An appropriate word on a jet-lag day. Egypt's colonial masters built bunches of beautiful buildings which are slowly crumbling. There aren't a whole lot of caretakers or maintenance workers around, and there probably wouldn't be a payroll for them in any case.
A very clean and beautiful (therefore rare) street in Islamic Cairo. Remarkably serene. It was early morning and girls were sitting in the street sketching the arabesques hanging off the walls. Lotsa sketching in that town...but only by women. Men must be far too busy doing Important Things.
This photo was taken from the minaret of the mosque of Sultan Hassan. You're looking at The Citadel, where various palaces and mosques are, including that huge attempt at Turkish majesty right there. The interior of it is at once very impressive and kind of tasteless, as its builder, Muhammad Ali (a different one) was something of a vulgarian by mosque standards. No naked women with clocks in their stomachs or anything, but it's glitzy in a non-figurative Frenchified way.
This is the only decorated irwan in the mosque of Sultan Hassan. He was a puppet ruler, and his masters killed him when they found out he was spending so much money making this titanic monument. In standard Egyptian fashion, nobody bothered to complete the work.
The inside of the irwan above. Those lamps are hanging from the roof by chains...imagine being the poor fool who had to keep them lit. They're electric now of course. The minaret here is a fun climb...up a stairway to the roof, up a stairway inside a dark circular tower, another tower after that, and you get a great view of Cairo. Look out for that missing step.