours that started in Cairo and ended when we returned to Cairo. Other travellers with the group also did fifteen day tours that followed the same path to Dahab and spent just short of a week there before returning to Cairo…

GUIDE BOOKS

A guide book isn’t cheating! Before you leave on your next adventure ensure you plan to get the most out of your trip and check out the range of guide books from Lonely Planet. The comprehensive guide books on Egypt & Jordan from Lonely Planet will give you an insight on what to expect on your Travel Talk Tours journey of these two amazing countries.

ACCOMMODATION ON THIS TOUR

Booking your accommodation has never been easier with our preferred hotel partner Agoda.

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TOUR REVIEWS

loneXplorer travelled as a guest of Travel Talk Tours on the Egypt & Jordan Discovered by Nile Cruse tour. The cost of the 15 day tour was covered by Travel Talk Tours however all reviews and opinions on loneXplorer remain those of the author and have not been influenced by the tour operator, accommodation provider or anyone else. For more information on all the reviews you see on loneXplorer and the links provided to advertisers please click here.


Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...

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