Two days before we left the Maldives for our Egypt, Jordan, and Israel group trip, Israel closed its borders. In a frenzy, we called Intrepid (our tour company) to inquire about the rest of the trip. We were reassured that the Egypt and Jordan part of our trip would still go according to plan. So, we then boarded a flight to Cairo. At our layover, we noticed the other flight to Cairo was delayed for a few hours, so I decided to see what was up. Apparently, Egypt was having record flooding so the entire city of Cairo had no electricity and water lines were shut off… Great! After the worst turbulence we’ve ever experienced on a plane, we finally landed in the waterlogged city of Cairo.
Although we had no water or power, we still proceeded as planned with our day tour. We had a wonderful guide and loved the day’s outing, despite the constant drizzling rain.
The Khan el-Khalili bazaar and souq is located in the center of Cairo and was established between 1382 and 1389.
The Mosque and Madrassa of Sultan Hassan was built between 1356 and 1363.
The Citadel of Saladin was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for 700 years, from the 13th to 19th centuries. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Mosque of Muhammad Ali was completed in 1857 and was modeled after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. It is also called the Alabaster Mosque because of the alabaster stone along its base.
Because the power was out in all of Cairo, we couldn’t see the interior of the beautiful mosque. I found two photos online that show what it looks like.
The view over the city from the courtyard was quite impressive.
By the next morning, mounting coronavirus news made us reconsider continuing on. We frantically reached out to our tour guide to see about refunding the entire trip. Thankfully, we could and we were on a plane home that night. Thank goodness we left when we did, because the next day Egypt closed its borders both in and out. We would have been stuck in Egypt indefinitely if we had stayed.