Our overnight train ride was far superior to our overnight bus ride. In fact, we arrived in Cairo with enough energy to actually head out and see some sites. We decided to take it slow and go to the Egyptian Museum, only a ten minute walk from the hostel. The museum is huge and loaded with artifacts. Unfortunately, the information provided on the placards is less than adequate. The Tutankamun exhibit was stunning, though, and the extra $20 to see the mummies was worth it. The animal mummy exhibit was interesting too. Who knew they would mummify their favorite dogs and cats too.
Today we went to the post office to retrieve our laptop. Whammy! No laptop. I'm disappointed, but can't say I'm surprised. Things actually seemed pretty efficient in there, though, so it wasn't totally disheartening. Alas, though, pictures will have to wait. Afterwards we braved the excellent Cairo metro system to check out the Coptic (ancient Christian) section Cairo. Eh, it was ok. Then we went to Khan El Khalili, the giant warren of alleys that makes the market of Cairo. We explored the vendors selling bunnies, watched a chicken get slaughtered, and tried not to buy too many t-shirts. When one man started a conversation with us we asked him if he could point us in the direction of a felaffel stand. He grabbed us by the arm and led us down a few alleyways to a little cart where we got foul and frenchfry sandwiches for less than a dollar. Next, when he asked if we were thirsty he took us down another series of allies to a drink stand. While watching some young kids playing Playstation2 on an old TV in the alley he asked if we wanted to play. Without further ado they dug out more controllers and fired up another TV. Ahmed and I played a hard-fought game and ended regulation time tied at one point each. Shortly, a large crowd of youth was watching and rousing cheers of USA and Egypt erupted at each big play. Unfortunately I was bested in overtime, succumbing to the superior skills of Ahmed and lost three to one.
In the next few days we will visit the Giza complex, encompassing the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and Saqqara, and we will also take an overnight tour to visit the white and black deserts and their oases.