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Cairo

Not long after we boarded the plane to go to Cairo, Joe started feeling really sick.  The night before, he bought some fried fish from a street vendor.  I took one bite and immediately told him to throw it out, it was no good.  Well, he didn´t listen.  By the time we got to the hotel in Cairo, he was not doing well at all.  Let´s just say it was a really good thing we didn´t have to share our bathroom with anyone.

A couple days later, Joe felt well enough to accompany me to the Egyptian Museum.  This has the largest collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the world.  It is massive, with well over 100,000 pieces in the collection.  The most famous rooms are the Royal Mummies Room(with the mummified bodies of many Pharoahs and Queens of Ancient Egypt) and the rooms containing the treasures found in King Tut´s tomb.  The most famous being his death mask, which weighs 24.5 pounds of solid gold.

The museum has a great collection, but it´s a little sad.  For example, the massive stone sculptures have a thick layer of dust on them and only some items are well documented.  In one part of the museum, the sun was shining through the windows and onto the 4000 year old mummies below.  Over time, this could cause alot of damage to them.  Everywhere we looked there was evidence that the museum didn´t properly take care of their treasures.  However, it was really amazing to see them in person.

Later that evening, we went on a dinner cruise on the Nile.  Dinner was buffet style with a great selection of local food and the entertainment was a belly dancer and a sufi dancer.  The dancer, also known as  a Whirling Dervish, would spin around in circles for many minutes without stopping.  The dance, originated by Sufis which is a sect of Islam, is thought to bring the dancer closer to Allah (God) and is a type of meditive trance.  It was pretty interesting.

We had a guide for the dinner cruise to make sure everything went smoothly.  At one point in the evening, the three of us were on deck looking at the moon and our guide pointed up at the sky and said “Do you see our star?”  We burst into laughter.  Cairo is very polluted and other than the moon, we could only see one sparkly thing in the sky, which I´m pretty sure was Venus.  He was very proud of his lone star.

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