World through my eyes

Tuesday 28th October

Up at 7:40am, with a standard breakfast at 8:00am. I found that the people at the Guest House will do laundry so turned in a few items. Mikhail and I took off for the Metro at 8:30am with lots of water. It was about a 1 mile walk with no shade, probably about 100 deg F outside and humid so by the time we reached the Metro 15 minutes later I was pretty saturated with sweat. This was a good lesson in what we will need when we go to the Giza pyramids (probably Saturday) where there is no shade and we will be there for most of the daytime. We obtained Metro tickets for 1LE each one way (~$0.20) and boarded the train which arrived about 5 minutes later. At the Mar Girgis station we got off and headed to the Coptic museum about 100 yards away. The entrance fee was 50LE (~$10). The museum is well organized and well presented and demonstrates Coptic influences on Egypt. The Coptics appear to be the Christians in Egypt after the Romans converted to Christianity. We also viewed the massive Fortress of Babylon which fell to the Arab conquerors after a 7-month siege in April 640, and the Iron Gate through which the conquerors passed and the Hanging Church (Church of the Virgin Mary) straddling the gate. Afterwards we walked to the nearby Church of St George for which the foundations are about 40 feet below the current ground level. The filling in has been due to Nile floods and movement of the main stream over the last 1500 years. There is a magnificent tourist shop underground (which helps to keep it a bit cooler) next door to the Church. Around 12:30 we headed back to the Metro, bought tickets, just missed our train since we were opposite the women’s section and could not run to the men’s section before the doors closed. We caught the next train about 5 minutes later and arrived back at the university about 45 minutes later. Luckily Mikhail has a great sense of direction and we were able to find our way back to the Faculty of Science building and the Space Science Weather Center in time for him to give his lectures at about 2:00pm. I spent the afternoon catching up on email, and working with our host, Ayman Malhous, to look into installing a PingER monitoring site at Helwan University, and looked at my lectures on “Diagnosing Network Problems” for Wednesday which required substantial modification since the students use Windows and not Linux. We returned to the Guest House at about 7:30pm, had a standard breakfast/dinner. Over dinner we talked about the next school which will probably be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Kinshasa in September 2011. Afterwards I worked locally on the blog and a bit more on Wednesday’s (the following day’s) lectures since Monique was using the Etilsalat 3G network connection device, so I had no Internet connection. I took a quick shower and bedded down at midnight.

 

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