Cairo (The Capital)

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Cairo (The Capital) Tours

Cairo is the largest city in Africa and Egypt`s most populous city. Its official name is Al-Qahira, although the name informally used by most Egyptians is "Masr" (Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt), from the original name of Egypt`s first Arab capital Fustat, Misr al-Fustat, "City of the Tents".

The capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt has a population of about 7.7 million people, while its metropolitan area encompasses about 17.285 million people, making it the sixteenth most populous metropolitan area in the world. Cairo is located on the banks and islands of the Nile River in the north, immediately south of the point where the river leaves its desert bound valley and breaks into two branches into the low-lying Nile Delta region.

The oldest part of the city is east of the river. There, Cairo gradually spreads west, engulfing the agricultural lands next to the Nile. These western areas, built on the model of Paris by Ismail the Magnificent in the mid-19th century, are marked by wide boulevards, public gardens, and open spaces. The older eastern section of the city is very different, having grown up haphazardly over the centuries.

Old Cairo is filled with small lanes and crowded tenements. While western Cairo is dominated by the government buildings and modern architecture, the eastern half is filled with hundreds of ancient mosques that act as landmarks and give the city its appellative of "City of the Thousand Minarets". A journey through Cairo is a virtual time travel: from the Pyramids, Saladin`s Citadel, the Virgin Mary`s Tree, the Sphinx, and Heliopolis, to Al-Azhar, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-A`as, Saqqara, the Hanging Church, and the Cairo Tower.

Cairo is of course most famous for the majestic Pyramids and the Sphinx, located on the western edge in the Giza plateau. The Pyramids of Giza are the most visited attraction in Egypt. Standing in the shadow of their greatness, it`s easy to see why. While there are actually over one hundred pyramids in Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza are by far the most famous. Time fears the Pyramids, the only standing of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

The view of the three pyramids (Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure) rising from the sands with the Cairo skyline in the background is magnificent, the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Most tours allow visitors to enter inside one pyramid, but this is not recommended for people with claustrophobia. A short drive across the plateau finds you standing at the feet of the Sphinx, eternally facing east to the rising Sun God Re. The Sphinx has come to represent the essence of Egypt for thousands of years. With the body of a lion and the head of a king, there is much mystery and legend inspired by its symbolic nature

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