Monday, August 30, 2010

Souk

On Saturday we took a family field trip to the big market, the Khan al-Khalili. I made the mistake of telling Thomas we might find magic carpets and genie lamps there.


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After some hard bargaining, we paid about double what we should have for an old brass lamp. We'll let you know how that turns out for us.

We went early in the day to avoid the heat, so many of the stalls weren't open. A lot of the merchandise was touristy brick a brack. But you could still imagine the old medieval markets with the camel stalls and fountained courtyards.




While trying to find a way out, we stumbled accidentally back in time.







We didn't know where we were but we decided to explore.



Later our research suggested that we'd visited the mausoleum and madrassa of Qalawun, a turkish slave from the 12th century who rose to become sultan. Evidently he was a fierce opponent of the crusaders. One guidebook said his mausoleum is second only to the taj mahal.

After that we went to Al Azhar park, a new green space in the center of Cairo. Ostensibly it was built to give average citizens a place to go-- like a central park. There is a small fee to cut down on crowds which was working very effectively the day we were there.

We stopped at a the central restaurant for lunch with a view.





Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey now that's what I'd call a family outing.That blog press you're using Laura really delivers. Thanks for the walk through the market and through Qalawun's madrassa. Are those Thomas's little American bare feet on the table at the restaurant ?
Love,
Mom

annie said...

i wish i could be a camel and ride with you on your adventures...did thomas ever find the genie or a magic carpet?

William Bradford said...

I hope the genie carries luggage.

WB

Anonymous said...

Thomas told me the genie "hadn't come out...
yet"

Anonymous said...

That part restaurant looks like the kind of place you can eat and then nap right away.

annie said...

your blog reminded me of going to the bazaar in teheran in the 70ies...the deeper you went into the bazaar, the further back in time you delved...at one point i wasn't sure i'd ever find my way out...it was such a maze...thomas would have loved that time-machine aspect!...hugs to you all

arthur and maggie said...

Awesome posting! Keep it up boo!

Anonymous said...

What an adventure! I feel like I'm traveling with you. Thanks for sharing it with me! It is such a different view of Egypt than David has shared with me. He goes through the Suez a couple of times a year. Hope you are staying cool in the heat.... Deb Hurley Wright