December 3, 1961 – Egypt

Nile Hilton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt – Smoggy, cool

     When I woke up this morning I felt good and I was excited to see Cairo.  I’d had confirmation yesterday from Ramona in the letter I’d received that things were okay at home so I was happy.  After I got up I opened the blinds to let some sunshine in and I was surprised to see two large pyramids off in the distance and another smaller one I hadn’t noticed or evidently hadn’t been able to see the previous day.

     Since we had gotten up at 6am and didn’t have to meet our group till 9am, Edith and I had plenty of time to get ready and to eat breakfast before it was time to leave. 

     Ali, our guide while we were in Egypt, took us first to see some fabulous relics at the Egyptian Museum.  It had numerous antiquities that recalled the countries great past, rich history, art and beauty on display for us to see.  The museum was so immense it had room after room with things.  It had a vast display of the finest artifacts from the tomb of King Tut including jewelry and precious objects.  My favorite area was the Royal Mummy Room.

      In quick succession we were taken to see a series of mosques that were each impressive in their own unique way.  First we saw the Mosque of Al-Azhar which was associated with the university.  Then we were taken to the Sultan Hassan Mosque and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali at the Cairo Citadel.  At the second mosque we heard them calling the people to prayer and I enjoyed listening to the sing-song words of the caller.  I closed my eyes and felt as though I could have been back in biblical times.  We had a wonderful view there of the Pyramids of Giza in the background. 

Girl and Boy in Egypt

Citadel and Fort

Interior of Mohammed Ali Mosque

     Finally we visited the Manyal Palace which had been converted to a museum.  It was beautifully decorated with mosaic tile.  We saw table clothes encrusted with precious stones, diamonds and pearls.  One object that really stood out to me was the cut rock wine glass studded with diamonds.  Ali told us that at one time the Sultan’s mistress had lived at the palace and I thought she must have had a very sumptuous life there.

     We returned early from our tour so Edith, Flo, Gertrude and I decided to go to some of the bazaars and to the Perfume Palace.  I splurged again and bought some Joy and Shalimar perfume for $5.00 which I knew would have cost far more at home.  Edith and the other ladies spent far more than me so I was proud that I had resisted spending more.

     When we got back to our hotel I was excited because our evening promised to be fun.  My brother Ed, who was traveling in New Zealand, had written to me that our group should go to the Sahara Night Club while we were in Cairo.  The night club was actually the former tent of King Farouk and was located in the desert.  I’d talked to the rest of those in the tour group and five other ladies had thought they would like to go along with Edith and I to the night club.  It turned out our entertainment in the tent was an exotic evening of dancing by Sudanese dancers, whirling dervishes and the famous Nadia who incidentally was a very young girl.  Another interesting number at the club involved a large muscular man and woman who with glistening bodies of gold paint did an interesting interpretation of statues.

     Our night of drink and entertainment lasted till 2am and by the time we all returned to our hotel I was exhausted and not looking forward to getting up at 6am the next day.

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