We finally cruised into the outskirts of Cairo – Needless to say escorted by a fair sized contingent of Police Patrol Boats.
Crammed into a tiny area of downtown Cairo is a cluster of Coptic Churches – supposedly on the various sites that Mary, Jo & Jesus stopped off on their flight into Egypt in order to escape the wrath of Herod who didn’t appreciate the threat to his authority. Yet another style of Christianity with its own style and symbols. They also founded monasteries all along the route many of which are still active today. Given the fact that Egypt is now almost totally a Muslim country these days it doesn’t take much imagination to understand why relations get a bit strained (sometimes lethally !) from time to time. Especially as the priests and popes (patriarch’s) don’t exactly blend in with your average Egyptian !! Think long beards, ornate gowns and silly hats and names like “His Holiness Pope Tawadros 118” I didn’t dare ask what happened to his 117 predecessors !!
Icons, Frescoes abound as well as intricately carved iconostasis and pulpits made of ebony & cedar inlaid with ivory, marble and other stuff.
Next door is a very impressive Coptic Museum which contains many relics, carvings, scrolls and bits of monastery.
Next up is a trip to Giza to see the Pyramids and stuff. Somehow I ended up on top of a camel called Charlie Brown……………..