On our final day in Cairo, with Tony off doing his work thing, Anna Grace and I had great confidence that we could navigate the nearly 1.000 year old market without a guide. We have bargained our way through the souk in Sarajevo and the Grande Dame of markets, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, so we knew what to expect. (Though, because that was also the day the EgyptAir hijacking story was developing, we asked our driver to remain at the market while we shopped, as a precaution.)
High atop a hill in Cairo sits an Islamic fortress, built in the 1100s to protect the city from Crusaders.
The afternoon of our first day was spent exploring Coptic, or Old Cairo and its medieval streets upon which sit Orthodox, Christian, Muslim and Jewish houses of worship. That people of different religions could worship peacefully together in ancient times made us wonder why it is so difficult in contemporary times.
*Tony had organized a work trip to Cairo for a portion of the school spring holiday in the event that Anna Grace and I might be able to join him. Clayton Theodore’s favorite sitter was available, and so the holiday was planned. Tony’s Egyptian colleagues arranged the accommodations for us and somehow Tony’s middle name became the Family Name in the registry, so for three days I was addressed as, “Madame Patrick.” I played my role well, forgetting only once and signing a spa receipt with my name and causing but a tiny kerfuffle that was quickly resolved. But more on the accommodations in our “upmarket” neighborhood later…