Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tombs Of Mohammad Ali's Family - Up On The Roof

After visiting the rooms where most of the shrines are located, we go up on to the roof. It's pretty awesome, and VB is scared of heights! But, she was able to deal with this, up to a point. It reminds VB of Greece, where everywhere you turn around, some new relic is revealed. And, from what VB has heard, there's plenty to see in The City of the Dead. Since VB has done some family genealogy, she has a fascination with (and slept in one) cemeteries, but these have to be the most extravagant she has seen, so far.

When we got up on the roof, our guide took us across the (domed) walkway to the entrance (dome), pictured below. The entrance dome, seems to double as a mosque. Perhaps that's what it really was at one time. When we left several men could be seen praying to the side, with very limited space.

(Below): The covered walkway also has five domes and moons, though much, much smaller. Below right you can see an outdoor burial section.

Turn around and you can clearly see the five large domes. (Okay, so you can really only see four. But, you can see the five moons! Let's not get picky!)

(Below): And you can see a nearby mosque.

We took three cameras, so VB was able to get a close up shot of a dome and crescent moon.

After hanging out over the entrance area, we return to the roof area near the stairwell. This is when VB hits the limit of climbing. Number one Son, went up, between the five large domes and shot the photo below, of the City of the Dead, with The Citadel in the background. They are apparently repairing the silver dome on the Mosque of Mohammad Ali, at The Citadel. (This is where Mohammad Ali is himself buried.)

The small dome below holds the stairwell to the roof.

The tiny, steep, and claustrophobic inducing stairwell.

A few more shrines are located outside all drenched in sunlight (these are the ones from the rooftop photo.)

While we were outside, and below, some Italian girls were up on the roof, having their photo taken. Get a load of those wedges! (Their shoes, of course.)

Photo below by Number One Son, as they finish their pose and start their walk over the domes to the entry roof.

Number One Son, cracking-up, then comments, "Hope they had fun putting their faces in those moons. Do they know what's on them? I took a real cool close-up of bird shit on one of them!"

Thank you Number One Son - another incredible photo of ....

(Below): We leave.

Advice: If you get the chance to visit these tombs, you will most likely get rushed through the interior, and then taken up on the roof. The tours are provided by a couple of men (caretakers?), and they are very personal (geared for small groups as the spaces between the shrines is limited,) but rather hurried. VB's advice would be to ask if you can go back inside to spend some time actually soaking in all that is around you. It's truly amazing, and they don't really give you the chance to do so. It is Muslim (obviously), with shades of Medieval, and European influences. It's stunning. The shrines are clearly individual in nature, and VB did not feel she was granted the occasion to fully appreciate her surroundings. BTW, you must pay extra for your camera to visit. It costs 20 LE per person, without the camera charge. Like VB said in the previous post - this just makes her want to see more!

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