Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Cairo, Egypt and the Cairo Museum

We have enjoyed two weeks in Egypt while we wait for Orlanda, our motorcycle, to make her appearance.
She missed her flight from Dubai and then when she flew she was routed through Istanbul which took an extra few days. She is in the cargo shed at Cairo Airport now and will be liberated tomorrow.
We hope to be on the road south on Wednesday.

Meanwhile we have had a wonderful time exploring Cairo and have been to Sharm el Sheik on the Red Sea coast of the Sinai peninsula.
Posting on the blog has been impeded by slow internet uploading speeds. It has also taken me a while to work with the Google Drive and Google photos which are new to me. They didn't exist when I began blogging in 2012.

If you have been following my blog posts you will know that I am always interested in finding out background information about wherever we are. Geography was my favourite subject at school.
What have I found out about Egypt and Cairo?
Cairo whas a population of around 19 million and is the largest city in Egypt - and one of the most densely populated in the world. It is growing  at a rate of 1.9%.per year. The population of Egypt is almost 94million. It has quadrupled over the last 55 years. The median age is 25 years.

Egypt includes land in both the Asian and the African continents. We found ourselves back in Asia when we went to the Sinai peninsula in our second week.
Egypt's northern borders are with Gaza and Israel and to the west - Liby; and Sudan in the south ...we are still working on getting our Visas for Sudan...

Only 5% of the land mass of Egypt is used for agriculture and 99% of that(40,000sqkm) is along the banks of the Nile where the majority of the people live.

Egypt emerged as one of the world's first nation  states in the tenth millennium BC and the cultural heritage remains hugely important.  Over time foreign influences have included Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans and Europeans.
Egypt was one of the first centres of Christianty and was Islamised in the 7th century, it is predominantly Islamic but there is a 10% Christian minority - mainly Coptic Christians.

Come and see some of the earliest developments of writing, technology, art, and religious artifacts.
The collection of treasures from Tutankhamen's tomb in the Cairo museum is a highlight for us.

We met a wonderful Egyptologist and guide, Mr Nasser Alfayed on our first day being tourists. He as happy to talk about questions we raised. He had a very appealing philosophical approach. When I talked with him about our recent NZ human history -  he very kindly explained that all human history is part of our shared human heritage. This makes a visit to the Caio museum come alive.
I have chosen a few artifacts that caught my eye.

First Nasser introduced us to this wonderful group of senior high school students.

Here are some of the treasures from Tutankhamen's tomb. He reigned from 1332-1323BC in the New Kingdom era.  His tomb was discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922

Some solid gold sandals. Forerunner of NZ jandals.

A cat and mouse cartoon on papyrus - over 4000 years old. 

A proto chess set.
Beautifully woven fine line Els from the tomb of Tutankhamen, 4600 years old.

Finely crafted alabaster dishes and sculptures 
A gilded bed with a woven mattress.
A bracelet made of strands of solid gold woven together.

A chariot from Tutankamen's tomb. Wonderful metal work.

Jasper and turquoise necklace and earrings.

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