Because of our previous night’s boat cruise, which ended after 10 pm, the kids, as well as us, slept in late the next morning. It was nice to relax and take a breather before the big excursion day.
Our first stop was to the Egyptian Museum. We took a few outdoor photos, and that was about it as there was no photography allowed inside the museum. You are requested to turn in your camera(s) at the front desk before entering the museum.
We managed to take a few nice photos of the building exterior and surrounding sculptural pieces. I noticed a tourist taking a photo outside of the museum walls to see a large concrete building what looked like from a bomb blast. The assistant tour guide mentioned that it was from the revolution during President Mubarak’s reign.
Of course, there was also construction of a new Ritz-Carlton in the works, perfect for tourism as it was within walking distance from the museum.
We walked through a massive and what felt like a several thousand square feet of space filled with many ancient Egyptian pieces.
We paid extra to see some real mummies, but we thought it was worth it. I thought it was pretty cool to see a several different mummies – men, women, and animals, such as a crocodile, cats, birds, and other creatures – excavated from their tombs.
In hindsight, it was too much for Piano Man. He didn’t really say much during the exhibit, but the night we came back home in Cyprus, he wanted someone to lie in bed with him until he could fall asleep. It never occurred to me that seeing an ancient historical piece could be traumatic for younger ones. (I should have known better, sigh.)
We saw King Tut’s treasures, his famous golden mask, and sarcophagus. Prof mentioned that King Tut was actually a minor king, which was why when his tomb was found, all the treasure in the tomb remained in his tomb. Pretty much all the other kings had grave robber after grave robber come in to steal treasure and gold from their tombs.
The museum trip was pretty much over at that point, since we walked through the pyramids and the incredibly large museum space. In this desert environment, the museum was probably the one and only place that a stroller would have been helpful. Linus was safely strapped to my back and passed out during the museum tour. However, I was pretty sore from the pyramid visit from the previous day. I could barely walk around the museum myself.
We usually allow Piano Man to pick out a souvenir from the gift shop; unfortunately, the museum gift shop was under renovation. Only a tiny little booth with dusty and sun faded items were available for purchase.
Restaurant Review: Dido’s Pizza
The tour guide took us to Dido’s Pizza near the embassy area in Cairo. We ordered spaghetti, plain pasta, and chicken barbeque pizza – all of which was pretty decent. Linus had none of that and basically decided to protest his lunch and opt for snacks to get him through the day.
Coptic Area & The Famous Hanging Church
After lunch, the driver drove us to the Coptic area of Cairo. The kids needed something to cool them down as the heat started to beat down on them. A little ice cream break made for two happy little boys who would walk a little on their own.
We strolled by the Greek-Orthodox church, and made our stop to St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, also known as the famous hanging church. It’s called the Hanging Church because the church was built right on top of two Roman towers. Dating back from 3rd century A.D., this is also one of the oldest churches in Egypt.
Prof had a grand ole’ time at this site. While Prof received a tour from a local volunteer, the kids and I were excited to sit and relax. A couple of Egyptian boys, similar in age to Piano Man and Linus, also waited in the tiny courtyard/gift shop area. Although I don’t have any photos, this is one of my favorite memories from the visit at the church. When will there be another time where kids can be kids and play without any reservation and without a care for one’s race or color. It was truly a beautiful sight to see.
Korean Food in Cairo – Hana Restaurant
We joked with our tour guide that there was probably no Korean restaurant in Cairo when we discussed dinner options. He said, “Actually…” And that was it. We had dinner at one of three Korean restaurants, Hana Restaurant, near the embassies in Cairo. We can tell you that our kids ate so well that night. They ate like we had never fed them before, slurping up the kim bap, soup and rice. It was nice to see our kids eat something that they enjoyed, which is one of the things you gotta do when you travel abroad with children – letting them dictate your dining choices.
We met the owner of the Korean restaurant, and she was so kind and generous – giving us plenty of homemade pan chan (side dishes) along with our meal. The owner had lived in Egypt for over 25 years, and her Arabic was pretty spot on, but she remained humbled about her knowledge of Arabic and the complexities of mastering the language.
Thank you, Hana Restaurant, for giving our boys food to eat that satisfied their bellies for all the crazy site visits we made them endure. It was the perfect end to a long evening.