to leave Port Said. Unfortunately, our friend Mohamed
Tarek didn't turn up by noon so we had to leave without
saying goodbye. The Superjet Bus Station is a few kilometres
south of Port Said, costing EP16 (A$3.50) each
for the Port Said-Cairo trip of two and a half hours.
We drove alongside the Canel for a while and saw some
ships passing through. They look strange, almost abandoned on
Cairo, we caught a taxi (EP30 - A$6.60) to Midan Talat
Haarb and walked up to the Pension Vienna. It was nice
to see the little owner recognise us and waddle up the street to
shake our hands, calling "Welcome, welcome".
we visited to Mosque of Qaitbey - 500 years old and built
in 1474. It was hard to get to and we were at first disappointed
by this much vaunted Mosque - in fact, we thought we were at
the wrong place, so dirty and desolate was the exterior - but
inside was another story.
magnificent carved stone dome (above) loomed overhead with exquisite
stained glass windows lighting the inlays on the roof.
Next to the mosque was the madrassa (tomb) of Sultan Qaitbey
himself and that of his sister. Again, the stunning Mamluk
architecture is seen (left), together with a wooden stand for
a large Koran (right).
views from the minaret sweep over the City of the Dead
to the Citadel and the Pyramids. In the photo
on the left, the Citadel can be seen on the top left
with the main dome of the Mohamed Ali Mosque in evidence.
The pyramids are there, lost in the haze on the horizon in the
we walked to El Khalili and admired the Al Hussein
mosque before stepping into the madness that is the bazaar.
A thousand hands waving and voices callng "Look, look!",
"See this!", "Feel the silk!", "Try
this Tshirt". The noise ebbed and flowed as waves of
tourists washed through the sea of brightly coloured wares.
How quick the merchants were to pick up on nationalities - "Bonjour,
bonjour" to the French group bartering for jewellery,
"Auf weiderzehn" to the back of a disgruntled
German lady who had bargained too hard, and back to English
for yours truly. "A free cat with every purchase, lady"
as I bent to pat a passing feline.